One of the biggest struggles working moms face is having enough time to do everything on their to do list. Oftentimes, this includes household responsibilities, work projects, tending to the children and making sure they squeeze in a little time for themselves. One important skill will be finding easy ways to manage your time as a working mom most effectively.
This blog post will talk just about just that! If you want some time management tools that have been super helpful to me, you can find them here.
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But why is time management so difficult?
Sometimes it’s the overwhelm of knowing what needs to get done that prevents us from even starting it. We start to dread the process and express self-sabotaging language.
I will never get all this done.
I have too much to do.
How will I even know what is most important?
We also need to stop and think about what exactly works well for US. What I mean by that is are we trying to organize ourselves during a time of day that we are productive or during a time of day that we are completely beat. Are you asking yourself questions such as, what tools work best for me? Am I taking the time to establish a habit out of whatever I am using (for example planner writing)?
My advice is to not be afraid to play around with different techniques: white board, digital check list on the phone, calendar etc.
Now, below I have list 4 different strategies that you can use to help you.
1. Create a smaller priorities list
The mistake we make here is that we create a lengthy to-do list and become disappointed when we can’t actually complete it all. So don’t set yourself up for failure before even starting.
I would make a list of 3-5 items for both a morning and evening routine (if working during the day). If you have a lot to do, then break it up during the week so that your Monday and Wednesday morning routine has you cleaning the bathrooms, but the other Mornings has you working out (for example). You don’t have to do everything all in one day.
2. Use an organizational tool that works for you
You can reference this blog post to check out some different techniques. But the main point here is to do something that you KNOW will work best for you.
I gave an example up top and will provide another here.
If you are constantly on the phone, then maybe google notes and calendar with 15-minute reminders will be a good place to start. Whereas a planner may be best if you like writing things down and you work in an office setting.
3. Set times for task completion [timer if needed]
Now the hard truth is that we can make a small to-do list but if we get home completely exhausted and are just having a hard time finding motivation, you need another tactic to help you.
One of those could be setting a 15–20-minute timer and telling yourself to do as much as you can during that time so you can then spend 30 minutes watching your favorite show.
Give yourself a reward (a powerful one to you) after doing the set task (not the other way around).
BONUS TIP: If you are someone who gets motivated watching others clean then pop on a YouTube cleaning video alongside your timer! [I love doing this].
4. Don’t say yes, say I’ll get back to you
Lastly, you may be someone who gets asked to do things all the time – whether at work or from family and friends. And while I am sure you love to help out or be around loved ones as much as possible, the reality is that sometimes you will have to say no. Unless you are okay with the constant overwhelm and exhaustion.
So instead of saying yes right away, tell them you will get back to them and check your schedule. And if applicable, talk to your partner too. If it fits because you don’t have much going on than great but if you already have 5 other things to do, then maybe the answer will be no.
Mastering these 4 different management tips will guarantee you less stress and overwhelm in the long run.
What we want to do is not overpack our brain power and energy. When we overwhelm ourselves and/or lack boundaries, then being a working mom can seem like A LOT.
And don’t get me wrong – there will be moments where you have to bend these tips, for example if there is a big work project this term, you may need to say yes to that meeting. But this is when you leverage your other toolbox items such as your support team.
There is a method to the madness, I promise. If you want to learn more about how to achieve that work life balance (your way) then check this blog post.
Tell me in the comments, which one of these is MOST difficult for you to do? Why is that? I would love to hear your thoughts.