Some tips for Time Management
Today’s moms have been dealt a genuine challenge to not only be stellar at your profession—be fit—be happy—be a great mom—an amazing chef and oh yes, a fabulous housekeeper too, and then above all, to not be stressed or tired. Gloria Steinem, the 60’s activist rallied women across the country to ensure that the females of our nation had equal rights. While women burned their bras and embraced their sexuality, the world was demanding that things should change. Some might question if equality was achieved or if the inequality evolved into an even greater gap between the husbands and wives of our country. Regardless of how we got here, now we need to figure out how to keep it all in tact without feeling overly crazy about our complicated and often tired lives.
Even with the 21st century technological efficiencies, you are not standing around wondering what to do with your extra time. Time is always crunched and figuring out how to manage it and not let it manage you may be the biggest obstacle of all. We are all searching for the best balance in life we can find, and time management is critical to our sanity. Just think from a child’s point of view, who wants a mom who is over worked and exhausted? A clean house is not a substitute for a woman who connects with her kids. Understanding real priorities are critical for everyone.
Do you say “No” often enough?
We’re mothers so, we tend to want to please everyone and of course, we know that it is virtually impossible. The rational side of our brain tells us so, but to no avail we just keep trying to top out the happy scale to everyone except ourselves. Don’t be afraid to say “No”. Consider your own needs and have a fall back question that you can ask yourself when someone is asking something of you. Here are a few questions to use as a guide.
- Is this something I want/should to do?
- How will this fit with the rest of my life?
- Does this fit into the time management plan I want for my life?
- If I say no, will I feel a little less strained and perhaps not spread so thinly?
- Declining politely could do wonders for your schedule and frame of mind.
What is Your Worry Factor?
Often when there are a million things to be done, we spend more time worrying about them, than actually tackling them and getting them out of the way. It’s like taking on that closet that everyone has in their house that has become the abyss of where all miscellaneous things go. It is that rare occasion that any of us actually devote the time to see what we stored away and then decide on its worthiness. The reality is that it probably only takes a couple of hours to take on that closet and you fretted about it for months before doing it! Determine today that you are going to eliminate your worry factor and instead of thinking about what you are going to accomplish, just do it. Put an end to the anticipation and get the job done. You’ll feel so great when it is checked off the list.
It’s a Family Household
Build a structure to support that you have a family household vs. a Mom household. All too often, too many of the responsibilities of running a home seem to fall on the shoulders of women. Building a family is also incorporating a structure that gives everyone their share of the household tasks that need to be accomplished. So, whether it is taking out the garbage, clearing the dinner dishes, pulling the weeds, skimming the pool or the other million details that it takes to keep things going, it is important that everyone needs to be a part of the journey. Craft a culture in your home that creates the tone that it’s a family household and everyone works together to live well. Time Management will not only aid you and your stress levels, it will teach your entire family that everyone has responsibilities to your home and one another.
After all, life is time and we need to make the most of it.
HAVE A PLAN!
- Utilize your calendaring system and schedule your tasks as if they are appointments. Committing to a day and time will help alleviate that ‘worry factor’ that we talked about above.
- Decide up front what is most important in your life and then make sure that how you spend your time reflects your priorities. You may want to take a day and jot down everything you do and how much time you spend–this could be very revealing and helpful when re-evaluating priorities. Track your time.
- When it’s possible, group your ‘things to be done’ list. Turn grocery shopping with your kids into a game. Engage them in the process by giving them part of the list and let them earn a favorite snack or better yet, alone time with you as a reward. The attitude that you carry into the task can greatly influence the tone of the whole experience for you and your children. When tasks are treated as fun, they become far less stressful. Make it fun.
- Schedule time for yourself. Whether this is time at the gym, in the bath tub or a walk in the neighborhood, making yourself a priority is critical to everyone’s well being. Your needs are just as important as anyone else and make sure you give yourself the respect and time you deserve. Treat yourself as important too.