Whether you are a stay-at-home mom of a newborn baby or a working mother of teenagers, the minute you become a mom can seem like the last spare minute you have to yourself. When you are a mom, there is a high demand for your most limited resource – time.
But there are ways to solve the time crunch. Here, we outline 3 simple steps to manage your time in a way that will restore your confidence and ability to GET THINGS DONE and even allow you some precious “me-time” to maintain your mental health.
The most important step in managing your time is to KNOW what tasks you and your family need to complete each day. Writing down your tasks can seem daunting at first, but it is very important to see with your own eyes that while the list might be long, it is not endless. You may find it easier to use a calendar tool for your PC or app for your cellphone, or you may enjoy being able to put pencil to paper on a hardcopy calendar that hangs in a central location of your house. Keep the tasks short, and update them regularly. Sit down once or twice a month with all family members and make sure that everyone’s events are updated on the central calendar, and solve the time conflicts in advance.
Good managers know how to delegate. Wherever possible, delegate tasks that don’t truly NEED your personal attention. Join carpools, hire a monthly cleaning service, ask your babysitter to fold the laundry while the baby is napping. Grandparents and extended family are a great resource. Don’t be afraid to let your children get to know their relatives better while you finish a task that requires your concentration. Consider giving a weekly allowance to older children in exchange for age-appropriate household tasks. Or, consider giving the family a weekend treat (maybe ice cream at the playground or a family pizza night) if everyone has helped to make the schedule go smoothly all week.
Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual. At first this seems exhausting, but give it a two-week trial and see how liberating it really is. Those new 15 minutes are ME TIME. Use the first 5 minutes to take a look at your calendar to see what is planned for the day. Then take 5 minutes to plan your course of action. Prioritize the tasks planned for the day. Decide which tasks can be combined and which can be delegated. Gather the papers, permission slips, cheques or bills you will need to complete the day’s tasks and set them in a special place. Then take the next 5 minutes to do a quick meditation routine, like the one here. This will restore your focus and energy to meet the day’s challenges with a smile.
Once you put these simple TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MOMS tips into practice, you will find that that you have less anxiety and more real time to enjoy your family.