Are you the mom with no time?
I mean, you too?
Do you find yourself always running short on time and trying to fit in more and more into your day (just like I do, unless I intentionally stop and try to break that unhealthy pattern of my busy mom life)?
Here are 7 time management strategies for the overwhelmed mom that can help boost your productivity.
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On the other hand, you will keep falling into an unproductive cycle again and again if you are not intentional about making these a part of your mom life.
Ask me how I know.
1. Step Back To Step Up
You only have so much time in a day. Every mom’s life productivity varies depending on how wisely they use time (or not!).
To use your time productively:
(a) make a WRITTEN PLAN and
(b) then stick to it!
- Use This Time Management Matrix
Do look into the details of Dr. Covey’s time management matrix. It’s extremely useful. See where you spend most of your time.
Also, have you experienced how a written plan brings more clarity than a plan which is only in our mind?
You can’t keep adding things to your day and expect that somehow a particular mindset or hack will get you through. Use the next tip.
- Use Time Budgeting
It’s essentially this: before you can spare some time, (like money) you need to know how much you have and then assign it to your priorities accordingly. When you put boundaries like this around your tasks, you will eventually get more done in your day AND have more time overall.
2. Reduce Resistance With The Help Of Routines
Much energy is wasted trying to convince ourselves to get going with the next thing in mind. Once you establish a routine for your days, you’ll see an increase in your speed and productivity. But I tell you, there’s no looking at this realm from the outside. You’ll only know the magic once you get into a routine.
Don’t get all robotic though!
Begin by setting a routine for your BIG tasks. A S.A.H.M could even simply start with routine-izing:
- Sleep and Wakeup times
- Laundry and Dishes
- Child’s Play (not the horror movie!)
3. Momo AND MultiTask!
Mono-tasking takes the lead, yes we all know. But show me a mom who never did this.
I think it’s not sooo bad to multitask. You just need to know the right way:
Smaller tasks can be done together to save time when:
- quality isn’t your major concern or
- your hands have gotten mechanical enough to take care of the job alone without engaging much of your mind actively.
Read these points again seriously.
And here’s an example:
I’d rather listen to important audio while doing the dishes or vacuuming than not being able to listen at all.
Kill two birds with one stone!!
- Say no to unnecessary: Don’t end up being the poor mule who couldn’t please EVERYONE. Nobody can!
- Give up ruthlessly what costs you your higher priorities
- Delegate and Outsource where possible/affordable: don’t make your life a one-man show! Trust and teach others where you can.
- Do less: When I got married, I’d spend half a day checking recipes when the cooking itself took 1/4th the time. As I upped my game, I cut down to whatever I could find within 1 hour for that perfect today’s special (still a lot I know!).
(Note: I have become wise enough to take the time to make a list of 20-ish recipes that we like to eat and I know how to cook. Some months I have tried to follow the list as is, other times I just pick a quick suggestion when the mood or occasion calls for something specific. This list saves me a lot of time and you must give it a try too.)
5. Speed Up
Tidy up that house like your guest is almost there (without the stressing out part of course)!
Alternatively, you can set a timer for the task you want to finish and get going like supersonic. I read somewhere that your task will stretch to whatever time you allow it to go.
So form deadlines for your tasks.
6. Utilize Small Time Chunks
What can you do in 5 minutes while the tea steeps? Don’t stare at the tea bag and watch osmosis happening. You can put one kitchen cabinet into order in the meantime.
7. Complete Tasks Zone Specifically
Check all e-mails once. Corral outdoor errands into one trip. Complete all kitchen tasks once instead of moving to and fro. I clean one room completely before I move to the text. That way I’m relieved to think that one entire unit of the house is covered and even if the guests drop in, I have one section of the house ready for use.
We all know these tips but it is good to be reminded every now and then. If you only commit to including these productive life changes one by one, I’m sure your days will become easier.