If you’re like most moms, you have a laundry list of things to do every day. But even though we all only have 24-hours in our day, have you noticed that some moms seem to get so much more accomplished during those 24-hours than the rest of us? If you’re ready to learn the time management secrets of these highly productive moms, try implementing these 5 surprisingly simple time management tips for busy moms.
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Ask Yourself This ONE Question
Before we start talking about strategies for you to better manage your time, I want you to ask yourself this one question.
What is your response when someone asks you “how have you been?” of “how are you?”
How often do you respond with “I’ve been busy” or some other expression of busyness, like “I feel overwhelmed” or “this week has been crazy busy”?
I ask you this because this is something I often do, and it’s a habit I’m trying desperately to break.
You see, when you talk about how busy you are all of the time, you are keeping your focus on the scarcity of time in your life. We live in a culture of scarcity where most of us are too focused on the lack of something in our lives, often money, things, or time.
In this case, it’s lack of time that we too often focus on.
Embrace a Mindset of Abundance
Wouldn’t it be great if we, as a culture, learned how to embrace a mindset of abundance? Our answers to “how have you been?” would be focused on how much we already have or how much we’re going to accomplish.
Since that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, my hope is that these 5 surprisingly simple time management tips will at least help you to focus more on what you have rather than on what you don’t.
So, let’s get started.
Tips #1: Track Your Time For One Week
Before you can control your time, you need to know exactly what you’re doing with your time.
Several years ago, when I was starting my law practice, one of my mentors advised me to spend one week tracking everything that I did.
I hesitated at first since I didn’t see the value in tracking my time when I already knew what I did every day. But I decided to do it anyway.
After that week was over, I analyzed what I had written down, and I was shocked by how much time I spent on activities that can best be described as non-productive. For me, social media, Netflix, relentlessly checking email, and browsing the internet, were big time wasters.
And I also surprisingly discovered that some tasks that I often put off because they seemed so time-consuming didn’t take nearly as much time as I thought.
When you know exactly what you’re doing with your time, you’ll begin to be more intentional about what you are doing with it. Carry a notebook around with you for the next week and start tracking your time.
The most productive people I know are acutely aware of how they spend their time. If you’re ready to take back your time, I think you’ll find this exercise enlightening.
Tip #2: Get Up Earlier
The next time management tip is to get up earlier. If you’re a night owl, please don’t skip this section, I think you too might find value in this tip.
I’ve been an early riser for several years now, but that wasn’t always the case. For many years, I fell asleep close to midnight and woke up only after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock several times.
But year after year, I had the same goals that never seem to get accomplished. I wanted to exercise more, lose weight, read more books, get on top of my finances, and many other things that would improve my life, but for some reason, I wasn’t able to get ahead in any of these areas.
The reason I wasn’t able to get ahead hit me like a lightening bolt one day.
This reason can best be summed up in this one sentence I recently read in the book, The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast, by Jeff Sanders: “If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first.”
Getting up just one hour earlier has the power to change your life.
For me, I spend that one hour in prayer, reading a devotional or doing a Bible study, exercising, working on my personal growth goals, and prioritizing my day, so I have a plan for accomplishing the things that are most important to me.
I created the Daily Inspiration Planner a couple of years ago to help me organize and focus my mornings. You can request a free copy of the planner I use each day below.
Depending on the season of your life, getting up earlier might not work for you. I, too, was the mother of an infant not that long ago, so I get it!
But at most times in our lives, getting up even one hour earlier is doable and will make a huge impact on leading an intentional life.
Getting up early is not just a function of the way we are biologically wired, it’s a habit that anyone can develop.
And if changing your life is a priority, it’s a habit worth considering.
Tip #3: Learn The Art Of Time Blocking
The next tip has been instrumental in helping me to accomplish more in less time.
It’s called time blocking. A time block is simply a block of time you’ve scheduled to work on one project.
Time blocking is an effective strategy for working on projects that require focused concentration.
Each week when I’m completing my weekly review, I list out the projects I’d like to work on during the week. Then I add 1-3 time blocks to my calendar to work on these projects.
For me, these time blocks are usually about two hours. You’ll need to play around with your schedule and your level of concentration to find your sweet spot.
When I sit down for a time block, I make sure to have water, a snack, and I limit distractions as much as possible. My phone can be a huge distraction, so I often leave it in another room.
When I’m working on my computer, I make sure to give myself movement breaks every 30 minutes, where I stretch or walk around the room. You can set a timer to remind you of these movement breaks, so you’re not constantly watching the clock.
It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you completely focus on the task at hand.
Tip #4: Develop Habits And Routines
The next tip is to develop habits and routines for your day.
There are some things we do (or would like to do) every day. For these activities, you can save time when you have a routine for getting them done.
Spend some time listing out the things you do every day. Then start creating routines for those activities.
I’ve found that when I write out my routines, I’m more likely to follow through on them.
Writing them down also helps me to get back on track when I’ve fallen out of the habit for a week or two. Habits and routines will change over time, so you’ll find that they may need an adjustment at times.
Tip #5: Keep Believing In Yourself
This last tip is simple in concept but difficult in execution.
You have to believe that you can change.
Limiting beliefs about ourselves often prevent us from achieving what we set out to do. When you tell yourself, “there’s no way I can get up an hour earlier” or “I just don’t have the time to even think about getting that done,” you are limiting yourself from even trying.
When these limiting thoughts start to creep up, please remember that you are capable of so much more. You can develop the confidence you need to succeed.
One of my favorite devotionals to help with self-doubt is A Confident Heart Devotional: 60 Days to Stop Doubting Yourself by Renee Swope. If you suffer from self-doubt, I’d recommend going through this devotional.
Okay, how are you feeling? Are you ready to take back your time? You’ve got this!
What are your favorite time management tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
With Love and Joy,