5 Ways to Help Manage Your Time As a Busy Mom!
As a mom, I’ve learned that time is the most precious commodity.
Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day while others, I spend watching the seconds pass until nap time.
Now that Charlie is a toddler I have to be very conscious of how I spend time as a mom first, but also as a business owner. Definitely a tricky balancing act especially since I am the primary caregiver during the weekday.
Anyway, I thought I would share 5 Ways to Help Manage Your Time As a Busy Mom. Again, these are just suggestions or tips because know that whatever you are doing to raise/spend your time with your child is the best way! I hope these are helpful!
1. Tame Your To-Do List:
Have you ever sat down with your planner in the morning while sipping a cup of coffee and thought you could conquer the world in one day? It’s a running joke between my mama and me that once you have that morning cup of coffee you feel like you could do anything. Fast forward to 5pm and you look at your conquering to-do list planner like, what the hell was I thinking? Sound familiar?
Once you have a child that conquering-the-world-to-do-list just becomes shorter. This past year in particular I’ve had to break my to-do list down into two columns: The Curious Plate NEEDS & Personal NEEDS. Within these two columns I can only put 5 things down that are of importance that day. Of the five, the top three are the most important. This way I know if I can only do 3 things today, I’m okay with that. If I get 5 that’s a huge accomplishment. Again, it’s managing expectations, but also being realistic about time.
2. Delegate Tasks:
I’m always annoyed when people say you “CAN’T” do it all. For me, it’s such an oversimplification of the obvious. Like who am I to judge someone if they want to try to do it all. You’ll find no judgement from me. But the reality is that if you want to do all the things you have to be smart about it. Enter, delegating.
I’m still working on delegating. Just like Charlie right now, I am doing baby steps. I finally took the leap of faith and hired a virtual assistant for my business (Hi, Becky!). DAMN. I should have done that a long time ago. My stubbornness got in the way and truthly I shamed myself for not being able to do it all. Delegating is hard when you’re used to doing everything by yourself.
But! I promise once you start delegating stuff out you start to become a better person, mom, etc. Now, I realize throwing money at daycare, an assistant, housekeeper, might not be feasible. Case in point: my friend Katie (who is amazing) offered to come by the house and watch Charlie while she takes a nap so I could go to Orange Theory during the week if I needed to. Literally the nicest thing possible. Don’t worry, I return the favor by giving her lots of wine and food!
My point is that you can’t take care of someone if you don’t take care of yourself first. Delegating tasks is a great way to get rid of stuff you don’t like to do, but also to allow you to do what you do want to do! Start small and work up!
3. Work Ahead:
People often ask me if I work super early or super late to get stuff done. Sometimes. Life’s not perfect, but I am a huge believer in working ahead. What does that exactly mean? Well, it means taking a project, task, event, and giving it a deadline. Once you have a deadline you start to work backwards. Hear me out….
Let’s say I have a sponsored post due Thursday February 21st. Here’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to workflow:
Saturday Feb 9th: Brainstorm ideas for sponsored recipe post
Sunday Feb 10th: Shop for products for photoshoot
Monday Feb 11th: Photoshoot of product
Tuesday Feb 12: Blog Post written
Wednesday Feb 13th: Editing of photos
Thursday Feb 14th: One week before the scheduled due date I will tell myself to have the post completed. This way if sh$t hits the fan I have a buffer built in.
Doesn’t this seem way more manageable than for me to put into my calendar sponsored post due February 21st? I’m such a visual learner that if I see the cadence of the project I know what to expect and then it doesn’t overwhelm my brain! Plus, as the only caretaker for Charlie during the work day I have to budget my time again realistically which goes back to that to-do list!
4. Multi-Tasking is a F$CKING Joke:
No, for reals. I’ve tried and tried this past year to be as efficient as possible while raising Charlie and I thought multi-tasking was the answer. Oh, I can answer this quick email while Charlie bangs on these pots and pans. Guess what? The email is sloppy and I end up shouting at Charlie for being loud and not letting me think. Sound familiar?
And maybe I feel more this way because Charlie is 16 month-old and a complete busy body. Sometimes I miss those newborn days! But I truly believe that trying to do seventeen things at once ends us making us feel bitchy and depleted at the end of the day. Our brains weren’t meant to work that way so it’s okay if you don’t multitask! If you do need to multitask, make it super mundane tasks that don’t take up your bandwidth. Trust me, you’ll have more energy and time to spend on things that are the most important!
Sometimes I feel like I live in the movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. Every day feels like the same day over and over again. It sucks at times. So, to combat being repetitive whenever I plan out my week I schedule in flexibility. Sounds weird, right?
This goes back to working ahead. This is my first world problem, but this past week I wanted to take Charlie to get new shoes. Sounds simple, but every day something came up in the morning and I couldn’t get around to taking her. I didn’t get mad or pissed, I simply moved the task to a different day. I also try to pencil in days to go to the park, Target runs, walks around the neighborhood, lunch to-go, etc.
Basically anything that gets us out of the house. I schedule it and if it doesn’t happen it’s okay. I’ve caught myself sometimes thinking, “Ugh. It’s too much work to get out of the house.” I immediately shove that thought out because not only is it good for me to get out for my sanity, but also for Charlie to see the world.
Curious, what do you do to help manage your time as a busy mama? Any helpful tips that I should know about?