As a mom, you might be thinking “what the heck is time management”, I’m just surviving. Let’s be honest, we are all surviving. But, how can we survive better? How can we make the most of our time all while doing what means the most to us and our family daily?
Mom life is not going to allow for the perfect plan daily. And if you are my “type A” planner than this might be tough for you. If you are not a planner girl but need some organization and time...it could be time for you to try the planner route. Why not, right? Planning is just one part of this process. Time management is also about how you prioritize, keep yourself accountable and the discipline you have. As I said above, mom life is not going to allow for the perfect day regardless of all those qualities. Kids get sick, they throw tantrums, they poop right when you need to get out the door. That shouldn’t stop you from trying. It just means you need to be flexible and patient if things do not go your way. Learn how to work around those hiccups and proceed without feeling like your world is crumbling. Just as I tell my toddler when she falls or makes a mistake and gets angry or embarrassed because it happened:
“It’s how we get back up that matters.”
QUALITIES AND TOOLS NEEDED FOR TIME MANAGEMENT
Planning- Clearly, I am a planner mom and a bit on the OCD side. I created the Mommy-do Lifestyle Planner if that shows my personality at all ( :O) I believe in planning and routine, because it has worked for me. My kids appreciate a plan and like knowing what is going on each day. They feel comfortable and confident when we are in a routine. There are days where I do not have a plan because I was too tired to set one up or things didn’t work out because the day was insane. And I am ok with that. However, I try my best to make it happen daily. If you are not a planner momma and on the fence, you can always try it out with a printable planner instead of fully committing. You might surprise yourself and like it. Go into without high expectations and just try your best. Give it a few weeks before giving up. Research shows that it takes at least two weeks to build and keep a routine.
Prioritizing- This area can really encompass various factors. Prioritizing your time is extremely important because it gives and takes your time needed to fulfill areas that mean the most to you. The first step is to figure out what means the most to you right now. Priorities change weekly sometimes monthly, revisit as needed. Then you need to figure out what are your energy or time suckers.
For example: My priorities right now are (1) my relationships (2) quality time with the kids (3) self-care (4) staying active (5) eating healthy. Every day, it is important that I figure out how to incorporate these areas whether it requires 10 minutes or 60 minutes. There are days where each priority will change in the minutes I spend on that area. Which is OK. The most important to me is that I made them happen. Keep in mind that if you have a hard time focusing on more than one priority, stick to just one. Regardless of how many priorities you are focusing on, the fact that you are accomplishing one that means something to you, is what will matter in the end.
My energy/time suckers: (1) Social Media/ my phone (2) worrying about things that do not matter (3) housework.
“She believed she could but then fell down an Instagram rabbit hole and lost another hour of her life.”
Once you figure these two parts out (Priorities/ Time Suckers), it’s important to keep yourself accountable to each part.
Accountability- Staying accountable to my priorities or goals is very important to me. I love the quote:
“push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you”
It’s true. If you are complaining that things are not working, or you are overwhelmed. My question to you will be, are you staying accountable or true to what you know you need to do? Are you trying the best you can? For me, the best way I stay accountable to my priorities is by writing them down in my weekly planner. I love love seeing the little checkmarks to show, I did it! And naturally “feeling good” because I accomplished my priorities creates a desire to do it again and again. To really push myself to keep them.
The accountability for my time suckers is the same. If my phone is a time sucker, I need to keep myself accountable to using my phone certain times of the day. And for social media, keeping a time limit and only going on social media in the morning and or night. Worrying about things that do not matter is a huge one for me. Checking myself when it occurs and pushing myself to move on to something that is more meaningful and provides a benefit to myself or family. Referring back to my positive accountability section (self-care, relationships etc) is a good way to distract from the areas that do not provide a positive in my life. You will be surprised how much time is spent in the “time or energy suckers” category. If you track it for one day and remove that distraction, you will see that all of a sudden, your day will open up! In the areas that need to occur, housework, but are taking up a lot of your time are the areas that you need to learn how to delegate. How to get the family involved and stop doing everything yourself. That and try to make a plan that works, a routine, so you can open up your day and stop working on it all day long.
Discipline- Discipline is a huge factor. I like to create a discipline to the accountability. The discipline is what keeps me accountable. I force myself to write down my plan at night time and refer back to it in the morning. My discipline to do so allows me to stay accountable to everything that is a goal.
HOW TO GET BACK UP WHEN YOUR PLAN FALLS A PART
As I said previously, mom life is tough. No matter how many perfect plans we make, they may fail. And that is because we are raising tiny humans that require a lot of attention and patience.
Flexible & Patient: When plans fail, be flexible. That is my best advice to you. The moment you are not flexible is when you will start to show your inability to be patient. And we all know that when we are not patient with our kids, everything that is going wrong will magnify by ten. Staying patient and knowing that if the plan deviates by ten minutes or an entire day, that is OK. Get back up, and get ready once again.
"No matter how you feel get up, dress up, show up and never give up"
Positive mind- Keep positive. Write down positive quotes, your gratitude or positive memories that lift your spirit. Staying positive will help your kids stay positive too. They are looking up to us to see how we react. Staying positive will also allow you to keep going in the direction you would like and never give up. It will allow you to do anything you put your mind to and stay accountable to your goals.
Move forward: Always move forward. Don’t look back to what it was and think about why it didn’t work before. Move forward and try to make the best of your plan.
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I think about the fact that we are a unit and there is nothing better than family. And as we grow together, we will be each other’s support and life. We will have great family gatherings, dinners, traditions and holidays. We will celebrate each other and go on adventures to experience what life has to offer. And for that I am ready to have baby #3.
Does that mean I just decided? Haha. Just kidding. >>