Ah, that elusive “me time”.
Once you become a mom, especially when you
Now that you’re responsible for a tiny human being who puts your schedule and sleep at their mercy, how do you even manage to get things done?
Breathe, mama! In this post, I’ll help you manage your time so you can at least enjoy that coffee and then some.
Who knows? You might even discover some strategies here that will allow you to work on your passion projects, minus the mom guilt. 😉
1. Have a to-do list
Having a to-do list is like having a map. Have you ever experienced a time when you sit down in front of your computer to work but end up not knowing what to do? When this happens, chances are high that you’ll get sucked into emails, social media, and random funny videos on the internet.
This tends to happen a lot more when you don’t have a to-do list.
Having one stops you from getting lost. Because it shows you exactly what you need to do. A to-do list also helps you avoid procrastination because it gives you a sense of
So, start making one. And when you already have one, focus only on the items on that list. Don’t start a task that isn’t listed unless it’s urgent.
Also, keep in mind that what you write down on your list should be in line with your goals. There’s no point in working on tasks every day that doesn’t move the needle for your goals
2. Forget about your phone (even for just a few hours)
This is becoming more and more challenging because we’re getting addicted to our mobile phones.
Try to not use your phone whenever you’re working. This way you have your full focus.
If you switch to using your phone, what you’re doing is multi-tasking. And when you get back to your work, it takes mental energy to go back into that zone of focus.
Don’t waste that mental energy. Forget about your phone even for a few hours and you’ll be amazed by how productive you’ll be.
3. Be in the moment
Work when you work, play when you play.
Those were the words written in a mug that I used to have when I was a kid. It had a picture of a teddy bear pushing a wheelbarrow. It looked cute that I always wanted to use it. And I’ve memorized those words since then.
I didn’t think about it that much. Not until later in life when I realized the lesson it has.
It’s easy to get sidetracked and distracted. But always remember that you have a choice about the things you want to focus on.
Be in the moment. Focus on whatever you’re currently doing.
This is hard for us moms. Especially when you have small kids. You’re in demand 24 hours.
You’re working and you’re in your zone of focus and suddenly you’re two-year-old nags you to play!
In times like this, I try my best to prioritize my kid. Emphasis on the word try. I’d be the first to admit that I’m not perfect and sometimes ignore him. I’m a work in progress and I try to be there for him as much as I can. After all, he’s the reason I work at home.
4. Take advantage of your child’s natural rhythm
Your child has a natural rhythm. There is a time when they need to sleep, eat, and play. Observe and make a record of the times of the day they’re active, hungry, sleepy, or attentive.
This way you can schedule your work around it. For example, I schedule my writing time during nap times and I almost always know what time that is going to happen.
I also know what time he sleeps or wakes up and try to work a bit during those times.
I also know which books or toys to prepare during his active or attentive times.
5. Use the Pomodoro technique
Pomodoro technique is when you work on bursts.
Get a timer or download a Pomodoro app. Work for 30 minutes on a single task, rest for 10 minutes and go back to work for 30 minutes.
This works because you’re giving yourself a few minutes of break and enough time to focus on your task. Because you only have 30 minutes to work for each cycle, you’re encouraged not to waste those precious minutes.
This is important and most moms are guilty of trying to do everything.
Ask for help, mama! It’s okay!
Ask help from your husband, your bigger kids, your parents, or maybe you can also hire somebody.
Sometimes I ask my nephew to play with my son for a few minutes so that I can take a quick shower.
Sometimes I ask my mom to look after my son so I can finish my work.
Sometimes I hire a VA to do some tasks for me.
You can hire a house cleaner or babysitter to free up some of your time.
If you have an online business or blog, hire a virtual assistant. General admin tasks, email, or social media are just a few of the tasks a VA can do for you.
You don’t need to do everything. You’re not a bad mom just because you delegate some of your tasks. Don’t feel guilty if you have a nanny or babysitter so that you can focus on your work.
You’re not less of a mother just because you hire someone to cook. Or clean the house.
Let me repeat that. You’re not less of a mother, just because you ask for help.
Over to You
What time management techniques can you share with other moms? Do you have a secret technique in getting the kids getting the kids to settle down so you can work in peace? Share in the comments!