Time flies when you’re having fun. Actually, time also seems to fly when you’re busy. It only slows down at the DMV and the post office.
If you’re like most moms, then you feel like your time is rarely your own. Your schedule is dictated by your job, your home, your kids and your partner. Most of the time, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to go through life feeling like you’re always in a time crunch. Learning better time management skills may be the key to enjoying more leisure time and more opportunities to spend quality hours with those that you love best.
Give some thought to these time management tips. They just might change your outlook.
Know When to Say “No”
This is a hard one for busy moms. When it comes to taking on a new project at work, heading up a committee for the annual carnival or volunteering at the soccer tournament, moms can almost always be counted on to say yes.
The trouble is that trying to do everything is overwhelming, and it wreaks havoc on your time. Learning to say no to new opportunities is not easy, but it’s an essential skill for self-preservation. Occasionally saying no also teaches your little ones a valuable lesson about setting healthy boundaries and expectations.
Use a Planner
The Clever Fox Planner contains useful tools that help you make better use of your time. You’ll find layouts that are designed to help you plan your month and the week ahead with as much detail as you like. After using it for a few weeks, you may discover places where you’re wasting time, which gives you an opportunity to make adjustments that will save you time.
Additionally, this planner will help you define your goals and priorities so that you can focus on what matters to you. That just might encourage you to say no when an opportunity comes along.
Set Daily Goals
Every morning, establish a realistic to-do list in your hourly planner. Try not to get overwhelmed with everything that you need to get done. Instead, focus on a handful of tasks that you reasonably believe can be accomplished today. Be specific, and consider breaking down bigger projects into smaller daily tasks. This way, you’re still moving toward your goals without feeling like they’re taking over your life.
Stop Striving for Perfection
Perfection is an unattainable state. All moms are human and therefore not perfect. Let go of being perfect as a goal. Instead, switch your focus to being present. Wherever you are and whatever you’re working on, bring your concentration and attention to it. The outcome of your endeavors may not be perfect, but it will have the benefit of being the result of a quality effort that you can feel good about.
Limit Internet and Social Media Time
The Internet is capable of sucking enormous amounts of time out of your day. Click on just one interesting link, and you “come to” four hours later, unsure of what you’ve been doing. The same is true for social media. Whether you’re checking it on your PC or your smartphone, it’s capable of making hour upon hour disappear.
Limit your time on the Internet and social media by using an app or egg timer that will help you account for how much time has passed. When it’s time to check in online or with social media, set the timer for 15 minutes or another sensible period. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Resist the urge to check social media, and your email, in between these scheduled periods.
Learn to Delegate
Moms have a tendency to take everything on themselves. They figure they can do it better or get it done faster, so why not just take care of that project themselves? True, it’s not easy to give up control when you’re used to doing it all yourself, but the rewards can be amazing.
Your kids or partner may learn a new skill or find that they are more capable than they realized when you delegate to them. They may even feel great about being able to help mom. Give them a chance, and you’ll probably be surprised at how easy delegation really is.
Establish a Routine
Having a routine doesn’t have to mean that you’re in a rut. Instead, it helps you to automate certain ordinary tasks that don’t require a lot of thought or mental effort. Knowing that Tuesday is laundry day and Thursday is the day for cleaning the bathrooms gives your week a framework.
Plus, it means that you’re not having to figure out when to do these routine chores every week. You’ll no longer have to pause to wonder when the last time was that you vacuumed the floors because you’ll know it’s part of your routine.
Even the most sensible schedule sometimes needs a bit of flex. This is because not every week looks like the one before or the one after. When a monkey wrench gets thrown into your schedule, take a deep breath and adapt. Consider building some time cushions into your daily schedule to allow for the unexpected.
The next time the juice gets spilled on the kitchen floor or the kids get sick, you’ll be better able to cope because you’ll have a back-up plan in place.
Make Time for You
You’ve probably heard it before, but here is a sage piece of advice all over again: You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself. Schedule time for self-care so that you can feel more energized, balanced and available for everything else you want to accomplish.
Rather than being selfish, taking time to care for yourself is a gift to your entire family. When you are well-rested, you will be in a better mental and emotional mindset, which means that you can more easily roll with the punches when things go wrong.