Time management is one of the most important skills to learn when running a busy home!
We’ve all been there – the day feels like it’s slipping away from you and you didn’t get half the stuff done that you thought you would. The kids are needing you for homework and dinner. The dryer just beeped indicating your clothes are ready for folding or the other option – for sitting in a damp pile getting wrinkled until you can get to them! You still have to study for that class or finish up that task for work, and your husband would like to spend some time with you too! Imagine that!
All of these daily tasks can become overwhelming if there isn’t some strategy, plan or schedule to help MANAGE all that a mommy must do to run the house! There are many ideas out there for time management; however, all people are not created equal and what works for one may not work for another. As you read below, keep in mind that there will be some take away strategies for you, and some that may not fit your family’s lifestyle. As a mom, I am always happy to hear ideas from other moms, and to glean what I can from those that run a home like a well-oiled machine!
The Unique Woman
God created the female brain in a very unique way! While men were created to think in a very focused, compartmentalized way, women were created to think in a very complex, interconnected way. M.O.M. must stand for “Masters of Multi-Tasking!” This beautiful design has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, we seamlessly weave our activities throughout the day without too much disconnect when we shift gears. On the other hand, our minds can sometimes feel like they are thinking of twenty things at once, and it’s hard to stop the wheels as they spin incessantly with the things we must get done! Whew! I get tired just thinking about it! As with all God-created designs, we must learn to expertly harness and channel these attributes so we can maximize the intended potential!
So how do we train that beautifully complex mind and get it to focus just enough to accomplish the day’s tasks, while still taking advantage of it’s ability to do multiple things at once? Glad you asked! A little focus goes a long way, and learning to manage your time with a few simple strategies can help you get more done in less time, with less stress! Yay!
5 Tips for Time Management
- Planning – Take time to look ahead! You might be one who has the monthly calendar up to schedule appointments, children’s activities, due dates and deadlines; or, you might feel comfortable just looking ahead at your week. Either way, taking time to get all of this on paper will make some room in that pretty head of yours!
How to Execute: Calendars, lists, appointment books, charts, sticky notes – use whatever will realistically HELP YOU! Some people get calendars and never look at them. I personally use a monthly calendar to help me remember and keep track of multiple activities going on in any given month. I put it on my fridge where I can refer to it. I might also sit and jot down a “To Do List” for the day or week. As I finish a task I can cross it off my list. I always get more done in a day when I make a list than I do if I “wing it.”
- Prioritizing – So you’ve made your list…then life happens. This is where prioritizing assists in time management! Pick your Top 5. In your list of things you would ideally like to get done in a day, there are some more time-sensitive or pressing needs. Put these in your Top 5! If you get to everything on your list – YOU ROCK! You were supermom for the day (I love those days!); however, if you don’t get to everything on your list, at least you’ve done the most important things – and YOU STILL ROCK!
- Delegating – You didn’t have all of those cute kids just so you could post their funny antics on Facebook! These children are teachable and trainable and need to learn responsibility! You will be accomplishing many things when you learn to delegate tasks to your little ones, including saving time! For some of you this may require that you do some training, but it is well worth the time invested to have some handy helpers in the house! For a more extensive look at this grab my book “5 Master Mom Tips on Training Your Kids.”
- Learning to Say No – For some of you this will be a big “Aha” moment. Why is it so hard to say no!? We want to help and serve, but we must listen to that inner voice to know when to say yes and when to say no. Some endeavors are TIME WASTERS! For a long time I was in bondage to the desire to be a “people-pleaser.” It can be exhausting! Learning to say no, and giving yourself permission to say no will help you manage your time!
- Resting – This made my top 5 tips for time management because many moms are not good at this. Here’s the thing: a tired, burned out mom is a grouchy mom! Your husband AND your children will benefit from YOU getting rest! When you employ some of the above mentioned strategies you can pencil in some time for rest and relaxation! Schedule a date night with the hubby. Plan a trip to get a pedicure with your girlfriends. Set time aside every day for quality interaction with your kids – FUN TIME! In our desire to run our house well we can sometimes forget the WHY behind what we are doing – our family!
After reading this you might be thinking it “sounds nice,” but it’s not realistic for you. Do just this one thing for me: assess your stress. If you are just surviving the motherhood journey and not thriving there is some room for change, growth and improvement! Being a mom is not for the weak of heart. If you never challenge yourself to develop new skills, change will never be a reality! With that thought, I challenge you to take at least one of these time management tips that you are not doing already and make it a part of your life starting now! Then come back and tell me how it’s helping you by commenting below!
We are all here to help each other! We can do more together than we ever could alone! I love you and believe in you because you are a mommy that matters!