If you’re looking for productivity tips and time management strategies for moms, you’ve come to the right place!
Whether you’re a full-time stay-at-home or work-from-home mom, or you work outside of the house for all or a portion of your week, it can be difficult to keep up with the never-ending list of things that need to be accomplished each day. Even the most organized moms have moments where they feel like they’re drowning in school projects, household tasks, and work deliverables. We have a tendency to over-schedule ourselves and our children as much as possible, making it more important than ever to ensure we have plans in place to keep us accountable and on track.
I have been working from home full-time for the past 5+ years, which has forced me to test out multiple time management strategies for moms. I used to think I was fairly organized and productive, but as we enter our 4th week of the 2020 pandemic, I’ve been forced to up my game and find new and creative ways to do all the things in conjunction with homeschooling my 9-year-old.
Here are 9 time management strategies for moms that are helping me stay afloat right now!
9 Time Management Strategies For Moms
1. GO TO BED AND WAKE UP EARLIER
As tempting as it is to stay up later to catch up on household tasks and work deliverables when you’re feeling overwhelmed, sometimes the best thing you can do is shut it down for the day. Exhaustion depletes us of energy, making it harder for us to focus and concentrate. It often takes longer to complete tasks when we’re feeling tired, and sleep deprivation limits our creativity and problem-solving skills.
As counter-intuitive as it might sound, one of the best time management strategies for moms is to prioritize sleep and set your alarm 30+ minutes earlier so you can tackle the most pressing items on your ‘to do’ list first thing in the morning when you’re feeling refreshed and energized.
2. CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE
If mornings are an emotionally-charged time of day in your household and you often feel guilty for being impatient and short-tempered with your kids as you’re trying to herd them out the door, creating a solid morning routine can make a huge difference. This will obviously look different for everyone, but here are some things you might want to consider:
- Wake up 30 minutes before the rest of your family so you can get a head start on your day.
- Resist pressing the snooze button. Research suggests that you tend to fall into a deep sleep after pressing snooze, so the sleep-wake-sleep cycle can actually cause you to feel groggy and lethargic instead of awake and refreshed.
- Avoid checking your phone first thing as it can cause you to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed before you even get out of bed, making you irritable, impatient, and rushed, and impacting how you interact with your loved ones.
- Do one thing you love when you wake up, like writing in a gratitude journal, FaceTiming with your BFF, practicing yoga, or snuggling in bed with your little ones.
- Commit to 30+ minutes of physical activity to get those feel-good endorphins flowing.
- Create a morning routine chart for your kids to keep them accountable and on track.
3. MAKE A PLAN
I know this isn’t ground-breaking news, but spending 15-20 minutes prepping and planning each evening can save you heaps of time when you’re tired and in a rush. I pack school lunches, load/unload the dishwasher, and set out our breakfast items each evening before bed. I then select my outfit, put my shoes, purse, and coat by the front door, organize my workout gear, fill up my water bottle, and untie the laces of my running shoes so that nothing slows me down once my alarm goes off. I’ve also gotten my daughter into the habit of laying out her school uniform, picking her hair ties and accessories, and putting her school bag by the front door.
I know this may sound like a lot to do at the end of a busy day, but we’ve been doing this long enough that it’s become a habit. It only takes us 10 minutes, but I’ve learned the hard way that leaving these tasks until the morning can slow us down by 20 minutes because we’re not as focused and efficient at that time of day.
And yes, even in the midst of a pandemic, I still do most of these things every evening to ensure we are organized and ready for action each day.
4. CREATE A FAMILY CALENDAR
If you struggle to stay on top of the activities, appointments, and social commitments for everyone in your family, create ONE master family calendar so you know what’s happening each day and can keep everyone organized. There are so many different ways you can do this – you can go old school and buy a wall calendar to hang in your kitchen, or you can download a fancy app that allows multiple users to make updates and changes. Whichever option you choose, make sure there is only ONE place where everything is recorded so you can stay organized and can avoid scheduling conflicts.
5. SET 3 GOALS EACH DAY
I learned this trick in The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey, and it’s another one of my favorite time management strategies for moms. The idea is to take 5 minutes each morning to write down the 3 things you want to accomplish by the end of the day. You must ensure the list is manageable, and you then dedicate your most productive time to accomplishing those 3 things.
6. STOP MULTI-TASKING
If you have a tendency to measure your success by the amount of things you accomplish each day/week, I urge you to rethink your strategy. While it’s great to knock a million items off your never-ending list of things to do, the key to productivity is to do fewer things for more effect instead.
7. SET A TIMER AND WORK IN BATCHES
One of the time management strategies for moms that has worked the best for me over the years is to divide my day into batches, allot a specific amount of time for each, and then set a timer to keep myself accountable. This allows me to group relevant tasks together and tackle them in one go, rather than splitting them up over the course of a few days. I usually set aside a block of time in the morning and afternoon to hyper focus on whatever work tasks I need to complete, and then I set aside a third block in the evening to tackle house-related items like meal prep, loading/unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, etc. This ensures I’m not constantly borrowing time needed for more important tasks throughout the day/week, and keeps our house running smoothly. It takes discipline to commit to this kind of structure, and I find adding a timer is key in keeping me accountable.
8. TURN OFF ALL DISTRACTIONS
We’re all guilty of getting sucked into the wonderful world of social media, and often turn on a bad movie when we’re working on things that don’t require our full attention, but we tend to underestimate just how much time those little distractions take away from the bigger picture. If you’re looking for time management strategies for moms, be mindful of these things as much as possible. Shut down your mail program, log out of your social media accounts, and turn the TV off when you need to focus – you’ll be amazed at how much faster you can power through tasks!
9. STREAMLINE YOUR HOUSEHOLD
The last of my time management strategies for moms is to adopt new habits that will help your home to operate more smoothly. Again, this will look different for everyone, but here are some things that work for me:
- Assign age appropriate chores to your kids. CLICK HERE for a list of ideas by age!
- Compile a collection of easy recipes and create a weekly meal plan.
- Order your groceries online.
- Stock your freezer with meals you can defrost and reheat on busy evenings.
- Block off 15-30 minutes each evening to clean/organize high traffic areas of your home.
- Wash a load of laundry each day.
- Fold and put away the previous day’s load of laundry each day.
If you’re looking for time management strategies for moms, I hope these tips and ideas prove useful to you! Remember to get enough sleep, create a morning routine, set 3 daily goals, turn off distractions, work in batches, and streamline your household as much as possible.