12 Time Management Tips for Moms
Moms are the busiest! You wonder, is it a mom thing to be busy all the time? Whether you are working out of home, working from home, managing your own business, or is a full-time homemaker, you’re almost always busy to the hilt. Cheer up, Mom! You don’t have to wait for your kids to be in college to be able to enjoy a sit-down, or a long leisurely lunch. You just need to learn some time management tips and techniques that would help you ease the urgency and pressure of homemaking.
Here are effective tips to help you manage your time better;
Make a list of the tasks, organize them into three groups. First group includes tasks that need to be done within the day, if not, there is a negative consequence. Example tasks for this group are trips to the grocery (or you won’t have food for dinner), bathe the baby, and dinner preparation. The second group of tasks includes those that needs to be done, but does not carry a consequence if not done within the day. Examples are changing the curtains, mowing the lawn, or sending a thank you email to your aunt for the children’s gifts. The third group includes beneficial tasks that can be done in the future or not at all. Examples are starting a vegetable garden, baking a special cake, or shopping for new clothes.
Organize your home. Do you how much time is wasted looking for odd things like your keys, your son’s football uniform, your daughter’s hairclip, or your husband’s blue and red tie? Or how disruptive a wailing child could be looking for her favorite toy to sleep with? A lot! Avoid chaos and wasting precious time by assigning places for everything in the house. Teach your kids where to find their stuff and train everyone to return things where they belong. No more calling for mom whenever they need anything.
3. Plan Ahead
Plan your day ahead, ideally before you go to sleep. Do you have everything you need for dinner? What is the agenda for the day? Plan the day in such a way that you don’t go the same more than you should. Take quick side trips to save an entire drive. Also, assign time limits to the tasks. This will tell you if you’re lagging behind your tasks and will keep you from lingering in one task. Say, meeting with the sales team is ten o’clock to eleven, lunch with sister should be done within one hour, and walked the dog by five o’clock. Have a grocery list, plan meals a week ahead, and keep an active calendar of activities so you don’t miss anything.
4. Assess the Chores
Some chores take you longer to do, some you love doing, and others are really just a pain. How much time do you need to finish each task? Determine the number of chores and the ones you can finish within the day. Take the tasks that you are good at and can finish quickly and delegate the ones that you hate or don’t have the ability to do. Baking a cake when you’re not a natural baker, mending pants when you don’t know how to sew, or decorating your daughter’s room when you don’t have the inclination will give mediocre of bad results and will only be a waste of time. Better to hire somebody who does it a lot better and faster. Of course, there are stuff that only moms can do, but they are generally a pleasure to do, like preparing kids for bed, preparing their meals, and helping with the homework.
5. Batch Task
Batch tasking saves a lot of time. Do the laundry every three days or weekly. Prepare stew for three dinners, iron clothes weekly, shop in bulk, or go to your bank monthly. With batch-tasking, you save a lot of time spent on preparation, travel, and setting up. Planning and preparation is the key. For your banking, take account of all your bills and banking transactions and pick the best date to take care of them all. Shopping can be divided according to location – groceries on Mondays, farmers markets on Saturdays.
As much as you want to, you can never take on everything. Learn how to delegate tasks. Let your family help. You can ask your husband to walk the dog, pick up groceries, or attend the PTA. Younger kids can handle lighter chores like setting the table, feeding the dog, and making their own beds. You can let older kids to be responsible for washing the dishes, cleaning up, taking the trash out, and even preparing simple meals. Chores are also good for children. Having errands teaches kids how to be responsible and self-sufficient. Delegating frees you a lot of time.
7. Perfection is an Option
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Nobody said beddings have to match all the time, or that you have to trim your hedge every other day, or that you have to wash your hair and wear fancy undies every day! Heck, you don’t even have to drop everything just because your partner beaconed. The idea of a perfect mother is not one who has everything in order, ready, and perfectly done. A perfect mom is someone who is loving, available, and giving. A person children knew would always be there for them, to support, love, and cheer them on. Who cares of your jeans are ripped or stained? As long as it is clean, and you’re comfortable, you’re perfectly fine.
8. Get Help
Get as much help as you can. Let people help you. Grandparents would adore having the kids once in a while. The courier would gladly deliver to your door if you told him you have kids at home. And for a few dollars, kids from the neighborhood can do a better job of mowing the lawn, walking the dog, repainting the fence, and other odd tasks. There are also government and non-profit organizations that provide helping hands to busy moms. You can avail of low-cost or free child care in some facilities, shopping help, and help with your household chores. And of course, friends and family would always love to give you a hand.
9. Use Technology
Get the most out of modern technology. The internet offers a lot of time-saving opportunities for busy moms. Online shopping saves you a trip to the mall. Send emails, communicate, and connect with friends and family from your mobile or home computer. You can also pay bills and online banking. Mapping out your trip can save you a lot of time driving around and looking for the right place. A calendar with reminders can help you get organized and save time.
10. Keep Fit
The first order of the day is to keep fit. You can’t take care of your family if you’re sick or unhealthy. Now that you’re a mom, you need to take care of yourself more than ever. Fortify your health against stress, fatigue, and constant pressure. Eat healthy, get enough rest and sleep, exercise, and avoid harmful indulgences like excessive drinking, smoking, binge eating, and use of prohibited drugs.
11. Say NO
Remember how your daughter’s teacher likes you a lot and she always asks you firsts for favors? And how your sister always needed someone to babysit her son every Saturday afternoon. Oh, and there’s your neighbor, Beth, who likes your triple chocolate cake a lot she asks you to make her one for all the birthdays in her family. Is it alright to say no to a favor asked? Yes. You can burn yourself out with all your good intentions. Do one or two favors, but make sure that you are not sacrificing your own time and your family’s welfare. Also, graciously tell them how much of an effort it is to you and how busy you are. They’ll get the idea.
12. Take a Break
Take the time to relax, forget all your responsibilities, and to pamper yourself. Set up some “me” time when you can do anything you want or nothing at all. While it might seem impossible, considering how busy you are, work out a plan with the entire family. Your partner or the oldest child can take over your responsibilities while you rest. It is also easier to “get away” if you choose a less hectic time, like when kids are at school or asleep. Few hours a week of self-indulgence as precious nuggets of time where you can relax, re-charge, re-assess your life, and re-focus on your goals. So you return refreshed, rested, and ready for anything motherhood has in store for you.
Working hard and doing things quickly isn’t the most efficient way to get things done. Before you engross yourself with chores, take the time to assess yourself, the tasks, and the best way to tackle it. Some people are good at multi-tasking, while the others simply fail at working on more than one task at a time. Task batching, delegation, and planning work efficiently and lead to better time management for moms.