Time management isn’t complicated for many people. But for moms, it takes thought and planning.
That’s because once you become a mom, something shifts inside you, and you start thinking for two: once for you, and once for your child.
As a mom of 4 and a business owner, I’ve had to come up with two important ways to manage my time. Now that I’ve been practicing both these methods for years, I wonder how I ever managed without them.
I can’t say it enough. Prioritize. This is my #1, most important “secret” (that is not a secret at all).
Sit down when you have a few minutes of alone time, and think about what is most important to you. Just brainstorm, and list up to 10 things that really matter to you.
Now, I know it’s hard, but pick the 3 most important things out of those 10.
Those are your highest priorities. Write them down on a post-it and put it in your day planner, on your bulletin board, on your bathroom mirror. Write them in the “Notes” section of your phone.
And whenever you have a decision to make that involves the allocation of any of your precious time, ask yourself if that particular commitment is aligned with your top 3 priorities. If it isn’t, say No.
- The No Way List
I’ve had to learn over the years that there are certain activities that are not a good use of my time.
Chairing a PTA committee comes to mind. That job was not aligned with my priorities or my skillset, which didn’t benefit anyone involved.
Think about activities you have gotten involved in that aren’t a good use of your time. Things you don’t enjoy doing…that don’t benefit you or your family…that don’t make you feel good.
Make a list of those activities and write one word at the top of the list: No.
Now, we all have things we don’t want to do, but have to do in order to fulfill our responsibilities. (If doing your job is on your No list, it’s probably time to ask yourself if this is really the right job for you…but that’s a different blog post.)
The No list isn’t about avoiding your responsibilities. The No list is about only choosing to participate in activities that are aligned with who you are, what you want, and how you want to feel.
Once you have thought through both your priorities and your No list, you will be completely clear on when to say “Yes” and when to say “No.” Everything will flow from these two lists.
What are your priorities? What’s on your No list? Please share in the comments below.