12 Tips for Working Mother’s Time Management
We all know being a mum means we do not have a lot of time on hand. Throughout your motherhood, dealing with toddlers, school-age kids or even teenagers will drive you nuts a lot of times.
However, mastering a time management skill is essential for working mums to be on top of everything, and can still smile at times!
Being a working mum myself, I have gone through all the stages of my kids growing up, now one of them is a pre-teen, the other just about to start college, I have to say I could not survive without these Time Management tips in the last 15 years!
Read on for the 12 tips below:
1 Face the Reality
Be realistic to yourself for the tasks you are facing day to day. Know the time you have, and set up a realistic goal or expectation of yourself. Aiming to get EVERYTHING done is not always a good path. You need to learn to accept you are simply a human being and not let yourself go beyond and it will make everything seem unachievable.
2 Get Enough Sleep
How much sleep is enough sleep? Read this article and learn more about how your sleep affects your mental wellbeing. A good sleep is like a good meal and it will keep your time management effective, efficient and productive!
It is true, that after you are well rested you are energised and have better focus. Find out your best sleep pattern and stick to it, everyone’s needs are different, you want to find out what works best for you!
Personally I need about 7-8 hours of sleep, if I do sleep more than that, I actually feel more fatigue (I know it sounds strange but it is true). So I set up the ‘bed routine’ on my iPhone and it reminds you to ‘wind down’ before your bedtime.
3 Work out your Priority
Depending on if you stick to a routine or a flexible schedule, it would always be a good idea to write down what your top priorities for the day.
I use a 3-task method. I write down the top 3 tasks I HAVE to complete for the day and stick to them.
By the end of the day, I feel satisfied and accomplished to finish these 3 most important tasks. There might be other tasks I don’t finish, but we should recognise everyone has certain limitation and we are affected by what’s surrounding us.
It’s not the end of the world you do not finish EVERYTHING you want to do on the day, but celebrate the minute you completed the most important ones! You might be surprised to find out that you can achieve more as you go along the path!
4 Stay Organised in the House
Being a busy mum doesn’t mean you have to spontaneously react to whatever your children demand. A busy mum simply has to be organised. You also need to get your children into the same routine as yours.
Picking up a piece of clothing, or putting shoes away, phone charges back to the boxes where they belong, dirty dishes go back to the sink or dishwasher right after use.
You might think this is hard to achieve, but if you organise the house the right order, your kids will follow!
Use your calendar wisely! Which brings us on to the next tip – diaries, calendars, charts, and diary apps are all a busy mum’s best friends. Having children means you need to keep track of multiple school dates, appointments, your own agenda, and how everyone’s needs interact with each other’s. This is only possible if you have a diary and use it. Then make updating it, and checking it, part of your routine.
I have tried and used different version of calendars. Paid ones are better, but Google calendar is free, it can do just the job! In fact, you could argue that spontaneity will only be possible with excellent organisation. In practical terms this means adhering to the old saying: ‘everything has a place, and everything in its place’, as well as becoming a big fan of the diary.
6 Advance Planning
Time is mastered when you think ahead and therefore are able to remove many unnecessary steps from a task. The best example of this is family meal times. If you menu plan once a week and shop once a week then you eliminate the daily musing of ‘what’s for dinner’ accompanied by a trip to the supermarket at the busiest time of day with your shattered primary-aged child in tow. You often save money too!
7 Shop Online
Speaking of which, if you don’t already, then shop online. By doing your main shop online you eliminate much of the time wasted within the supermarket, from the checkout line, to the multiple shops you visit attempting to find a perfect present for Little Johnny’s birthday.
When you’re busy, routine is your bedrock. By having a routine, which the whole family can follow, you maximise use of the available time. Routines should include getting up on time, and allowing plenty of time for contingencies. That way you’ll never be late, and feel in control.
Not everything should rest on your shoulders as a Busy Mum. No matter how old your children, get them in on the action. Whether that’s getting the two year old to match socks, or put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, or delegating the cooking of one meal a week to your teen. By fostering a sense of responsibility when they are young, they will be able to help, and not hinder, your time pressures as they get older.
If you feel like you’re struggling, then consider what you might be able to outsource. There are no medals for a superhero approach to motherhood which burns you out, so be open to getting help when you need it. Hiring a cleaner, a gardener, a window-cleaner, or simply booking your children in for a few hours with a babysitter can all help free up your time to gain control.
Busy mums need to multi-task like no other. Testing your five year old’s spellings whilst you feed the baby, clearing the draining board whilst the kettle boils, or listening to a child’s reading whilst you’re sat at the doctor’s surgery, are all ways to kill two birds with one stone.
12 Master the Night Before
If you do one thing to make your busy life easier, master your evening routine. By making sure that uniforms are ready, lunches are packed, and PE kits are clean in the evening will make the mornings run far more efficiently. Always, always, have your going out bag packed and ready for action.
With a little practice, time management will become second nature, and soon you’ll be the one handing out the tips to other mums who are asking “How do you do it?”