As working mothers our hectically busy lives are planned to the last minute and we selfishly embrace even the smallest sliver of spare time when we can finally find some.
With a toddler, two teens , an adult son and my husband at home I often feel I’m trying to cram as much as I can do in small amounts of time.
This recently got me thinking how I could make my time more productive. How could I achieve more in less time?
Below are a few tips to help you become more productive in your day.
1. Get enough sleep
Prioritise your sleep. Without enough sleep you will be cranky, tired and unable to perform at your personal best. You will drag through the whole day and waste more time than if you had slept.
Tomorrow is another day. Rest !
2. Set realistic working hours
Evaluate the time you will need to achieve tasks and do not over stretch yourself by taking on extra work if your schedule is already over burdened.
Working at night or over weekends will take time away from your families.
Try to only work during working hours. If you work from home schedule these hours while the kids are at school.
3. Learn to say No
Setting healthy boundaries is vital , both in your relationships and work environment.
Set limits to include friends draining your time, activities you do not want to do and business demands or home chores that you can delegate out.
4. Daily goals
Set up small daily, achievable goals. You will obtain a much higher sense of accomplishment by completing a small daily goal than setting a large unobtainable goal that could have been broken down.
5. Do not multitask
As mothers this is where we excel but, you will perform much better if you are focused on the task at hand.
If you texting your husband, helping with homework and cooking , you may get everything done but your attention is scattered and you are not giving the best of yourself to any one task.
Focus on one task fully at a time.
6. Let it go
Let go of perfection. We are all flawed and that’s what makes us unique. Obsessing over being the perfect mom/wife/business woman will only set you up for failure.
Learn to be gentle with yourself.
7. Web time
Surfing the net is a huge time waster. Innocently checking your Facebook can turn into three hours of browsing. This is time you can’t get back. Limit your screen time and learn to unplug when engaging with friends and family.
8. Have fun
When I am my most stressed , I treat myself to a cup of coffee with a friend or an outing with the kids.
Stress limits your productivity and clouds your thinking. So avoid a burn out by making time to have fun.
Schedule those vacations, take a long weekend and enjoy time with your family.
How many times do you hear yourself saying… “I’ll do it myself” ?
As mothers we often take on much more than our share of the responsibility at home and work.
Learn to delegate tasks and allow your colleagues, husbands and children to take responsibility for themselves.
Set a routine that works for you and stick to it.
For me routine is vital as it allows me to mentally tick off all the items I need to do.
My routine for example, starts with waking up , usually around 4.30am. The next hour is mine so I will read, catch up on my emails or write a blog post.
By 5.30am I’m up and waking the family. I head down stairs to make lunches, coffee and put the washing on.
At 6.30 my husband and kids leave for school and work. As soon as he is awake I make the bed. My kids make their own beds and are responsible for their own rooms being clean . I go to the bathroom last so that I can quickly neaten it after brushing my teeth and getting ready for the day.
Exercise is important to me so I walk my baby to and from school. On my walk back I will stop at the shop if we need anything for the day.
When I get home at 8am, I sweep, wash floors, neaten the house, hang the washing and settle down to work.
The next few hours till 1.30 pm are dedicated to work only. It’s rare I work after this time unless I’m on a deadline. I try to follow my to do list and have most of my work scheduled so I know what order to complete them.
1.30pm I leave to fetch baby and then it’s our time. It’s important for me to spend time with my family so I prioritise this.
By 4pm I’m bringing in washing, getting supper on and preparing for my family to get home. Supper is at 6pm and the dishes are done straight after supper so there’s no messy kitchen to deal with in the morning.
My husband baths baby, I supervise homework and bags are packed for the next day. I put out the lunch bags ready to pack in the morning and school and work clothes are laid out.
The kids are in bed by 8pm and I will update my social media and tweek my blog while my husband watches tv.
How you can put all of this into practice….
- * Set yourself a realistic bed time and plan an evening routine that allows you to relax before falling asleep
- *Draw up a list of all the activities you do in a day. Schedule a time management plan.
- *Look in your diary. How many items do you want to or need to do this week? Prioritise these.How many activites are you attending that you do not have to ? Send an email and cancel these.How many small things at work and home could you delegate to others ? Let them help you.
- *Buy a note book and write your daily To Do list. Tick these off as you complete the task. At the end of the day reflect on all that you’ve achieved.
- *Try this week to give yourself specific down times to surf the net or to watch tv.
- * Make time for your family. Diaries it. It doesnt have to be an expensive outing. It could be something as simple as family pancake and board games night on Wednesday. Then plan for it. Put a post it up on the fridge so the kids can see. And cancel any work or other activities on Wednesday night.
- *Make a list of all activities at home and work that you can delegate to others. For work write an email to those concerned allocating them their share of the work. At home, place a chore chart where your family can see it with each family members chores for the week.
- *Design a routine that works for you and impliment it. It takes 21 days for a habit to form so don’t be too hard on yourself if you battle to stick to the routine in the begining.
Our lives are busy and somedays overwhelming but with midfull management of our time, prioritizing the important people and activities in our lives and setting goals you can achieve a healthy bal