Time can feel like it’s slipping through our fingers, especially when we have kids. Do you feel like you’re always late, always forgetting something, and never have the time to do all the things you need to do? It’s time to do something about it! If you’re trying to find ways to get everything done while caring for your family, these time management tips for moms are for you!
Some of us aren’t naturally gifted with effective time management skills, and that’s okay! The good news is, anyone can learn.
Here are 6 time management tips for moms that will help you manage your time more effectively so you can be happier and more fulfilled.
1. Be Proactive & Get Organized.
Time management is not an overnight miracle. It takes practice and effort to ensure that you aren’t letting your life slip through your fingers. The things we do in our early years influence the way we go through life as adults. By becoming a more proactive and organized mom, you are setting your kids up for a better future.
For example, posting a weekly family chore schedule is a useful tool for busy moms. It’s fantastic for creating routines and structure–for the whole family. Everyone knows what to expect each day. This helps to manage expectations and reduce unnecessary frustrations for everyone.
I like to plan my days the night before after the kids are in bed. This way, there are no interruptions or losing your train of thought. Visualize your day tomorrow from start to finish, make a quick to-do list, and sleep soundly knowing you’ve got a plan of action!
- Set Out Clothes for Tomorrow –for yourself and the kids. Older kids can help by doing this themselves!
- Pack Kids’ Lunches for school the following day. Older kids can help with this, and it’s surprisingly fun teaching them this valuable life skill that will instill confidence and self-esteem in your kiddos!
- Prep Nightly Dinners During Low-Stress Times of Day. Often low-stress times are when the kids are behaving, napping, or someone else can watch them. Learn how to tackle the weekly family meal routine like a pro!
- Wake up Earlier. If you’re up before the kids are, you can review and add to your Daily Goals Tracker, Today’s Priorities List, and Momma’s Daily Planner pages.
- Have Flexible Plans. Sometimes our plans change and that’s okay. It’s a necessary part of life. The key is to have flexible plans that fit your life right now and the things you need to do right now. Schedule things on the weekend or earlier in the week to fit into your daily life.
- Track it all in an Organized Planner for Moms. Get organized, create easy-to-follow family routines and schedules, and take back control of your home life! Interested in taming the chaos with an organized planner? Check out our guide: The Clever Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Getting Organized + Planner Printables.
Organize & Clean your home.
Do you know what is in your kids’ backpacks or rooms? Learn how successful moms organize their kid’s rooms in 4 simple steps. How much trash has your car accumulated in the last few months? Reduce the clutter by organizing your home. Here are some great eco-friendly DIY cleaning recipes to get your started!
2. Prioritize Tasks & Power through the day
Write a Physical To-Do List
Why You Need a “To-Do” List:
“will straight away give you three benefits:
-clarify your priorities,
-track your progress,
-and keep you motivated
… so you don’t scramble through the day.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself! For more great tips, read the full article 14 Powerful Time Management Tips For Moms To Get More Done Today From FunActivitiesatHome here.
Set Goals and Break them Down.
Start with realistic and manageable goals: Start with 7 to 10 goals or tasks for the day. You can always add more later once you’ve checked off your list. The physical act of putting pen to paper is a conscious action that promotes memory and generates commitment to your most important tasks.
Don’t get overwhelmed – don’t try to make more than one list. Avoid placing too many tasks on your to-do list.
I like to use colored pens for mine. For some reason writing in colors improves my memory, and it makes a menial task seem way more fun and enjoyable! Here’s an easy-to-use daily chores checklist I’ve already created for you!
The best way to approach the day is to break it up into chunks, then choose what you absolutely must do. Consider your priorities and try not to overcommit. Being busy can make it harder to prioritize what needs to get done.
Don’t add items just to “feel busy.” Focus on what needs to get done. Set some realistic goals and priorities. For example, is it really worth going to the store when you have a roast in the oven? In the same vein, you can learn these 7 Steps to Successful Meal Planning and stop struggling to get dinner ready every evening.
Prioritize the Most Important Tasks.
Prioritizing requires some simple steps. You need to set priorities based on a few categories—time, urgency, importance, and difficulty—and identify the essential ones. It takes time to assess your daily to-do list, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
These are often the ones you least want to do. Tackle those first thing in the day when your head is clear, and your energy is up. Once you have the big stuff out of the way, it’s much easier to knock out the rest of your list!
Here’s a simple way to categorize your To-Do List:
These are your most important 3-5 tasks for the day.
- Should Do.
This category is for jobs you’ll work on if you have time after completing your must-do items.
- Want To Do.
Things you would like to do if you need a short break from chores or find yourself with extra time because you’ve already finished your first two categories.
