Time Management Tips for Moms FROM Moms
It wasn’t too long ago that I needed some major help with time management. I was drowning in a sea of too much to do and not enough time to do it.
My to-do list went from being a life raft to being an anchor.
My normal tricks for reclaiming control over my time weren’t working and that left me feeling lost. Lost, scattered and unproductive. Does that ever happen to you?
Luckily I was smart enough to know that the answer for me was to ask for help.
I reached out to an incredible group of parents, all right at my fingertips.
First, I sent an email to my Confidence Meets Parenting Community. This time instead of dishing out tips, I was begging for some time management help.
Then, I read. And listened and read some more. The response from my Confident Parents was overwhelming…. and incredibly helpful.
Suddenly I realized that I was not alone, not even close to alone.
Time Management for Moms
By the time I was finished reading all of the emails, I had an amazing new list. A list that helped me conquer the struggle of time management for Moms.
Since I do love to share, I have compiled some of my favorite advice right here. I hope you find it as helpful as I did.
Time Management for Mom Tip #1 – Prioritize
- “I suggest when tackling the daily beast (list), do the task that will have the greatest impact first. Do it when you have the most energy. ” – Jane (Mom of 2 and Grandma of 1)
- “Remember that your well-being is ALWAYS at the top of the list…especially when you are a parent! We only take as good care of others as we take care of ourselves. Pat yourself on the back for what you WERE able to accomplish, and move on to the next list!” – Caitlin (Mom of 4)
- “Sharing my massive to-do list with a friend or colleague or my husband in cases of tasks at home – they may ask the right questions to help me see what I truly need to jump on. I frequently think EVERYTHING is important, but sometimes folks outside my realm of work can point me in the right direction.” – Renée (Mom of 2)
- “I make a list and do what’s highest priority first and least priority last. I tend to let things that can wait… wait. My sanity is more important. 😉 ” – Laura (Mom of 2)
- “I have to schedule downtime in my calendar, or else all my non-work time will be filled with to do items and I will feel exhausted by bedtime.” – Jennifer B. (Mom of 2)
Time Management for Mom Tip #2 – Separate
- “One thing I have done to try and stop being so hard on myself is to have two lists. My daily list of things that need to get done that day and a second list of things that need to get done but not necessarily that day. I have a small planner broken down into each day on a page with an added section for the second list so it is always in front of me.” – Jenifer (Mom of 2)
- “I have a to-do binder. There are tabs for today’s to-do list (things I would like to finish today). I use a post note on this page to list the things I MUST do. That gets thrown away every day…completed! The benefit to having today’s list remain in the binder is that I can move those things into days as they come…yet I still have a reminder if I do have the time to complete other things.” – Stacey (Mom of 3)
Time Management for Mom Tip #3 – Eliminate
This is my favorite tip. The truth is if your to-do list is overwhelming you, the list is probably the problem.
“I have come to understand that I’m only human and I can only do so much. I have cut back on the “yes” answers I give when asked to do something for someone else. It hurts a little at first, but I soon realize that I am better with less to do.” – Jennifer K. (Mom of 1)
- “My approach, when I hit the point you’re describing, is to take a minimum of three days “off”……anything not absolutely necessary on those days gets ignored (it’s a short enough time period that it can’t usually mess anything important up!). At the end of the three days or so, I usually have a clear answer in my mind about what needs tweaking/dropping/rescheduling to make life more manageable.” – Erin (Mom of 3 kids and 3 large hairy dogs)
- “I notice that if an item remains on my to-do list for a long time that it must not be that important.” Jennifer B. (Mom of 2)
- “I cut down the things on the list to six things. If I put six things on a list it is (usually) achievable…if I have ten or more I am setting myself up for failure and resentment and guilt and feelings of failure. So I choose the six most important tasks I could think of.” – Ruth (Mom of 3 and Grandma of 5)
Time Management for Mom Tip #4 – Delegate
- “Delegate! These are things that get done much more quickly if I do them, but can be delegated to one of my kids – ie, chores, chores for pay, things that need to be taken care of before we can get to their stuff (ie, cleaning our homeschooling space before we can start school work!).” – Tana (Mom of 2)
- Update: I’m going to add a tidbit here. I’ve been working on setting the kids up to handle more responsibility. For instance, they take turns doing the dinner dishes during the week. I can not believe the amount of time and energy that has freed up for me. I try to replace it with fun stuff that fills me up.
Now it’s your turn to talk about time management for Moms.
Share your struggles or your advice. Did any of these resonate with you? Would you add anything? Do you know someone who needs to read this? Pass it on or Pin It for later.
I share my to do list with my kids. They are usually excited to help get things done and cross them off.
Great tips! One I read a while ago that helped me a lot was, (and this only applies to some tasks) instead of putting it down on a to-do list, just do it. Don’t put down “write thank-you note.” Just go and write the note, put a stamp on it, and put it in the mail. Done.
Where did you get that to do planner book in the picture? What is it called?
It’s Sugar Paper from target. Here is a link I found. https://sugarpaper.com/blog/2014/first-look-sugar-paper-target-2015-agendas/
I love mine, it’s the one she calls organizer.
Thank you so much! You are awesome!
I ask myself “what is the worst thing that can happen if i dont do this today”. I have chronic health issues so i can do far less than the average healthy mom. 3 things on my list per day max…..and you know what? It still all works out…for the most part.
Isn’t that amazing? We often do so much more than we need to! I’m going to start using that question. I love it!
First I would like to thank you for creating this, as I visit when I need fresh ideas or just to reaffirm that I’m not alone in what I may be feeling or dealing with at the moment as it always helps to out things in perspective.
The “to do list,” mine is in two forms, one is a day planner as a master source that holds all of my chores (long and short,) term, map out everyone’s schedule, appointments, school breaks, my dailys, etc.. I also use a small note pad for a quick “day of” that I create by choosing from the “master planner” list, such as small chores, errands, fun things I want to do with my boys. I find it helpful to put all the dailys in an order of importance, timing, errands to be run in a geographically sensible order and anthing I do not accomplish will be put back into my planner. However I as many of us do, quite often will feel like I have not accomplished much and that of course comes with a good dose of guilt over feeling like I have not been present enough with my boys. This is really what I wanted to share and it is my husband’s idea. I was having a moment, beating myself up for all I had not done and he stopped me and asked me to make two more lists. I was thinking “are you crazy, can’t you see what I have to do already?!” One of them he wanted to write all that I had done for my boys each day, read, colored, painted, baked and so on. He felt that if I wrote it down I would be able to see what I am actually doing and stop beating myself up for whatever impossible task I had added to my already long list. The other was to list all that I was not going to do that day! Either because it was not important, too much or this one really blew my socks off, let someone else do it! Wow, what a concept, you mean to say I don’t have to finish painting the windows, three bathrooms, the kitchen and all the cabinets or build a fence for my garden, recover the sofa?! I have always loved doing things myself, I am a self proclaimed “McGiver,” and see all of this as a challange but when the things you enjoy doing become a stressor, it is time to step back, take a deep breath and let it go. I still struggle a little with the tall order I give myself but my husband’s lists always help me have a better, more fullfilling day!
I LOVE your husbands idea! What a very smart man you have there. <3