Each month I am going to have a Living Intentionally series about a specific area in life. This month I want to focus on Time Management.
Whether you’re a WAHM or employed outside of the home, being a good manager of your time is essential. You want to be able to plan out your day effectively to accomplish what needs to be done.
If you work outside of the home you’re probably armed with a day planner or agenda of some kind. You know when you need to be in meetings or when the best time is to make phone calls. You know when your co-workers need you the most, and when you can take your lunch break and run quick errands. All of this is true for work at home parents too.
I use my Google Calendar for all of my client meetings (if you want to hire me, go here) and I make sure I set 30 minutes during the day for me to enjoy a lunch or even just some free time to get my mind off of work.
As a parent, I also need to know where my kids need to be. If they have a swimming lesson or doctor’s appointment, I need to be in the know so they are on my calendar too!
If your office is in your home (and for me, it is), time management takes on a whole new meaning. Not only do the previous tasks apply, you now need to use some time management skills to find that perfect balance between work and household tasks (is there ever a balance?), caring for children, maintaining a relationship with your partner – and at some point in the mix you need to take care of yourself (which usually happens never – I’m working on it!).
By considering some effective time management skills, you can have them lead you through your day. You will have the knowledge you need to keep you from forgetting children at soccer practice (it happens moms, it happens) and showing up for a dentist appointment two hours earlier than needed.
Time Management Tips For The Busy Mom
Set A Schedule
Oh yes, I am starting at the most basic thing you can do. By creating a schedule you have the most important item already taken care of. Knowing in a glance what you need to accomplish is the most important thing you can do to keep track of your family while remaining as productive as possible. Make sure you stay consistent!
Choose Office Hours – Spread The Word
This is a great way to prevent family and friends from wanting your time when it’s not ideal for you. Let them know they are important to you, but outside of your office hours is best for you.
Think About The Kids When Scheduling Your Day
When your children are young enough to be taking naps, this becomes your prime work period. Chores such as dishes or sweeping the floors can be done when little ones are awake. Get as much work done as possible during naptime. Learn to multitask by throwing a load of clothes in the dryer or getting supper started too.
Schedule And Take Breaks
You – yes you, need to schedule breaks and time to spend with the kids. It is important not only for your children but for you as well. Go for a walk, or sit and play at the sandbox with little ones. Show them that although you work from home, they are still most important.
Write Your To-Do List
Yeah, I know this is easier said than done. But seriously, think about what you need to do. Put the most urgent items at the top of the list and work down from there. The important business work will be done first, and cleaning your closet can be done another day. True story! Cleaning your closet won’t bring any profits it and it definitely won’t make you feel better about your biz, unless you’re a professional organizer, then go to town!
The most important advice I can give you is to take some time for yourself too. You have to remember, you’re only one person. Life happens whether work is done or not. Run yourself a bath, grab a good book or just sit with your husband for a bit. After all, he’s the one you are going to receive the most help and encouragement from (well he should be and if he isn’t, that is a whole different blog, doll face), so these little gestures will let him know how much you appreciate it.
How do you manage your time?