As mums, time management can be a big issue as we have so much going on in our life. Feeding the kids, sorting out the house, taking the dog for a walk, washing up, ironing, gardening, school activities, clearing up the milk that your daughter decided to spill across the kitchen floor and which seems to have found it's way into every corner of the units...the list is endless! And that is before we even look at doing work on our businesses, making time to be with the husband and getting a shower! Yes have you noticed that sometimes you are that busy you don't have time to even shower!
If you want to get the best out of your life, feel less stressed and happier then good time management will help you massively and good time management will help you feel in control of your day. Poor time management on the other hand will leave you feeling stressed, chasing your tail and feeling miserable.
If you always feel rushed and you feel you can’t get anything completed during the day you might want to look at working on how you manage your time each day and the methods you use. If you have the feeling of not being able to focus on one thing at a time and not being able to handle distractions well, then you should take a step away from the action and relearn the basics.
For years, I struggled to get "everything done" each day which would leave me feeling a bit like I had failed. When COVID-19 hit in March and the whole family found themselves at home all day every day, the first week or two all routine and planning went out of the window when it came to managing my time well. I was basically surviving through the day. Feeling more and more stressed as the days went on. What I didn't realise was that because the structure had gone from the day and I had stopped planning, I felt lost...off track with no idea where to go or what to do.
After two weeks it dawned on me what had happened and I quickly brought my good habits back into place. Sometimes you are so close to the answer that you miss it.
The thing is, time management really is a simple concept: plan and organise your day to be more efficient and to help keep stress to a minimum.
However, as a mum at home with two girls during the Coronavirus outbreak trying to work at the same time was always going to be hard. Firstly, had to accept that there was going to be plenty of adversity during the day and I would just have to deal with it as it happens as we are in strange times right now. Unprecedented times.
But even during these strange times, there are things we can do to help reduce stress levels and be effective during our working day, even from home with the kids hanging of us!
So, if you're finding that you are pressed for free time or that you just feel too busy and still not getting things done then I want to share with you some tips to make your time more productive, so you can not only get your work done, spend time with the kids and home but also find some time for yourself.
So here are three tips to help you take control of your day
1. Wake up a Little Earlier and Take Time to Take Care of Yourself
Remember you have control as to when you wake up. Consider waking up a little earlier. I find that taking the first 30 - 60 minutes of the day to just think does wonders for my mental health. Take a few minutes to read a book, write down your tasks for the day or maybe do absolutely nothing. If you want, write down any tasks you promised your family you would do or you said to yourself you would do and prioritise as to when you can complete them.
If you really want to do something great then take on exercising: wake up 60 minutes earlier than your family and work out. Movement is a great way to start the day and it clears your mind. There is so much to be said for exercising and living a healthy life style. The point is that you want to give yourself a head start. Again: you can control when you wake up. Just change the time on your alarm.
2. Plan your week on Sunday morning and set your most important tasks to be done first thing in the morning
Putting aside an hour on a Sunday will seriously help your stress levels stay down during the week. For years I wouldn't plan my week and I would fly by the seat of my pants not realising that all of that stress could have been reduced. Fast forward to now and especially during social distancing, planning on a Sunday has been vital.
Every Sunday I plan my week ahead putting my most important tasks in first thing of the day and I aim to complete these tasks before the girls even wake up. You will be surprised how much more efficient and focused you become when you have a deadline of the kids waking up. And planning in down time is essential. We all need down time. So plan that in too. It may be that at 9pm each night you have a bath or you go to bed early and read. Whatever your go to "down time" thing is, schedule it in.
The scheduler that I use is called Rise Up by Moira Kucaba. Within this planner it breaks it down into, days, weeks, months, reverse engineering your goals, your vision, business goals etc all in one place and as I like to put pen to paper this works so well for keeping me focussed and saves me so much time.
3. Keep a Note Book and Pen Handy
Try to keep a note book with you at all times/write it in your notes section of your phone. As long as you are not driving or doing something dangerous, it is best to write down your random thoughts in a note book or your phone. This way you can decide what to do with the task when you are ready to review new information. This is a good way to decide if an idea is good enough to pursue. More importantly you can prioritise the idea and get it out of your head.
Writing down your ideas and forgotten tasks in a note book can be a powerful tool in dealing with distractions. If you are like me (with a mind going a mile a minute), a note pad and pen is essential to time management. Again, I write everything in my Rise Up Planner to keep me focussed.
Time management is necessary for almost anyone in this super busy world we live in and especially whilst we are all at home due to COVID-19. However, I feel it’s even more important for mums working from home because we are usually responsible for keeping our families together. Our days are filled with running around for our children, working on multiple projects at the same time, juggling school work and business.
So how would you rate your time management skills right now? I would love to hear your thoughts.
I hope these tips helped and if you feel this blog will help someone you know then please feel free to share it with them