A recurring question I get is what are my best time management tips?
Do you feel like your day doesn’t have enough hours? This list of golden rules will save your life.
As a working parent, you probably don’t have the luxury of free time, or time for yourself, for that matter. For a responsible adult raising another little human with those traits, there is always something to do, right?
There are not many moms without a robust work ethic, true heroes who run a household, and their own business. Whether you’re a parent that’s in constant overdrive or the one that has a more laid-back attitude towards life errands, you will probably agree that you could use some time management skills. That’s normal; we all sometimes feel like hamsters in a wheel.
My favorite of all time management tips
But you should be aware of one fundamental fact; working all hours of every day of the week isn’t effective time management. It shows that you lack it. Life should not be all work and no fun. If you want to live a healthy but also productive life, you need to find balance.
Balance is the key; every one of us needs time to sleep, relax, family, and friends. Your success should not ever be measured by how many hours you’re staying busy or working. The real goal is to find the best way to use the hours you have to impact.
Effective time management is a skill that can be learned. If you’re looking to make your time more valuable, then consider implementing these tips into your daily work-at-home mom life.
One plan is not enough; You’ll Need Multiple Plans
Life is messy and complicated; we all know that. Plans don’t always go the way we expect them to, but that’s why it’s good to develop plans B and even a plan C.
Life is full of interruptions, don’t let them lead you to stress and anxiety over pivoting your plans considering potential changes.
Writing down your schedule, priorities, and obligations will help you better grasp what you need to do on the given week. This is where a bullet journal could make a big difference. It’s the thing that will keep you focused on your goals and provide a sense of calmness if your plans go south.
Multi-tasking can be challenging; Consider Time Blocks
There was a time when it was believed that multitasking has excellent benefits, but we can openly say that those times are the past. Sure, there will be days when multitasking is a must. But, it should generally be avoided.
We’ve been told that multitasking is the best way to manage time, however, research has shown that multitasking isn’t as productive as we once thought. It’s best to split your focus on one task at a time to ensure you’re using your time wisely.
Try the time blocking method. Here’s a simple breakdown of how the time blocking method works:
- Select your first task on your to-do list.
- Set the clock for 20-30 minutes.
- Complete all you can on that first task within the allotted time.
- Do not check email, social media, or respond to texts during this time.
- When the clock timer goes off, it’s time to stop this task.
- Give yourself a 5-15 minute break.
- Now you can evaluate whether you should set the clock for another 20 minutes or move onto your next task.
- Continue this for every priority task you have each day.
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Be Proactive About Work & Life Balance
All work and no fun are not beneficial for your psyche and your work and obligations also. If you don’t give your head some time to rest and your brain recover, you will not be as productive as you would be if you hadn’t disturbed your work-life balance.
There is a trap many working parents fall into, and that is the thinking that private parts of life are distractions. No, you should put your personal life first. This means carving out time to ensure you’re not working around the clock, instead you opt to enjoy your personal life and work around those hours.
Try the following practices to be proactive about work & life balance:
- Make a monthly calendar for your personal life.
- Mark important events, dates, and self-care time into the calendar.
- Build your work-at-home schedule around these personal life commitments.
Use the power of apps
Many apps could help you organize your life. According to your preferences, there are many to choose from; you easily remove time-consuming tasks from your plate.
Many apps help you with bills, invoices, and expenses. Hurdlr is just one of them. For your appointments, meetings, or events, you can use Meetingbird. To track your project and work obligations, try using Asana.
Shopping for groceries, supplies, and ordering is also made easier with appropriate apps that optimize your time.
Learn to say ‘no’
It’s in women’s nature to help and be there for others, to help, or just hold space. But that can be time and energy-consuming. The ability to say ‘no’ to various distractions is a must for good time management. Time is valuable, and in our, nowadays more than ever hectic lives, it’s crucial to set some boundaries.
Put your phone away; you don’t have to respond to every email or message right away. If there’s something urgent that requires your immediate attention, people will call. But you probably already know that.
So, you need to honestly remember one crucial thing.
You manage your time; you are not its slave.
Your time is your time. You decide how you spend it, and good time management improves your business, health, and family life.
Just ask for help if you need it
One thing that a lot of moms are forgetting is that they are not alone. Women can be tough on themselves, overly critical, trying to be superheroes. I know; it’s in our blood. But there is little chance that you’ll develop superhero powers, and multitasking and doing everything yourself could take a number on you and your family.
Life has a million ways to be complicated and challenging, but that is why your tribe is here—your family and friends. Talk to them, see if they can assist with anything. If that is not the case, outsourcing is also a good idea. Measure the time needed to complete the task against the cost. Sometimes it’s better to hire a cleaner and spend some time with your family than doing everything yourself and being tired and miserable.
Nobody expects you to carry the world on your shoulders.
Take a break
If you’re taking your lunch at the desk so you could get more things done, know that this is nothing to be proud of. Breaks are there for a reason; if you don’t stretch or take a quick walk, that could take a toll on your health.
Breaks are not just right for your body and mind; they give you a chance to reflect and plan further. Taking a break is especially important if you’re an entrepreneur. Socializing and building relationships with people is critical; you can’t work in a vacuum.
Take a moment to soak up all of these time management tips for work-at-home parents. Once you’ve determined which of these ideas seem appealing for time management, implement it and start seeing how much calmer you feel in everyday life. We’re confident these time management tips will help you live a more balanced, happy life.
Michelle D. Garrett is the founder of Divas With A Purpose. She focuses on sharing resources for being purposely productive; setting personal and professional goals and achieving them through daily action; and successfully running a business while focusing on your mental health. Michelle is a full-time entrepreneur who specializes in teaching female entrepreneurs how to show up consistently in their business – online and off.