Time Management Tips for Busy Moms
It can be incredibly hard for busy Moms to find time to complete their everyday tasks and chores, let alone for following their dreams or passions. For years, I put my own plans on hold because I was always too busy helping and supporting my family members and their endeavors.
That is, until one day I realized that the best way to motivate my kids, family, friends and maybe even strangers, was to just make it happen! And so I decided to follow my dream and start to blog.
Nevertheless, I found it incredibly hard to find the time to write, to create content that I’m happy with and to (finally!) launch this blog. Some blame can be put on others and their constant demands for attention. But I have to put most of the blame on myself.
Whatever your passion/dreams are, they are worth pursuing. Truth is, most of us do have the time to do what we love or follow our dreams but get tangled up in the messy thing that is our every day life.
For some, taking naps is incredibly tempting (and necessary), especially when the kids are napping or aren’t home and you have the house to yourself. I know lack of sleep and rest make it harder to focus, but if you truly want something, then you have to work hard at it.
Personally, I had no excuse. All my kids are school age. They are gone all day. But I found myself getting distracted constantly.
I love love love reading and have a to-read list ten miles long. Doing laundry is something I also love to do, which makes it a distraction; other times, I would just get caught up on my never-ending craft projects list.
Thankfully, TV was not a problem for me, since I never watch it during the day (more on that here ). My personal poison are books. And those are everywhere in my house!
As for naps, I have never been a big fan of them. They make me incredibly cranky and make my brain sluggish. But there was still a lot holding me back. I just knew I had to do something to fix the problem.
There really isn’t a magical solution. I simply MADE time to write. Yep, I’m sure you might think that it is easier said than done. But we can all do it. The trick is to find the culprits and do away with them.
How can you possibly do this?
Take care of your every day “to-do”.
I don’t know about you, but I find that if my house is a disaster zone, I just can’t concentrate. A toy here or there, or maybe an unwashed cup of coffee in the sink are no biggies. The never-ending laundry pile cannot be helped. And I am not referring to those. They are the normal, but often unwelcome results of having a family bigger than yourself.
Every day, I make the time to do things as simple as making my bed and taking 15-20 minutes every morning to fold throw blankets in the living room, re-arrange couch cushions. Maybe even start a load of laundry.
By simply doing these few things, I can truly focus on my goals, instead of feeling like I’m being pulled in a million directions. For me, it is a matter of keeping my sanity. Or what’s left of it.
While I’m sure not everybody cares about making their bed every single day, but I do. Yes, Ive heard the argument about “messing it up again later that day” before, but I’m not convinced.
Without getting into too many gross details, that same principle could be applied to many other situations, like showering, laundry, and so much more 😉 Plus, both my husband and myself really love the fresh feel of the bed sheets when we draw back the comforter before going to bed.
Get rid of distractions.
Finding the best setting for your projects is key. It removes or reduces distractions. For me, it meant moving my work area from the living room to the dinning room/office part of the house. I realized that I’m much more productive when I’m not sitting on the couch.
And of course, I leave my beloved book in the living room. Every. Single. Day. I swear I can hear the book whispering to me “Read me Read me Read me”. But I never answer 😉 Instead, I sit at the dinning room table, which is huge and allows me to be incredibly messy with my working binder, planner, lap top, etc scattered all over the place.
Silence is something I truly value and enjoy, but I realize it could drive some people nuts. If that’s the case, you could put on some nice music and carry on. Just make sure you choose the right kind of music for you, something that will get those creative juices flowing.
By observing my teenage daughter, I’ve noticed she works (homework) better when she listens to classical music, as opposed to songs with lyrics. I guess it’s because the brain is tempted to engage on a concert session. This, instead of helping her focus, actually distracts her and slows down her progress. I guess it’s a good thing she is a violinist and loves classical music haha.
I have also found that I’m much more productive when I use my daily planner. I hadn’t used a planner in years but this year I went to the store and took advantage of an awesome sale on the one I wanted.
This has been incredibly helpful, since I can just attack my day with a plan, and that plan always includes writing. I might not always have enough time to do it all but whatever doesn’t get done, gets highlighted in a different color and moved onto the next day.
Make sure you have on hand all the things you’re going to need. If your thing is baking, make a list of ingredients for various recipes and go get them. If you are a painter, then make sure you have all the colors under the sun, ready to be used. If you sew, then keep your sewing machine close and your spools closer.
If you have to run to the store or look all over for your materials or ingredients, then that’s a distraction right there.
Organization and planning take the cake. I’m sure there are some people who flourish on messy situations or environments. But if you’re struggling for time, then lack of planning and organization might be the problem. I know it was my problem.
Don’t get me wrong. You won’t have time to do it all. A day only has 24 hrs with no extensions available at this moment. But you might find that being strategic about your time gets you where you want to go.
Dream big, set those goals and get ready to accomplish them. Find what makes you glow and make it happen. You only need passion and motivation.
Have you found the way and the time to follow your dreams?
Share with us in the comments.