Are you a working mom, and you find there are not enough hours in a day? Welcome to the club. No need to worry; here are five time management practices that will help you get the most out of each day.
Make Every Minute Count
It’s not always the quantity, but also the quality of time you spend with your family that’s important. Here are three ways make each minute count.
- Let your children help you with small tasks like preparing breakfast or writing grocery lists. It may seem menial to you, but in the eyes of a five year old it means the whole world.
- Take five minutes out of your day to read or enjoy a snack with your family. It will give you an opportunity to stay connected though out your week.
- If you’re working on a project all weekend set the little ones up with their own work station near you. Let Dad help.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Don’t try to be a super hero. It takes each family member to help a home run smoothly. Delegating chores will help your children become more responsible and it will lift the burden off your shoulders. If your spouse is resistant to helping out with housework, he may be willing to run errands, do pickups, or take the kids to the park for an hour while you handle the home front.
Schedules make the difference
Mapping out your family’s time using a weekly schedule will help you run a tighter ship.
Here are some scheduling tips to remember.
1. Don’t overbook. Overextension makes for cranky kids, which leads to cranky moms and dads. Penciling free time and recreation is just as important as chores and school activities.
2. Get input from each family member. A family meeting at the beginning of each week will not only allow you quality time together, but you will be able to plan a more comprehensive, realistic schedule.
3. Try to stick to the schedule as much as possible. The structure will be good for the kids, and you’ll find yourself less overwhelmed by a lot of last minute situations.
Here are a few tips to help you prioritize your time.
1. It’s okay to say no. If you don’t you will find yourself overwhelmed and unable to help anyone, including yourself.
2. Write out your to do lists and number them in order of urgency. This will help you visualize your tasks and assign a certain amount of time to get them accomplished.
3. Be realistic. “Rome was not built in a day.” Expecting more of yourself or your family than is possible can lead to a total disaster. Understand your limits and those of your family. If the small things aren’t done at the end of the day, tomorrow is coming.
4. Try to remember to leave home at home and work at work. Your professional manner will help you get ahead, and you will be able to enjoy your family time if you aren’t distracted by work issues.
Try these multi-tasking tips to help your day go smoothly.
1. Don’t take on two big projects at the same time. If you’re cooking a big meal, it’s not the best time to reorganize the garage. Use those time intervals to dust the living room or throw a load of laundry in the wash.
2. Be in the moment. If you’re going to be distracted by talking on the phone and helping the kids with homework, cut the conversation short and call back later. That way neither party is short changed.
3. Don’t take on too many activities at once. Remember your prioritized list and select no more than two items at a time. Spreading your self too thin will only make you feel scattered and disorganized.
Remember, in the end it will be the memories that count. You can work, and also make your time at home enjoyable for the whole family.