I have been experimenting with time management for over a year and if there is one thing that you need to understand is that time management is a habit. Working on it for a couple of days or a few weeks and then taking a break from it does not form a solid habit. I have come to terms with the fact that anything good requires consistency and if things don’t go well it is only because I didn’t give it enough time or had the right attitude and passion for it. The blaming game does not play well for your success as a mother, wife, entrepreneur, friend, daughter, etc. The good news is, because it all depends on you.. It is you who holds the key to your success and it all starts with your attitude. The second step is to master time management.
The concept of time management is not new. Most of us use calendar apps, schedules, planners, sticky notes, and more. We are always looking for tools or apps to make us more productive. So what is the problem? Why are we still wishing we had more time in the day? What we are really lacking is prioritization, decisions, and boundaries. Because your schedule doesn’t just need to work for you, it needs to work for your family, friends, job, and commitments. We understand we can’t do it all but we still try don’t we? Too many of us, specially working mothers are on the edge of being burned out. Unfortunately, we often put ourselves on the very bottom of the list if in fact you are even on that list. This reminds me of when I had 2-3 different jobs plus children to raise and a husband to nurture and love. I remember sometimes wishing I could get sick because I knew it was the only time that I was “forced” (physically) to slow down and rest in bed for a couple of days. After talking to other women and doing my own research I learned that I wasn’t the only one who had such thoughts… Working moms are willing to take a rest once we get really sick or when we are forced to by sheer exhaustion. With all of that said, making time for YOU must be the first priority. Forming that habit was a difficult one because for the first while you feel selfish. But in the long run, your family will appreciate that you are at a place of peace within you. You will smile more. Laugh more. Have more energy. And you will be able to focus like you never have before.
When creating your monthly or weekly calendar always write down things that don’t ever change first. For example: Your work hours, your children’s school schedules, their club/sport commitments and birthdays. Your “to-do list” is separate. Your must complete things on your to-do list around your set schedule. Do not double schedule (ever). Once you have that list you need to make some serious decisions. You probably have a list that is way too long to be realistic. First, make a decision to carve time for yourself. Ideally an hour to yourself. But if that is not possible for you try setting aside 15 minutes of time for yourself. Use the time to read, nap, walk, catch up with a friend over the phone, do anything that relaxes you.
The next part is about priorities. Most of us get anxious when we hear that we can’t get everything done that we “have to” do today. You need to look at that list carefully and realistically decide what you can handle. And I don’t just mean with time, I am also talking about emotionally. Some things drain us emotionally more than others. Don’t do them all in one day. Once you have circled or underlined the top priorities of the day, think about which ones you can delegate. If your kids are a bit older can they help around the house? (they sure can). My eight and six year old help fold the laundry, clean their rooms, and set the table. We all cook together as well. What about your husband or partner? They want to see you happy and healthy. I am sure they are happy to help, but you have to tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do. I’m still hoping one day men will read our minds or just see the obvious but until then we need to be very honest when we need help and what it is that we really need them to help us with.
Learning to say no is a hard one. You have limitations just like everyone else. Although great opportunities will come you just remember that even though you will need to say no it doesn’t mean those opportunities are gone forever. Focus on today. Focus on the moment. Find reasons to smile. Write down things that you are grateful for daily. Lift your spirits up. And when you fail, remember that you have tomorrow to be grateful for. Plan the month before the month comes. Plan the week before the week comes. Plan tomorrow before tomorrow comes. You won’t be perfect at it and that is alright. We will be perfectly un-perfect. Because what we are striving for is improvement. To summarize here is what you need to do: Take care of yourself first, plan the night before, use technology to your advantage, delegate, and let go. I’m still learning every day how to be more efficient and survive the constant demands that are put on my time. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow daily. It’s a bittersweet feeling. Don’t you think?
It’s finally Friday! I wanted you to start the weekend on a good note and I’m happy to announce that we have an amazing giveaway today. You can enter to win an e-gift card toward your own JORD watch! Just follow the link to be instantly entered to win the voucher (worth $75). The winner is automatically picked and notified via email at the end of the giveaway which ends on July 24th. If you feel like you don’t have much luck with giveaways do not worry. Because JORD is an incredible company, all those who don’t win will still receive a special bonus. You will receive an e-gift card for $20 off your JORD watch. Their collections are inspired by modern lifestyle. Perfect for all of us modern moms. They see the value of a watch not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Focusing on the now and creating memories. So what are you waiting for?! Click on the link and don’t forget to tell all your friends!