As a working mom our daily tasks are endless. Sometimes at days end our list maybe longer than when we started in the morning. Does time creep up on you while working on tasks? Do you ever feel you haven’t accomplished half of what you had planned? There are many reasons why we do not accomplish all our tasks. How we plan out our day or lack of planning dictates how much we get done. Use these time management strategies to get more done in less time.
Make a List
Make a list of everything you need to get done whether the task is large or small. There are many different list making apps you can use or just in your phone note pad. Sometimes an old fashioned paper and pen list works too. Find what method works best for you. Keeping a list ensures you do not forget anything and helps prioritize tasks. Furthermore a list provides urgency and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can cross something off.
As noted above, prioritize tasks on your list to get items done on time or ahead of schedule. Having due dates and task lists to complete today, this week, this month, and keeps you organized what to do when. For example, if I have a birthday party out of town in one week I have to get a gift and card, wrap the gift, and fill out the card in the next 6 days so it goes on my task list with a higher priority than preparing for my church meeting in 2 weeks.
Another time management strategy is to have everything you need ready and with you before you start a task or project. If you are constantly running to a different part of the house to grab something or have to run to a store this wastes large amounts of time. Make notes on your task list and prioritize your tasks accordingly if somethings are related and need to be done in sequential order.
As a mom of course we always have distractions if we are trying to do anything at home when our kids are awake and home, but limit other distractions like your phone or tv. If there is something you really need to get done with no kid distractions do it while they are sleeping. I usually get up before anyone else in the house and get a lot done with no distractions to start my day. Furthermore, you could ask your spouse to take the kids outside or to a different part of the house if you need some time with no distractions.
Besides limiting distractions limiting multitasking is a time management strategy. You may be surprised by this one. Most people think a good multitasker is an important trait to good time management strategies. However, multitasking can be a huge time waster. If you have lots of tasks you are in the middle of and go from one to the next it takes time to come back, get materials ready, figure out where you left off, and start up again. Try to complete one task than move on to the next. Do something immediately when you think of it. Do not have lots of tasks going on in your head at once.
Set a Timer
One way to keep your time and tasks in check is by setting a timer. As you see the time ticking down you work faster and complete more in less time. We can’t work full speed 24 hours a day so a timer helps set parameters and make work time more productive.
We tend to try to squeeze one more task in before picking up the kids or want to paint a room in an hour. However, you need to be realistic with your tasks and the time they take. It does not help your mindset if you are always playing catch up or feel you can never get ahead of your to do list.
As you prioritize tasks estimate how long things will take to complete. If you know tomorrow you only have an hour of free time to get things done do not put a 4 hour project on tomorrow’s to do list. Set yourself up for time management success.
Know Your Tasks
As a mom we know tasks that are easier to complete without kids around. Also, we know tasks we can easily do with them or that they can help with. I know which tasks I need to complete before the kids get up or after they go to bed. This includes organizing or getting stuff in the pantry, or getting stuff to and from the basement. Tasks I can easily do with the kids around is cleaning up the living room or play room or anything in the kitchen as it is in the same area.
In addition, I know my tasks and how long they generally take. So this helps when making out my to do lists and prioritizing my tasks. Moreover, sometimes a new task is unknown how long it will take. Do your best to get it done in the time you allowed and make adjustments next time. Take notes on your to do lists and keep them for when you make out new lists. Click here for more on the benefits of taking notes. This can better help you prioritize to get more done.
Final Thoughts on Time Management Strategies
As moms we are busy and have a lot on our plate. We need to make the most of our time and get more done in the shortest amount of time. Try incorporating these time management strategies in your daily tasks. They will make your life easier by getting more done in less time.