Are you envious of other working moms who manage to get their children to school on time, clean, healthy, and well-fed, and also with all the daily school supplies and tools they need to succeed? Perhaps your day is in chaos. You’re happy when you pick your children up at the end of their school day, but there never seems to be enough hours to look after home and family. Whether you have a partner to do their share, or you’re a single mom, we have some time management tips to help you achieve super-mom status! Just imagine being able to sink into a comfortable chair at the end of the day to relax, without feeling so exhausted you’re going to pass out!
Please read further to learn about great working mom time management tips.
There’s No Time Management Without a Planner
Yes, we know you’re already busy, but you’re going to have to sit down to create a planner on your computer if you want to earn your super hero status. You can either use the Excel or Numbers spreadsheet on your computer, or download one of the many time management apps to help you out. The benefit of doing it on the computer is that you’ll have more control and room for typing up your schedule, plus you can simply copy and paste each week, rather than having to handwrite it all out (you wanted to save time, remember?). Another great aspect of using a spreadsheet is that once those school charity fundraiser meetings are done, you can just erase that column and have space for adding in another activity… which we all know is going to be a hot bath!
Don’t Forget to Make Lists
Throughout the day you may be thinking, “I need to do this and that.” But chances are that five minutes later you’ve forgotten what you were supposed to do. Keep a notebook and pen handy. Jot down your ideas or your needs as they come to you. Later, when you’re able to sit down to work on your actual schedule, you can add these tasks into your weekly calendar. These tasks can be as simple as creating your grocery list, calling people about your work, or buying something for your child’s school event.
Intersperse Your Big + Small Tasks
Never set ten big tasks throughout the day. For example, this week you need to repaint your dining room, bake cookies for the school fundraiser, sew your ballgown for a charity event, wash the windows inside and out, and go to the dentist to have a filling replaced. These big items should never be booked for one day. Instead, create your schedule where you add one big task to each day of the week, add in a couple of moderate tasks, and then put in several smaller ones. You certainly don’t want to be stressed out that you have to do several big things each day!
Prioritize the Must-Dos
When you create your daily to-do lists for your weekly schedule, be sure to prioritize your tasks. For example, if it’s important to speak to your child’s teacher, book that in first. If your husband is complaining about pain in his teeth, encourage him to book a dental appointment now, not later. If you find water dripping from your house’s sprinkler pipes, book that plumber now. Not only is it common sense that can save money in the future, but you’ll avoid any suffering, whether mental or physical.
Where’s Your Family?
If you have a partner, they can do a few tasks each day on their lunch hour or breaks. Even if they’re smaller tasks, that still clears some of the schedule so you don’t feel as stressed out. And don’t forget the kids! Younger kids love to watch us and emulate what we do. Hand them the feather duster to dust around the house, or make a game and say how their dolls and stuffies are having a tea party, so they need to collect them from around the house and put on the play table in their bedroom. You can even create little checklists for them to do tasks around the home. You can even gamify to make it fun! (For example, when they’ve checked off all the items on their to-do lists, they get a slice of fruit!)
Schedule in Your Sleep
You may think that only sleeping six hours a night will provide you with all the time you need to get everything done. But instead, you’ll just make yourself even more exhausted and stressed out. Be sure to schedule in your eight hours of sleep each night. When you have enough sleep you’ll then be eager to get out of bed in the morning to tackle all your work, chores, and tasks that need to be done.
Include a Good Meal Plan
A weekly schedule should also include time for you, and that also includes a wellness plan that includes a healthy meal plan. You should work out your daily meals for you and your family. This is far better than leaving it to the last minute and then opting to order in pizza. Pizza is fine once a month, but not healthy for the long-term. Instead, create a healthy meal plan with a low-fat protein, healthy carbs, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Raw foods are much healthier, or lightly steamed vegetables. And simply-prepared meals are far easier to make than trying to cook a stew that’s lost all its nutrients because now the food has been cooked too long.
Don’t Forget Those Goals!
You can get caught up in your daily life, and while it can be comfortable, life never stays stagnant. Life changes and you should be prepared. Perhaps your family wants to move out of that apartment and buy a house. Or, you’re tired of your job and want higher pay but fewer hours. You’ll need to add space to your schedule to help you to achieve these goals. You may not even know where to start, but booking in a half hour each day to do some research will be a start. Doing nothing will achieve nothing, while doing something will point you in the right direction.
Create an Impermeable Wall
If you work from home for pay, you’ll need to have dedicated time away from your family so you can have quiet zoom calls with your coworkers or clients. This will be the time that you shut out your family. If you have younger children, a sitter can help out. If you have pets, only allow the quietest ones inside your office. This also means saying “no”, when someone tries to bother you. You’ll have to remain firm, as working in an office is no different. Saying no also includes when friends or acquaintances ask for help. It’s not rude to say sorry but you’re all booked up at that time.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Just like your partner and children should be doing their equal share of work around the home, you may also need to ask for help at times. If you work during the day from home, then you’ll need to hire a sitter to look after younger children during the day. If you have challenges with cleaning your house, hire a house cleaner to tackle those most difficult tasks, such as cleaning the bathroom or kitchen, washing the floors, and vacuuming. They don’t even need to come every day, but once every couple of weeks to do a deep-clean of your home when you don’t have time to do more than a quick swipe of your magic cloth.
Automate Your Daily Life
There are many online apps and computer software that can help you to manage your family’s daily and weekly life. A spreadsheet schedule is a good place to start. There may also be other apps to help you, such as for the meal planning tips suggested above. The app may even assist you with online ordering and delivery of groceries and household supplies. Depending on your career, there may also be work tools to help assist you with your paid work from home.
Turn off the Devices
If you’re like most people, you also waste time each day. Chances are that it’s on social media, or sending texts or messages to friends or family. Maybe you spend too much time in front of the TV. Turn off all devices and electronics and focus on your daily schedule. Scrolling through social media can take up a big chunk of your daily time, but when you’re desperate to get all your daily tasks done then you need to really focus on what needs to get done. You should already have some time booked into your schedule for fun, or where you can browse social media if it’s really that important to you.
Start On Your New Working Mom Time Management Schedule Now!
Won’t it be wonderful to get your family’s life under control? Instead of feeling stressed out when your husband and kids get home, you’ll be ready to welcome them with open arms. You can enjoy a meal together, watch a show, and even relax while they handle some of the household chores for you. You can relax in bed at night, feeling happy, instead of in pain and stressed out. Once you’ve achieved super-mom status with these working mom time management tools you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!