One of the most popular requests I see in my inbox is time management tips for working mothers. Trust me, I get it! You’ve got meetings to attend, a career to conquer, school schedules to organize, play dates to attend, a house to clean, and a marriage to nurture. The list goes on and on.
Working mothers have so much on their plate. It’s a constant juggling act. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and start to feel like you’re failing. Dare I even say…drowning? However, it is possible to conquer it all.
Yes, I’m saying it’s completely possible to have a booming career and a beautiful family. I run a marketing department for my company, own my own business, do freelance social media management, and am raising a beautiful toddler.
Honestly, it took me a while to get the hang of managing all of these tasks. However, I can now say I’ve found a pretty great balance. I learned some great time management tips along the way that were key to my success. Now, it’s time that I share them with you!
Wake Up Earlier
I can hear the groans pouring in as I write this. I get it, you are already so tired. Waking up even 10 minutes earlier right now feels impossible. I’ve been there. This time management tip is one of the hardest to start.
Here’s a hard pill to swallow, but an important statement to hear. We all have the same 24 hours in the day. Yes, even Beyonce. The key difference between you and the person one step ahead of you is how you choose to spend those hours. If you feel like you are completely overbooked during your day now, then you need to create more hours.
Waking up even an hour earlier each morning provides you with so many opportunities. Here are some of my favorite ways to spend my extra hour.
- Meditate and get my mind right for the day.
- Find a way to move my body through exercise.
- Shower, get dressed and do my hair/makeup. (SO important for work from home moms.)
- Read a book or enjoy an episode of my favorite podcast.
- Put some extra work into my own business.
Utilize Your Weekends
The weekends are an excellent time to wind down and relax after a long week. It’s perfect for quality family time. However, it’s also a perfect time to prepare for the week ahead. The most important of my time management tips is finding the time to do both.
The weekends are the perfect time to catch up and work ahead. You’ll more than likely have your spouse at home which will give you an extra set of hands. Be sure to utilize that and ask for help either with tackling some of these tasks or with wrangling in the kids.
Here are a few key tasks you can do on Sundays to make the next week run smoother.
- Meal prep breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
- Make a grocery run to restock the fridge and pantry.
- Catch up on laundry for the family.
- Review schedules for work, kids, and yourself.
Knocking some of these tasks out on Saturday and Sunday will give you a running start on Monday.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Listen, I know you’ve got a lot on your plate. Not only is it full, but it’s probably overflowing. It’s important to realize you can’t do it all (at least not all at once). That’s why one of the most important time management tips is learning how to prioritize your tasks.
Here’s a quick rundown of what this looks like.
- Write out all of the tasks that you need to get done over the next week. Include everything for personal, kids, and work on the same list. This will ensure that nothing and no one gets forgotten.
- Pick your top three tasks for each day. These are non-negotiable and will get done.
- Once you’ve accomplished these three tasks, then you can refer back to the original list and work through those tasks as time permits.
When you don’t take the time to prioritize your tasks it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You’ll find yourself working on too many tasks at once to really make any progress at all or working on tasks that aren’t a priority. Running your schedule like this ensures that the most important tasks are always getting accomplished.
Put It On Your Calendar
Spontaneity goes out the window the second you give birth. Those little miracles really make it tough to do anything last minute. That’s why if I want to get anything done (even the small stuff) I put it on the calendar.
When I say everything I really do mean everything. Need a manicure or pedicure? Put it on the calendar. Desperately want a date night? Put it on the calendar. Have a big meeting coming up? Put it on the calendar. Need to bake brownies for your kid’s bake sale? Put it on the calendar. Having that visual is a great reminder to get it done.
I always recommend keeping this information on a personal agenda. This way you can carry the information with you wherever you go. If you prefer to go digital, the calendar on your phone works great as well. I also recommend putting this information on a larger calendar in a communal family space like the kitchen. This way the entire family can see what’s coming up for the week and can plan accordingly.
Ask For Help
If I could get up on a soapbox, grab you by the shoulders, and pour a message directly into your heart, then this is what it would be. You can’t do all of this on your own. It’s physically impossible to climb the corporate ladder, raise great children, and give your marriage the attention it needs all on your own. That’s why one of my favorite time management tips is to ask for help.
One of the best pieces of advice I received after having my daughter was to find someone who is an expert in their field and let them help you. If you are struggling to keep up with cleaning the house, then hire a cleaning service. If you need a night off with your spouse, then look into finding some reliable childcare.
Look, I know that finding help can be out of the budget. I get that! When I first had my daughter we were living paycheck to paycheck. That didn’t stop me from asking for help though. The best help doesn’t cost you a thing. Ask your partner, your parents, your friends, and heck even your kids for some extra help. There is no earthly reason for you to take this all on by yourself. So, don’t even try.