Are you always busy yet never seem to move your business forward? You'll want to read these time management tips for work-at-home moms.
Being a mom means juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities every single day. And if you work from home in addition to taking care of your family and your home, good time management skills are essential to being productive. If you don’t spend your time wisely, you probably aren’t getting as much done as you would like. Read on for several time management tips for work at home moms.
Time Management Tips for Work at Home Moms
- Do a Brain Dump Often
- Make a Plan
- Prioritize Your Tasks
- Create a Schedule
- Work When You Are Most Productive
- Work With a Timer
- Eliminate Time Wasters
- Get Help When You Need It
- Don’t Forget Yourself
Do a Brain Dump Often
Have you ever been trying to work, but you can’t stay focused on one task because you keep thinking about all the other things you need to do? Or even worse, you decide to actually do some of those things rather than finishing the task you started.
That’s when a brain dump can help. A couple of times a week, sit down with a pen and piece of paper and write out everything you need to do. Get it out of your head so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.
That clears space in your brain so that you can focus on your task.
Journaling is also a good way to release your thoughts and feelings that are jumbling up your brain.
Make a Plan
I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted by not having a clear plan. Instead of spending my limited amount of work time doing something that will move my business forward, I fumbled around not sure of what to work on. And nothing got accomplished.
Now, I try to start my week off with a plan of the things I want to complete. When I sit down at my desk, I know I’m going to be working on one of the things that’s on my list.
Prioritize Your Tasks
As I’m making the plan, I prioritize the tasks. Do any of them have hard deadlines? If so, they go to the top of the list.
The next most important priority are activities that will move my business forward and increase my income. Often, these are part of larger projects. We have to make sure that they are prioritized. Otherwise, we spend all of our time taking care of small tasks instead of those that will truly improve our businesses.
Create a Schedule
You don’t need a super strict schedule, but knowing when your pockets of work time are can help you be more productive.
Start by list things you know need to happen including meals, errands, nap time, school drop off and pick up, and bedtime. Fill in times to work around these tasks.
This is really helpful as you’re planning those larger projects. If you know that on Wednesday, your partner will have school drop off and pick up duty and you have no errands to run that day, you can plan work that will take longer to complete.
On the other hand, if you know your day will be especially busy, plan to do tasks that can be completed quickly. When you have that 15 minute gap, do a couple of those.
Work When You Are Most Productive
As much as I would love to be a morning person, I’m just not. So trying to get up early to work for a couple of hours before my sons get up isn’t realistic for me. I’ve tried and just can’t get much accomplished then.
I am much more productive working in the evening while the boys are doing homework or after they go to bed.
Figure out when your productive times are and use them to your advantage. This ensures you are making the most of the time you allow for working.
Work With a Timer
Create time blocks of 15 to 30-minute increments for work using the Pomodoro Method. Set your timer and challenge yourself to complete all or part of a task before the timer goes off.
After the timer goes off, give yourself 5 minutes to get up, stretch, or get a drink or snack.
Working in these short stretches trains you to get more done in the same time than if you just sat down with no time limits to work. If these periods of time are too short, lengthen them to suit your work style. Everyone’s productivity style is different.
Eliminate Time Wasters
Ever opened up Facebook for “just 5 minutes” and 2 hours later you realize you’re still mindlessly scrolling your news feed? Yep, been there done that.
There’s a time to enjoy social media, but it’s not during your work time. Stay focused by closing those browser tabs and putting your phone across the room.
If you do want to spend a little time on Insta or Twitter, give yourself permission to do so with a limit. Set your timer for 15 or 20 minutes, and get back to work when the time goes off.
I like to check social media during those times when I can’t do anything else like sitting in the car rider line at school or waiting my turn in the grocery checkout line.
Get Help When You Need It
Regardless of how well you manage your time, you may not be able to get to where you need to be. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when this happens.
Delegate household chores to your partner and older children to free up time in your schedule. They can also help with some of your business tasks.
I have a cute story about this. When my younger son was still in elementary school, I had him work on a project where he was copying something and putting it into a spreadsheet. I showed him how you could hold down the control key and press C to copy or V to paste. I walked by a bit later and heard him repeating “Carl C. Carl V.” It took me a minute to figure out that the control key is labeled “Ctrl” which does look a lot like Carl! 😉
Ask another mom to swap off babysitting—you watch her kids for a few hours one day a week, and she watches yours another day.
A high school or college student might be willing to help you with business tasks.
Don’t Forget Yourself
It can be easy to look at your schedule and think about everything you need to do for your family members. But don’t forget to include yourself when thinking about all the people that need to be taken care of. You can’t manage your time efficiently if you are constantly running on empty.
Taking the time to care for ourselves is just as important when we work from home. Schedule in some self-care time, whether it be a bubble bath, 15 minutes of sitting outside enjoying a cup of coffee each morning, or reading for 20 minutes each night. Along with this, make sure you’re happy and healthy! Sit down and eat when your family does, take rests as needed and days off where appropriate. Recharge your batteries so that you can continue managing your family, home, and business.
Using these time management tips for work at home moms isn’t difficult once you have a solid schedule in place. It just takes a bit of practice, patience, and diligence! If you have a great way you manage your time or make your days more productive, please share it below!