5 Tips To Get Your Time Back

As working moms, there’s often several things we handle on a daily basis. Whether it be school drop-off, school pick-up, PTA, or that 6 month-long team project at work, an individual project at work, the upset client at work, etc., it can feel like too much sometimes. I’ve been there before and the one thing that got me through it was time management.

Here are the 5 things that helped me get my time back for myself and my family:

1. Establish a routine

If you can commit to nothing else on this list but this tip then you’re well on your way to getting your time back. Seriously, establishing a routine has (in a way) saved my life! Routines can help you in your professional life by eliminating procrastination and allowing for task prioritization. At home, routines help both parents and children to feel a sense of control. In turn, this can improve happiness for parents and children.

An example of this that I’ve implemented in my own life is taking my son to the gym with me in the summer. It helps me by keeping his regular bedtime routine in tact since he has something to look forward to early in the morning. And of course, it helps me keep up with my exercise routine that I’ve established for myself during the school year. Establishing a routine that works for both you and your family is a win-win in all aspects!

2. Set reminders for all your tasks

With the busy lives mom’s lead, it’s crucial to set reminders for the things that need to get done. It’s very easy to forget to take the chicken out of the freezer in time to have it defrosted. Forgetting a small task like this can have some big repercussions. Especially, if your kids have sports in the evening. If there is not chicken defrosted in time then you’re left with no food to be prepared. And the kids will inevitably be asking for fast food once again.

Whether you use Google Calendar (my favorite ♡), Calendar (Apple), Cozi, Life360 or another option, it’s helpful to have these reminders set in place for both your productivity throughout the day but also a reminder for something enjoyable such as a movie night or family fun day. It’s all about using reminders to make the most of your time the way that you desire to spend it.

3. Set a timer for every task to be completed

Using a timer didn’t dawn on me as a time management tool until I learned about the “15 minute rule.” The 15 minute rule is a way to avoid procrastination by dedicating the 15 minutes to one important task or activity. For me, cleaning was the task that I typically avoided. Cleaning caused me to become easily overwhelmed with ALL of the cleaning tasks that had to be completed. Using a 15 minute timer helped to keep me focused on one task at a time and not get swept up in the other 4 tasks that still needed to get done.

Even if you don’t have 15 minutes, this trick works for smaller intervals of time as well. It’s also something I like to implement with my son when I notice there is something he’s been avoiding (AHEM, homework and chores). We set him a timer for 15-30 minutes to dedicate to finishing a worksheet, reading his book or folding/putting away laundry. It can be a great way for us to spend some time doing something together during that time. But, it can also be a great way for me to get some time to myself while I know he’s occupied for that amount of time.

Although timers can be helpful for tasks that are often avoided, timers can also be used for things that we enjoy. Perhaps, you haven’t felt you’ve had enough time to enjoy much of anything with how busy life gets. Perhaps you can try and use the timer tip to begin enjoying your hobbies once again, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day!

4. Remove distractions

Yes cell phones, we’re looking at you! When it comes to getting things done, cell phones can be one of the biggest distractions. And, every notification that pops up becomes “a one thing leads to another” situation. I like to combat these types of distractions by utilizing the “Do Not Disturb” option on my phone/device. It allows me “unplug” from the world in a couple of seconds and focus on what I’m trying to get done.

Sometimes it may be other people like children or coworkers that can deter tasks from being completed. To reduce these types of distractions I recommend going into a room alone with the door closed. If it’s an area where this option isn’t possible, I recommend moving away from others and using noise-cancelling headphones. But, we know how kids can be. One moment you’re undisturbed and the next they are tapping your shoulder to tell you about something that their sibling did. In these cases, my favorite way is just simply communicating with others that you will be unavailable because of X, Y, Z. If that doesn’t work then you can use this tip alongside the next one for removing distractions.

5. Block out break times and/or work times

When family and/or coworkers are unaware of our “head down” times, it can cause friction for ourselves and others. Implementing set break times and/or work times help others be aware of what you have going on at what time. I often will set up my Google calendar to include my “break blocks” so that my team knows when I won’t be around to look into something or answer questions. For family members, communicating these times lets them know when you are available to answer phone calls or texts during your daytime working hours.

If your job allows you to commute in the middle of your work day, another option could be “commuting time” or everyone’s favorite “lunch.” However, sometimes we will work outside of break times and other times, we will need a longer break. In this case, feel free to leave short “blank times” between the transitions until you get a feel for it. Trial and error is always my answer to find out what works best for me when trying something new. Test this tip out and see how it can work for you.

While it may seem that keeping your sanity while juggling between work, children, home life, and personal development can seem impossible. These 5 tips are provided to give some ways that may help to reduce stress associated with getting it all done. It’s important to give yourself grace and prioritize what matters in the moment. Try 1 of these tips and try to implement them little by little.

Much love, and thank you for reading ♡

These tips are provided as suggestions and do not guarantee a positive outcome.

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