When you’re a working mama, it can seem like there’s not enough time in the day to spend with your family and to care for yourself. Better time management leads to more time in the day. Often when we think about time management, we think about the things that we should do. Every so often, it’s good to take a step back to look at the things that we should not do as working moms when it comes to how we manage our time. The following are 5 things you should not do if you want to make the most of your time. Don’t worry I don’t only list the things you should not do. I also include what you can do so that you’ll have more time for what matters most to you.
Don’t Multitask, Instead, Do 1 Thing At A Time
Do not multitask. When it comes to time management, multitasking is a trap. It feels like you’re getting more done, but at the end of the day, it just takes longer to do all of those tasks when you try to complete them all at the same time. Rather than multitasking, do one thing at a time. Completing one task at a time helps you to stay focused, cuts down on startup time, and ultimately allows you to finish more quickly. There is one caveat to this. If you have mindless tasks, you can combine those and do more than one thing at once. These tasks must be mindless such as being on hold and filling out a form at the same time.
Don’t Let Your Brain Stall Out, Instead Learn New Things
While anatomically, our brains are not muscles, they do need exercise. A healthy brain allows you to be more productive. To get a healthy brain, you need to exercise it just like your biceps, quads, and glutes. There are a lot of different ways to exercise your brain. When it comes to improving time management, it doesn’t matter how you exercise your brain; it just matters that you do it. Exercising your brain will help it to think better and therefore allow you to get more done.
Here are five ways you can exercise your brain:
- Read a good book. Reading helps to stimulate your brain by forcing it to analyze sentences and storylines. Reading also can help to increase your vocabulary, which is a good exercise for your brain.
- Have a robust conversation. By a robust conversation, I mean a debate. Find someone to discuss a topic that forces you to develop reasons and also listen to and synthesize opinions. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. If you’re feeling dangerous, go for politics; if not, you can talk about the latest episode of the housewives and which housewife is crazier. All that matters is that you force your brain to reason, synthesize and respond to opinions.
- Play a game. Take some time to play a game, the more complicated, the better. I’m sorry to inform you that in this instance, cell phone games do not count. Break out the sudoku, a crossword puzzle, chess, cryptograms, or even a deck of cards, and engage your brain in old fashion gameplay.
- Learn something new. It doesn’t matter what, it just matters that regularly, daily if possible, you’re learning something new. You can learn a new language or even improve your English by learning a new vocabulary word each day. You could learn a new recipe or dive into a favorite historical figure or time. It doesn’t matter what you’re learning; it just matters that every day, you’re pushing your brain to develop.
- Do the math. Take time to run numbers in your head. When you’re adding up the check at your favorite restaurant, calculate the tip in your head. If you’re at the grocery store paying in cash, calculate the change with your brain. Running the numbers in your head is a sure form of heavy-lifting for the mind.
Don’t Wing It, Instead Have A Plan
Do not wing it. Winging it wastes time. And as a busy working mom, you do not have time to waste. Rather than winging it, have a plan. Take time each morning to plan your day and take time each day to plan any significant events that you have coming up. While it does take a little bit of time to plan, it takes far less time than what is wasted when you fail to plan. Planning is essential to finding more time in your day.
Don’t Do It All, Instead Ask For Help
Do not do it all. I know this is a tough one for many moms. Doing it all is not the way to be productive. When you try to do it all, you end up wasting your time on things that don’t matter. When you try to do it all, you end up saying yes to silly things and no to the things that matter most to you, such as spending time with your kids, working on your career, or taking care of yourself. Proper time management for working moms comes from asking for help rather than doing it all. Take a look at everything going on in your life and see where you can ask for help to alleviate some of the burdens that you bear.
Don’t Worry About People’s Opinions, Instead Focus On Yourself
One of the most sneaky time-sucks is worrying about other people’s opinions. Do not worry about other people’s opinions. When you do this, you will spend time doing what matters to them rather than spending time on what matters to you. There is no joy in them. Rather than worry about other people’s opinions, worry about yourself. I say this most lovingly but seriously worry about yourself. What are your needs? Where do you want to spend your time? What is right for you? It takes bravery and courage to worry about yourself. I know that you have bravery in you simply because you’re here reading this blog. Let go of other people’s opinions on what you should be doing with your time and instead put your time where you want it to be.
OK mama, there you have 5 things that you should stop doing to better manage your time. Which one of these resonates with you? Take a moment today to go ahead and stop that activity and replace it with one that will actually help you to move your life forward. Time management for moms is paramount to creating a life you love. Even more important than this is taking action. Do not let another day go by without taking action to create the life of your dreams.
For more help with time management, check out Time Management Tips: 10 Ways to Say No
Don’t forget to sign up for the Rose Gold Mine, my free resource library. You’ll get free printable worksheets, workbooks, and checklists to help with goal setting, time management and self-care for busy moms.
Learn to ask for support and free your time without letting go of our responsibilities at How To Get Unstuck.