Inside: Learn a new system of time management for moms that will help you accomplish more of the things that really matter.
Your head hits the pillow at 10:45 pm.
It feels like you’ve been holding your breath all day and now you can finally exhale.
Whew….You did it.
You vacuumed the entire house. You made your family their favorite dinner. You paid the bills during nap time. You woke up early to exercise. You finally scrubbed that mysterious stain on the kitchen floor you’ve been eyeing for days.
But then one thought pops into your mind:
What about the kids?
You said you’d read to them once you finished dusting, but then it was time to get the little one ready for a nap.
You said you’d go to the park if you had time after errands, but there wasn’t time.
You said you would play with toys, but you just felt too tired.
You said yesterday you’d color with them but you forgot.
Just like that, you realize you did it again.
You pushed the opportunity to connect with your kids off one more day.
In the back of your mind you know, today was the last day. The last day for you to enjoy them exactly as they are now. Tomorrow they’ll be different. Tomorrow they’ll be older.
Today was the only day to enjoy them as they were.
So you vow to prioritize your relationship with your kids.
But, how do you do it all?
The simple answer is, you don’t. You can’t do it all and you never will. But that’s not bad news. In fact, it’s great news. It’s the push you need to prioritize your life and feel great doing it.
I’ve realized with a simple system and some quick tips, I can do the things that really matter to me. And so can you.
A New Way Of Thinking: Time Management For Moms
First things first- thinking a new way is hard work. But it’s hard work that will pay dividends today, tomorrow and the rest of your life.
I want to challenge you to pick out at least one of the tips below and implement it starting tomorrow. Don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself, with an open mind, and see the results you create.
Write out a list of everything you want to accomplish for the day the night before
Getting everything out of your head and onto paper will help you see exactly what you need to do and how you need to plan your day. Doing it the night before will allow you the space to think of what really matters. Plus, it’ll give you the added benefit of freeing your mind of all the “task clutter” and allow your brain to focus on more important things.
Understand the importance of urgent vs. important
Stephen Covey first taught me this basic, but mind-blowing idea of categorizing your to-do list. He explains the difference between urgent tasks and important tasks.
To simplify things, I like to think of urgent tasks as things that want your attention immediately and important tasks as things you value. After you create your tasks for the next day, you categorize them into a grid system. It looks something like this:
So how do you use this in your life as Mom?
For each task on your to-do list determine whether it is urgent or important. If the task is urgent and important, place it in the top left corner. If it’s not urgent and important, place it in the top right corner. If it’s urgent and not important, place it in the bottom left corner and if it’s not urgent and not important, place it in the bottom right corner.
Once you have your tasks all sorted out, then you complete them in the order of urgent & important (1), not urgent & important (2), urgent & not important (3) and not urgent & not important (4).
Having this simple system in place will help you realize what matters to you and will help you prioritize those things first.
Batch Your Tasks
Batching is a method of doing only one task at a time, at a specified time. It’s the opposite of multitasking. Instead of doing tasks that keep popping up all day long whenever you feel like it, you do them all together, at one time.
This system helps you become more focus and increase productivity.
Take laundry for an example. Instead of doing a pile of laundry whenever you have a free moment, designate one day as laundry day.
When you do this, you eliminate the possibility in the other 6 days of adding an unnecessary distraction. You can also try this with cleaning the house, making dinners ahead of time, responding to emails or anything else that continually tries to steal your focus.
I have to admit at first, I was highly resistant to try batching my tasks. It didn’t seem like batching would do much in my life. I thought I was being more productive when I snuck in all those little tasks.
It turns out, I was actually decreasing my productivity by letting these recurring tasks run my day. Once I turned this around, I freed up a lot of wasted time.
Sneak In Quality Time That’s Already There
Did you know you can easily transform basic daily activities with your kids into fun quality time? I wrote a whole post on how to turn those little moments into fun rituals your kids will love.
Ask Yourself This One Question
In my free guide, 5 Simple Things You Can Do To Enjoy The Everyday Moments With Your Kids, I discuss how asking yourself just one question each night will help you reframe your entire day. If you want to strengthen your relationship with your kiddos, simply ask yourself, “what’s the one thing I can do to connect with my kids today? Find the answer to that and make that your top priority for the day.
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Review Your Investment & Be Satisfied
Too many moms have an all or nothing mentality. This mentality says if you can’t spend the entire hour/afternoon/day being the perfect mom to your kids, then there’s really no point in trying.
This could not be further from the truth.
In fact, I believe those small, simple moments you spend with your kids each day are the moments that will shape and define them. It’s the moments they’ll remember and treasure for a lifetime.
To ditch this all or nothing thinking, try two things:
- Figure out how much time you want to dedicate each day to your child (start by making it small and manageable; something you know you can accomplish).
- Each day you make your goal, cross it off on the calendar. This is a great visual way to see how all the little moments add up.
For example, when you set aside 15 minutes a day with your kids reading, playing, crafting or whatever it is you both love, then in a month you’ll have spent 7.5 hours dedicated solely to strengthening your relationship with them. And in a year? 90 hours!
I told you- it’s simple. But please, don’t let the simplicity of these ideas convince you they won’t work. I promise these tips will help prioritize your life if you give them a fair shot.
These tips aren’t an exhaustive list, so tell me:
As a mom, what’s the single biggest question you have about finding the time to be with your kids?
I’d love to know your question so I can create more relevant resources for you in the future.