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Motherhood is a full-time job and time management is a skill.
If you are a mom, you are busy and your time is valuable. There are little people, who need your attention and big people, adults, who want the remaining bits of your attention. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and tired all the time.
I am a new mom, a wife, a chemist, and a blogger. My attention is being pulled in several directions and I sometimes feel stressed out.
In the months following my daughters birth, I focused completely on being a mom. I was out of work on maternity leave, learning to breastfeed and bonding with baby. During naps, I would cook or rest. This time was amazing, I let the laundry pile up and I even left dishes in the sink, for a full day (gasp). This time went by fast and soon it was time to go back to work (tear), maternity leave was over. I was extremely thankful to have a job to return to, but I was sad to be leaving baby.
The end of my maternity leave was the turning point for unorganized madness:
- I was at work and my mind was at home with baby.
- I was at home and my mind was on baby but I still needed to cook and clean and wash.
- I was trying to be a good wife.
- I was trying to be a good doggy mom.
- I was still trying to blog consistently.
I didn’t want to give up on anything, but I was being mediocre at several of these things. I needed to change how I was managing my time. I didn’t want to be mediocre, I owed it to everyone (my family, my employer, my blog readers) and myself to be better.
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Are you trying to do too much and sacrificing quality, just to be present? Do you need help with time management?
Here are 7 things you must do to manage your time more efficiently.
- Understand your time is limited. Everyone wants your time and there are only 24 hours in a day. You may be superwoman but once you truly understand that everything can’t be accomplished in one day and some tasks will just have to wait, a bowling ball of weight should fall off your shoulders.
- Prioritize. There will always be a long list of things that need to get done, decide which tasks get priority and which tasks can wait until tomorrow. Organize and write down those tasks and commit to completing those tasks first.
- Schedule. Now that you know what needs to be done. Schedule to complete those tasks with high priority. Pull out your journal or planner. If you prefer, use a calendar app or scheduling app on your phone. Use anything with time blocks, so that you can visually see how you can allocate your precious time. Tip: leave some gaps of time between tasks. You don’t want to list tasks to be completed at 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 etc.; you will leave no room for error. It may take extra time to complete some tasks, if it doesn’t use that extra time for yourself.
- Focus. This one is difficult. You have your priority list and you have scheduled to complete each task at a specific time. Now, it’s time to complete those tasks. You need to be focused on that task. Give it 100% of your effort. When you make an hair appointment, you expect your hair stylist to be focused on you. You don’t want him or her going back and forth between your chair and 3 other clients while on the telephone, you want undivided attention, right? Give that same type of service and attention to each of the tasks on your list!
- Say No. The first task on this list is understanding your time is limited, this means you will need to say “no”, more often. Learn to decline invitations, gracefully. Learn to decline extra projects that aren’t required by your employer. Learn that it is OK to not be available sometimes. In the age of cell-phones, a simple text, can change how we spend our time. Say “no”, to last minute requests and interruptions. Most people will understand. We worry about disappointing people by not showing up but showing up unprepared, uninterested, and untimely is worse.
- Say Yes. Ha, you just learned to say “No”, but remember to say “Yes” too! Accept assistance from friends and family. If someone you trust wants to help out, say “Yes”. Superwoman doesn’t tell Superman to go away when he shows up, they work together. If someone wants to wash the dishes, let them. If grandma is available to watch the baby, let her. If your friend wants to take the kids to the park, let her. This is not the time to be stubbornly independent. Accept help, if it is available.
- Be accountable. It seems everyone is depending on you and it’s important to be accountable. Motherhood isn’t getting easier, so we need to learn the skills that will makes us more efficient. Sometimes we will fall short and that is OK. If you accepted too many projects and weren’t able to give it your best effort this time, acknowledge that and adjust for next time. Always be willing to make changes that will enhance your time management skills. It sometimes takes years for people to become good managers, moms are forced to learn to do it overnight. If you are a mom, then you understand that time management skills are necessary; you will learn to master this skill with patience and practice, but remember to accept responsibility for your shortcoming and engage in constructive ways to learn from former mistakes.
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Managing being a mom along with all the other responsibility we have is challenging. I’m still practicing my time management skills everyday. I am blessed to have a helpful partner and learning to say “Yes” to his assistance has been a huge help. In the process, I gained more me time and more admiration for my husband.
I hope these 7 suggestions help you as much as they are helping me.
Are you ready to begin working on your time management skills? Get started today.
- Manage your time with a calendar app on your phone or get a planner or scheduler with time blocks. (I’ll link some in the post below).
- Prioritize the important things that need to get done and write them down.
- Get organized
Need More Assistance with time management? Check out these relate resources:
Below are some affordable planners to help you begin planning your time more efficiently today!