- Not Today.
Stuff that needs to get done but can wait for another day, like reorganizing a closet or room. More significant and time-consuming tasks can wait until the weekend or when someone else can help with the kids.
Estimate Task Completion Times and Try to Stick to Them.
If you’ve allotted 30 minutes to clean up the kitchen, try your best to stick to that 30-minute window. Don’t try to multi-task and do other chores, just focus on the task at hand. Once the 30 minutes is up, move on to the next job on your list.
I have a good way to get things done in an “intuitive” way. I start with what I think is most important at that time. If it’s not an emergency, I’ll skip it and move on to the next thing. This time management tip keeps me from feeling overloaded and helps me save a ton of time.
People often procrastinate about the big things, which often become urgent tasks. Plan, prioritize, and track the big tasks to be done to avoid having to do them in a rush.
Set Timers & Reminders.
It’s easy to do this on your phone’s alarm or digital calendar. This keeps you focused, on task, and accountable because you only have a certain time allotment per chore. Timers and reminders are super helpful to pull you out of one duty and move you onto the next so you can get the satisfaction of checking off all of your “Must-Do” items for the day.
3. Supercharge your Motivation.
Now that you’ve planned and prioritized tasks, why not give yourself an extra motivational boost? You’ll genuinely want to follow through with these time management tips for stay-at-home moms.
Below are some great ideas you can incorporate into your daily morning routine while you have your coffee and get pumped up for a successful and productive day:
Read Daily Motivational Quotes
Struggling to stay motivated? Want to feel motivated again? Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to read some inspirational quotes.
Chelsea from Life With My Littles has some great morning Motivational Quotes for Moms for those days when:
“You just want to lay in bed even though your kids are shouting “MOM!” over and over in the morning.”
They’re totally relatable and perfect for any day of the week when you need a good mood boost.
Listen to Music, Podcasts, or Audible Books
Positive Psychology has “7 Podcasts Focused on Gratitude” that I listen to for an extra positivity boost.
Start a Morning Gratitude Circle with the Kids.
After breakfast is an excellent time to sit down with your kids because they’re fueled for the day and usually the most focused. Add a gratitude circle into your daily morning routine before the kids leave for school.
Teaching kids gratitude is a great skill that will help them focus on the positive, overcome complicated feelings and situations, and boost their overall happiness. This can be a quick 15 – 30 minute morning practice to start the day off right with some quality time.
How To Start a Morning Gratitude Circle:
Sitting in a circle (on the floor or at a table) with your kids, ask them if they know what gratitude means and listen to their answers. If they’re not sure, provide a simple one-sentence explanation of gratitude like, “Gratitude means feeling thankful for a person, place, thing, or a feeling.”
Begin with a gratitude statement of your own, “Mommy feels grateful for this funny, beautiful, amazing family!” Then go around the circle, asking each kid individually, “What is something you feel grateful for today?”
Here are some helpful gratitude prompts:
“I am grateful for my family because…”
“Something good happened this week…”
“I am grateful for my friendship with… because…”
“I am grateful for who I am because…”
“Something silly that I am grateful for…”
“Something else I am grateful for…”
—13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises & Activities, Positive Psychology
For more fantastic gratitude ideas, exercises, and printables for adults and children head over to Positive Psychology.
Start and end each day with a system of giving yourself a purpose, which will give you the drive and energy to get through the rest of the day.
“Mothers encounter many different worthy requests for their time and attention, that saying no will often disappoint someone. However, what we don’t always realize is that when we say ‘yes’ too much, people also get disappointed because we can’t do our best when we’re spread too thin.”
4. Stop wasting time on things that don’t bring you joy.
You know you need to start your daily routine, and think to yourself, “Maybe I’ll just sit on the couch for 15 minutes and check Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest.”
Before you know it, 15 minutes has turned into 30 minutes or an hour, and you’ve gotten side-tracked and lost valuable productive time. We’ve all done it (I’m guilty, too!).
Time is limited and we need to maximize the time we have for what matters most. Don’t waste it with last-minute, forget-about-it tasks and diversions.
Here’s how to avoid costly distractions & time-wasters:
Put Down Your Devices.
Keep the computer or TV turned off, or try listening to the radio instead of the TV or chatting with friends on Facebook. You want to be focused on achieving your goals, so choose the path that will get you there.
It’s okay to have your phone nearby so you can hear timers, reminders, or important phone calls. Reminders aside, don’t pick up your phone unless you have to say, google something relevant to your current task.
I know it’s hard. But trust me, you’ll accomplish so much more in a day without being glued to your devices.
