Time, there’s always too little of it! As moms, we are especially time-strapped. And if we’re working, time is at even more of a premium. Given all the demands placed on us, it can be easy to feel like we’re just going through the motions, fulfilling our responsibilities without truly enjoying them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips for balancing your needs with those of your family and your job:
Batch tasks – This is a great tip for increasing productivity in your work life as well as your personal life. For example, if you find that checking email distracts you while you’re working, spend an hour each morning cleaning out your inbox, then turn off your email notifications for a few hours and concentrate on the task at hand. If you have a bunch of errands to run, do them all at once. Spend a Sunday afternoon cooking a bunch of dishes to eat throughout the week.
Overestimate – When planning a complicated day with multiple drop-offs, pick-ups, and to-do items, it’s best to overestimate how long each item will take. Take everything into account, from traffic to how long it takes your little tyke to pick out socks.
Delegate – Guys hate asking for directions; we hate asking for help. But you can’t be in two places at once, so when your calendar gets insane, make sure to get help from your husband or your close family or friends. Remind yourself that it’s okay to give control to someone else you trust.
Quality Time All the Time – Even the most mundane tasks can become “quality time.” Try to make your daily tasks fun for your kids by allowing them to participate. For example, when you go grocery shopping, let them take an active role in picking out groceries. Cook dinner together and catch up in the car on the way to school. These little moments are the things your kids will remember when they get older. What are your most cherished childhood memories? Chances are they’re simple, everyday activities.
Take Care of Yourself – You don’t have to book an expensive massage to take care of yourself, although that’s a nice treat every now and then. Taking care of yourself is more about allocating time to do things that make you feel good: putting on your makeup in the morning, going for a jog in the evening (bonus points if you’re also pushing a stroller), or painting your toenails before the polish completely chips away.
It’s also about making healthy choices that are best for you. For example, going to bed early instead of staying up to answer emails will make you a much more productive person the next day. As they get older, your children will admire that their mother is someone who takes care of herself – after all, you are modeling behavior that you want them to emulate someday!
Remember to Breathe – As busy, multitasking women and moms, sometimes we overlook the simplest way to get through our day: taking a moment to breathe. Pausing to focus on your breath can help you to quell nerves and stress or simply clear your mind. Simple, but effective!
How do you balance it all? Share your time management tips in the comments below.
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