My life is a full-time juggling act. I’m so busy, almost all the time. Aside from being a mom, I’m working a full-time job as a Digital Marketing Specialist in downtown Toronto, and I’m running my blog all by myself.
It is safe to say I have a limited amount of free time to myself. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to manage my time efficiently so I can fit more into my day.
Being active and busy is a part of who I am, and I wouldn’t want to change that for the world. I just wish from time to time that there were more than twenty-four hours in a day. It’s hard to find time as a parent. When you want to spend your time with your LO, give your child the attention he or she needs and just be there for them. I’m not going to suggest any ideas that would affect your precious time with your child. My post will be all about new tactics that will help to improve your time management.
Whether you are a mom with a career who wants to work on a side project, a stay-at-home mom who wants to establish a business or any parent who wants to get more stuff done, you need to manage your time more efficiently. As a parent, you have so many things to do and such little free time that you have to be very creative with your time management.
There are a few tactics that have helped me with my time management. I want to share a few of my ideas and tips that might help you as well.
Busy Mom: How can I get more work done?
1. Learn to give up
You have to accept that you can’t do everything you want. There are some activities and tasks you have to eliminate from your schedule.
So my first tip is: when you want to be more productive, think first about the things that you can give up. Look at the things that consume the most of your time.
The obvious thing to cut will be television time. If you watch TV for one hour a day (and by TV, I’m including Youtube or any online videos as well), that adds up to 7 hours a week, almost a full working day.
Think about all the things you can do with an extra 7 hours every week!
Giving up on TV saved me tons of time every week. I usually watch TV for about two hours a week. I’m not following any TV show and not watching a marathon of episodes.
Another thing that you can save time by giving up on is social media. Many people, including myself, are addicted to social media. It means that we can spend hours just browsing Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. People spend so much time reading posts, checking photos, and answering questions in our favorite Facebook groups. Sound familiar?
Set yourself a time limit for social media every day. Deleting social media apps from your mobile device might be helpful as the notifications are there to push your attention back to your social media feed. I work in Digital Marketing, so trust me, these feeds are designed to be addicting.
2. Use your kids’ screen time wisely.
I’m a real advocate for limiting screen time for kids. My LO doesn’t use my mobile device, tablet or laptop. She watches TV a few hours a week and only during the weekends. When your kids do watch TV, this is your time to work on your tasks, and this should be your most efficient time at home.
Try not to waste this “Quiet time” on doing anything else you would be able to do with your kids. Do the same with your LO’s nap time. When they nap at home during the weekend, this is your time to work.
3. Nap time= Mommy’s most efficient time
If you are on your maternity leave and your baby is still a few months old, I would advise you to go to sleep when your baby is sleeping.
However, if you are a busy mom and your baby is a little bit older, you can use your LO’s nap time to finish your tasks or work on your projects. When my LO is napping at home on the weekend, this is my most efficient time to work on my projects. In order to work while my LO is sleeping, I try to finish all house chores while she is around and get her involved in the tasks that I’m doing.
4. Turn wasting time to productive time
Think about times when you can do other tasks on the go. While multi-tasking has been proven to not be the most efficient when you need to focus, it works perfectly when you’ve got time where you’re waiting or commuting. Any commuting time by public transit could be your perfect opportunity to work, finish tasks, learn, or read. Turn any waiting time, like waiting for your kid outside his afternoon program or while he or she is attending a friend’s birthday party, into working time. All you need is your laptop or even your notebook.
I commute every day from North York to downtown Toronto and this time is my most efficient time of the day. I write my blog posts on my laptop or my tablet if I have a seat. If I don’t, I listen to a podcast, read a book, or work on my to-do list on my mobile phone. From the dull commuting time, I created my most efficient time of the day. I’m writing this specific blog post while taking the subway back home.
If you’re someone who gets motion sickness or you can’t focus during your commute then use this time to plan out your day or brainstorm your projects.
A quick word about podcasts
A good podcast can teach you new things, educate, entertain and keep you up to speed with the news and professional updates in your chosen field. The great thing about podcasts is that once you have the episode on your device, you can listen while you don’t have a connection. So it’s great if you are commuting on the subway, or if you exercise underground.
For me, podcasts are my way of staying updated about the news and keeping myself up to date with the digital marketing industry.
A few more tips for time management:
- Try to finish tasks from your to-do list in advance so that you won’t be stuck with lots of last minute tasks.
- Shop online to save yourself precious time. Gifts, toys, clothes, and so much more can be ordered online and save you the time and effort of finding items in stores.
- Manage a calendar with all of your meeting and family events. Add time slots dedicated to working to your schedule.
- If it is difficult for you to work from home, take your laptop and go to work at a local coffee house or library. You will be way more productive without the distractions of the house and kids.
Feel free to comment below if you have any questions or feedback.
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