Limit Social Media Time.
Only hop on social media when the kids are napping or after they’re in bed at night. Give yourself 15 to 30 minutes, and set a timer to pull yourself out of whatever rabbit hole you may find yourself in. Focus the bulk of your attention on your kids while they’re awake.
Time goes fast, and you don’t want to miss out on those precious moments! You can’t get them back.
Learn When to Say “No.”
Stop people-pleasing. Your goals are significant and achievable. Your time is valuable.
Put your scheduled tasks first, and help out others if you have time leftover. If you’re a stay-at-home mom treat your schedule the same way you would a regular day job. If you wouldn’t stop working in the middle of a workday to prioritize someone else’s requests, you shouldn’t do it at home either! Just because you stay at home doesn’t mean you have endless free time.
5. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
How do you get things done when you have a million (or more) to-do’s, you’re only one person, and you have kids and a household to care for? Involve your family.
I know, it sounds a little too simple and it’s not always so easy. However, we’ve found that delegating tasks to our children has brought a lot of productivity back into our lives. Another benefit is that our children will become self-sufficient adults with the ability to motivate themselves.
My kids do their fair share of chores around the house. School-age kids can help feed dogs, give them water, pick up their rooms, sweep, mop, and vacuum. Toddlers can play “clean-up” after dinner before bedtime.
Are you tired of constantly nagging your kids to do their chores? I used to be too! That’s why I created this system. The Complete Chore Reward System is the most effective chore chart system I’ve ever used. It’s a simple point system that my kids love and it makes them WANT to do chores!
The chore reward system is a super simple way for kids to earn points toward a reward. Your kids will get excited about doing chores because they want to earn more points! They can redeem their points for rewards like new toys, games, and even earn bonus points for bigger rewards!
Just print out the chore chart, choose your rewards, and pick some age-appropriate chores from the list! It’s that easy! Learn how you can use this proven system to help your kids want to do their chores!
Ask For Help (and accept help when it is offered).
I know some of us want to be supermoms and get it all done by ourselves, but having support allows you more free time for yourself and quality time with your kids and spouse. It’s okay to need help; after all, it takes a village!
6. Accept Imperfection.
Accepting imperfection is especially hard if you’re a perfectionist or Type-A Momma. I know I am; I often refer to myself as a “recovering perfectionist.”
However, if my house is clean enough on any given day that I could do a quick 30 minute tidy because someone decides to drop in for an unexpected visit, I’ve learned to be satisfied my home is “clean enough.” It might not be spotless, but it’s functional and tidy.
No one is perfect. It’s all about embracing the mess and the imperfections because they are just part of life. Not everything you do will be perfect and that’s okay. Learn from your challenges and keep going.
Make Time for Yourself and Take Breaks.
Most moms are often juggling multiple obligations, and their schedules can become a mess with appointments and commitments constantly floating in and out of their heads. All that juggling can be overwhelming, and it takes a toll on a relationship as well.
One of the biggest barriers to managing a family and home well is not properly delegating responsibilities. “Who do you need to prioritize in your family to make everything happen?” If you answered, “Me,” do not worry!
I’m here to tell you that just because you may be the primary caregiver does not mean you have to do it all yourself. Instead, remember to delegate tasks to other family members, and save even more time for yourself.
Moms often put themselves last and neglect self-care. But that’s a huge mistake! The best thing you can do is carve out some time for yourself. Here are 5 ideas for moms to have a break, as a couple, with girlfriends, or solo.
Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. Take regular breaks to keep your energy up, get fresh air and get away from distractions and your to-do list for a while. Allow yourself to recharge your batteries. Your sanity and health will thank you!
Use Your Time Wisely
Moms, your ability to manage your time wisely is key to you and your family’s happiness. Ready to take back the reins of your life? Great. You can do it!
The one thing that separates successful moms from the rest of us? Effective time management skills.
Managing your time as a busy mom is totally doable! It takes time and practice, but it’s worth the work. Take control of your day with these simple time management tips for moms.
You’ll become organized by planning ahead, setting goals, and efficiently prioritizing tasks on your to-do list. You’ll also be mindful of increasing your motivation levels, stop wasting time, and be able to claim some well-deserved “me-time” by taking breaks and delegating tasks to others.
Be kind to yourself, and remember you’ve got many roles to juggle as a busy mom. I’m sure you are doing the best you can. If no one else has told you this today, you’re doing a great job, momma!
I hope these tips help you transform from feeling like a “hot-mess” momma to feeling like an organized momma. If you found this article helpful, please share these 6 effective time management tips for moms and don’t forget to follow us on facebook and pinterest!