Mommy Time Management Tips

Feb 12, 2013

First, let's get one thing straight. Please know that by writing this post I am in no means saying that I'm a time-management expert.  Not. In. The. Slightest.  I still have so much to learn when it comes to managing my time. (Don't we all?!)

However, I've recently been asked by a number of people if I'd be willing to share some of my time management tips.

So in typical blogger fashion, I figured I'd write a post about it.  Because who doesn't love a good time management blog post (wink, wink)!

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Mommy Time Management Tips 

{by Steph}

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1) Set aside weekly planning time.  

Some of you may remember when I blogged about my slight obsession with my Mommy Planning Mornings.  I'm happy to say that my love for this weekly "date" hasn't diminished in the slightest.  If anything, my fondness for my Saturday morning date with the Starbucks Baristas down the street has only grown.

{If you're interested in learning more, be sure to head over to my Mommy Planning Mornings post to get a feel for what that time looks like}

Overall the goal in having set-aside weekly planning time is so that you feel more in-control than out-of-control when it comes to the next week's schedule. Let's be honest,  I have 2...almost 3...children that continually make me feel out-of-control. So I figure I better try to minimize the stress by managing what I can control (which in this case is our schedules...to some degree) as strategically as possible. 

This time is going to look different for everyone. Whether it's Saturday mornings at Starbucks (like me) or it's one night a week after the kids go to bed, the idea is the same.  Plan time to plan your time.  

2) Use a calendar or ecalendar. 

And all of you are collectively saying "DUH!"  Right?  Keeping a calendar seems to be one of the first time-management tips that most people suggest.  But how many of you actually do it well?!  

For me, the value of staying on top of my calendar is one of the most important things that I do when it comes to managing my time.

Specifically I use two main calendars (and believe it or not, neither are electronic calendars...yet) for planning our personal calendars.  First, a monthly calendar that hangs in our kitchen and gives an overall snap shot of our days. And secondly, a detailed daily calendar. {And for those who are interested - my detailed daily calendar of choice is the momAgenda planner}

(For those of you who are working, I use Google Calendar for most of my business needs and love it!  I know a number of families who use it to help manage their personal calendars as well.  We just haven't gotten to that point yet)

Here are a few of my specific calendar tips: 
  • Be sure to write down birthdays and important dates on your calendar.  Specifically when a friend/family member has a baby, I jot down their birthday on my calendar right when I get their birth announcement text.  That way I won't forget when his/her 1st Birthday comes around.
  • Make time to transfer all important dates to the next year's calendar.  (This is obviously where a reoccurring event in an ecalendar would be helpful but I just haven't gotten around to doing that yet)
  • Plan one week ahead.  Always be looking to next week and planning what birthday gifts you need to buy and what events you need to be preparing for now.  It drastically reduces my stress level when I'm not running around last minute to prepare for upcoming events.  

3) Make Lists. 

I keep a to-do list like it's my job.  Keep one updated to-do list with you at all times.  Personally mine sits right next to my computer as I feel like that's where most of my tasks are accomplished anyway.  For you, yours might be on your fridge or in your purse.  Just put it somewhere where it's visible and refer to it throughout each day.

4) Minimize Distractions. 

This is one of the hardest things for me to do when it comes to time-management.  

This looks different for everyone, but here are a few examples just to get your mind going: 

Example 1 : When you sit down to your computer to work on some homework or get to the bottom of your inbox, I strongly suggest not opening Facebook.  (Gasp... I know!) I've found that by simply not opening Facebook, I save a ridiculous amount of time by strategically minimize the distraction that is causes.  

Example 2: Leave your phone in another room while you're trying to complete a task that needs your undivided attention.  I don't know about you, but my phone is one of the biggest distractions when it comes to productivity.

5) Prioritize

I can't emphasize enough how important it is to think through what is the most important thing to accomplish each minute/hour/day/week.  

When I was working full-time at Family Matters I spent a few minutes at the end of each day making a list of 2-3 things that I needed to accomplish as soon as I got into the office the next day.  I'd write those items on a post-it note and leave it right next to my computer.  That way it would be the first thing I'd see each morning when I got into the office.

I think this practice would be an excellent idea to take up even as a SAHM.  

There are just so many distractions in our days (sick kids, tantrums, food needing to be made, etc) but if we choose 2-3 simple things that we'd like to accomplish each day, it seems a lot more manageable.  

6) Ask for help (when needed). 

Ladies - it is not a bad thing to ask for help when we need it!  It may be humbling but God isn't asking us to be super moms.  

Here are a few examples of what help might look like in your life ::
  • Hire a daytime sitter every once in awhile to help with the kids so you can run errands or just simply work on a few of your to-do items. 
  • Hire a house cleaner (if you are financially able to do so)
  • Ask your hubby to pick up take-out on his way home.  I'm pretty sure there isn't a "I made the most homemade dinners" award in heaven.  
  • Drink that extra cup of coffee at 3 pm.  Some days just require it. 
  • If you own your own business, consider hiring contractors to help run your business.  One of the best things I've done this past year was to expand the City Moms Blog Network by adding a handful of amazing ladies to our team.  

7) Give yourself some grace girlfriend. 

One of the biggest challenges in being a mom is that there is always just so much to do.  Whether you work full-time, work part-time or stay at home, our responsibilities are endless. However, we must understand that the God we serve is a God of great grace.  There will be plenty of times that we would get an "F" for time-management (if God was a teacher), but thanks be to God that we can start a fresh every new day in the power of His amazing grace.  

(By the way - this also means to give grace to your mommy friends too - we really are all in this together!)

8) Keep the first things, first. 

This is such an easy principle to lose sight of when raising young children.  I have to continually remind myself that above being a business owner, volunteer, house cleaner, food preparer, friend, designer - I am a wife and a mommy.  And those two things should always come first.  Even being managing my time.  


And that's all I have ladies!  I hope this helps!  

What am I missing?  What do you do to manage your time wisely?  Please comment below with your tips and tricks!

3 comments:

Amita Harij said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amita Harij said...

Time is money is something that will always stand true. Time management skills is essential to increase productivity. Managing to save time and increase personal productivity looks like an ongoing battle for us most of the days.

For time management, I would suggest to use Replicon's ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx ) software. According to my own experience, I find easy to make estimates and invoices. I’ve benefitted a lot from it and I’ve also recommended it to my friends. I especially love it for its great invoicing capabilities.

John said...

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