Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? As moms, it’s easy to find yourself with an overloaded schedule and feeling exhausted. A lot of us tend to run around all day between work, errands, school drop-off and pick-up, kids’ activities, volunteer duties, meal prep and then plop into bed exhausted. To make matters worse, we feel that we aren’t doing any of the things in our day well and missing meaningful connections with our loved ones.
Here are some helpful tips to find more time in your day, so that you can have more time for what matters most.
Tip #1 – Analyze how you spend your time. I know, sounds like I’m adding a task when you are already busy, but being aware of exactly how you spend your day can pinpoint where you could be possibly wasting time. Try to journal or document a full 24 hours to get a clear picture of your day. Common culprits can be scrolling on social media and watching TV.
Tip #2 – Plan the night before. Set yourself up for success by packing lunches, picking out outfits for yourself and/or for younger kids. Know what’s on the agenda for the following day so you aren’t scrambling at the last moment and wasting valuable time.
Tip #3 – Focus. Try limiting interruptions when focusing on something important. Turn off the TV, put away your phone and don’t check email. Distractions can quickly turn into big time eaters.
Tip #4 – Utilize Pockets of Time. The reality is that parents spend a lot of time driving and waiting. Use this time to accomplish some things from your “to do” list. While parked in the carline, check your emails and return phone calls. While at sports practices, squeeze in some exercise or complete work tasks. For example, I’ll walk around the field, prep for coaching sessions or work on my blog during my daughters’ soccer practices.
Tip #5 – Do Not Overschedule. As moms, a lot can fall on your plate. It’s okay to say no to extra obligations. In truth, when we say “yes” to something, we are also saying “no” to something else such as spending time with family, working out, getting organized, etc.
Tip #6 – Identify your most productive time. Some people are naturally morning people while others get a second wind at night (that’s me). Knowing when you are most productive and have the most focus can be helpful. With this in mind, schedule your most difficult or energy inducing projects during your best time of day.
Tip #7 – Sprinkle in Chores. Try to tackle one big cleaning job each day. Mop the floors one day, clean the bathrooms the next day and so on. Load the dishwasher the night before so you can wake up with clean dishes. Definitely okay to delegate these chores as well – instant time saver! Consider washing a load of laundry when you wake up and then transfer to the dryer after breakfast or lunch. Clean the kitchen immediately after breakfast so the dishes don’t pile up. Also prepping meals in advance the night before or earlier in the day can be a time-saver so you can throw the meal together very quickly later.
Tip #8 – Meal Planning. Coming up with a plan for the week can save lots of time by avoiding multiple trips to the grocery store, eating out or picking up takeout. Double meals when you can for an easy leftover meal or put in the freezer for a future dinner. Theme nights can help with planning such as Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, World Dish Wednesday, etc.
Tip #9 – Weekly Planning. Plan ahead for the next week. Very similar to meal planning, but taking the long view of your week to plan for any upcoming activities, projects, practices and events. That way you can be prepared with any necessary materials, gifts, uniforms, arrange carpools and more. Being organized is a huge time-saver!
Tip #10 – Sleep. Getting enough sleep makes you way more productive the next day so that you aren’t dragging and reaching for multiple cups of coffee.
Realizing that YOU are ultimately in control of your time and only YOU can make changes could possibly be the shift that you need to find more time. I hope these tips are a step in the right direction, so that you can find more time for the things that matter most.
Another way to look at it is to challenge yourself to stop doing things that do not serve your deeper goals in life. If you need help with your life goals and time management, I would love to help you. Schedule a complimentary call so we can chat and see how I can best help you.
It’s Never Too Late for the Life You Want.