Many of you have asked me for advice regarding work/life balance and time management tips for moms this year. Since I have some extra bandwidth now that “my guys” are back in school for the next 10 months, I’ll be sharing time (really self!) management tips for moms on Tuesdays. For this initial post, I’m going to give you a peek at how I approach time management with a priority based focus. There is no “one size fits all” method because we all have different life priorities. There are two “P” words that you will have to take the time to figure out though – priorities and a plan. Below are snippets from a time management email coaching session that I did with a young lady who was overwhelmed with her life.
1. Figure out your priorities*: I can’t do that for anyone but myself. For me, my priorities are God, my personal health, my family and then everyone and everything else in diminishing order. For instance, I have friends who must workout or have artistic, creative outlets simply because that’s the way that they are wired. If they go without those things for extended periods of time they will be miserable. (For me, that *thing* – which I include in personal health – is mental stimulation. If I’m not constantly growing, learning and applying new concepts or ideas, then I’m pretty miserable.)
What are your priorities – not what society tells you but your personal gut-level honest ones?
2. Come up with a plan: After writing out all of the things that are important to you, come up with what your “ideal” week would look like. (It takes vision/imagination to create a life that you enjoy. You have choices in this life. What do you want???)
Then, take a look at what your current week looks like. Compare the two. Once you have done that, consider the following regarding the way that you currently spend your week:
-What can I dump (not do)?
-What can I delegate to someone else?
-What do I absolutely need to do myself?
(Another good question to ask is “What items can I bunch together/do at the same time?”)
*Please note that priority doesn’t necessarily mean who or what gets the most time. Rather, it’s a mindset. When you’re thinking of your days, weeks, etc., it’s the order of consideration. As moms, we are our kids’ best examples. If we want our kids to have lives filled with joy and love, then we need to model that. This is why it is SO important for us to examine our lives and schedules on a regular basis to make sure that we are living in alignment with our personal priorities.
I hope that this general framework helps. If you want more help with your schedule, definitely let me know. I will be answering questions online each Tuesday. To have your question answered, please fill out this super short questionnaire.
I’m excited to see how we all continue to learn how to take (not make – we’re not time benders!) time to enjoy our lives with those whom we love doing the things that we love as much as possible!