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Kids, spouse, cleaning, working, dinner, exercising, showering…Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Emails. It’s hard to juggle everything. I was failing at time management as a stay at home mom!
Some people think stay at home moms have all the time in the world. Unfortunately, this is not the case and we know it, even if our kids go to school! By the end of this article, you will know ways to save time so you can have more time for the things that matter most in your life.
I’ve wasted time…so much time!
I’m working hard trying to build up my blog and doing my extra cash side jobs, that I’ve neglected time with my kids and spouse. I’ve decided to eliminate my time wasters and better schedule my time to make more time for what really matters in my life.
What are these time wasters in my life? Social Media!
The average person spends 2 hours on social media every day! Let’s let that sink in…2 HOURS! I always thought to myself whenever I heard those statistics, “That’s crazy but that’s not me!”
Reality check! That was me! That IS me, but I’m working on that! I’m part of those “average people”! Of course, not all that time is done in one sitting. I’m not a Twitter user or Snapchat user, but the others, I’m guilty of checking way too many times.
I’m not a Twitter user or Snapchat user, but the others, I’m guilty of checking way too many times.
Many times, I’ve caught myself opening the Facebook app on my phone just because, even though I had no reason really to be going on Facebook.
I came to a realization that I use my phone way too much when our 10-month old identifies my phone and knows that it belongs to me! It’s disgusting just thinking that my daughter thinks the phone has to be in my hands. I’m ashamed of my own admission.
So I spent all this time on social media, and yet felt stressed trying to fit in all the kid activities, work, cooking, cleaning, and self-care into my schedule.
What was sacrificed because of everything I felt I had to do?
My weekends were my “catch up” time to work on my blog or finish up some work. The blog work and my online work are both things that are difficult to concentrate on while caring for my kids, so I left it for nights and weekends after the kids were in bed or my husband was home to watch them.
I told my husband more than once when he asked what we were going to do that weekend that I needed to work on my blog so I’m not going to do anything. We were lucky to have some nice weather come and I skipped going to the park with my kids and husband, to get the quiet time to get some things done.
I was left with so much mom guilt because of these sacrifices.
Because of needing to do work after the kids were in bed, I didn’t spend quality time with my husband. Sure, we were spending time in the same room, but both of us were caught up in our own “to do” list.
Or we were both spending our kid-free time with our phones in our hands and our faces glued to the screens.
We weren’t spending that time communicating with each other, besides the surface talks about our day and what we were doing. Pretty superficial.
I was left with spousal guilt because of my to-do list.
I have sacrificed myself because of everything on my list. Exercising took a back seat. I never felt like I relaxed. My sleep suffered because of worrying about what I still needed to do. I took a shower and threw my hair in a ponytail. No reason to style it because I wasn’t going anywhere other than the grocery store, so why bother?
My time management failed. It’s embarrassing to admit, but those are the three things that I sacrificed because of all the “things” I needed to get done on my to-do list.
The house was still clean. Dinner was always on the table. My work still got done. But the most important “things”, PEOPLE, on my list, were sacrificed! Why would I do this?
Time to improve the time management skills
Simple ways to manage time:
Delete the social media apps off your phone!
You don’t need the temptation of Facebook on your phone. I was opening it for no reason at all. I’ve kept my account, but I use it on my computer, not on my phone anymore. Another suggestion is to weed through old “friends”. Do you really need to read up on the person you talked to in college 5 times and is friends of a friend? I didn’t delete Pinterest because it’s basically my recipe book and makes it handy to pull a recipe up on my phone in the kitchen!
Set up a schedule.
Find a schedule that works best for you and your family. It works best for me to do my work while my husband has his school work that he has to do. I make sure I schedule my “blogging time” during that time, and also, I allow an hour after he gets home for me to finish up some work.
Things will come up so you won’t be able to stick with your schedule all the time. Try to stick with it as most you can, but don’t feel like it HAS to get done. Prioritize your schedule. Are you getting company tomorrow and the house is a mess? Do you have a deadline you have to meet for work? Is it really nice out today but will be raining tomorrow? Switch around your schedule to match up best for your environment.
Complete tasks during small increments of time. I complete work while my kids eat or sleep. I know I only have a certain amount of time available, so I get as much as I can get done at that time. This is usually the time I get the most done because I know I only have a certain amount of time so I prioritize and get things done.
Designate time to check my email.
Check your email during certain times, rather than every hour throughout the day. It may only take a few minutes to go through your email, but that time adds up. Instead of checking my email because I am bored and figured it’s been 10 minutes, I check my mail 3 times a day; morning, afternoon, and evening. I haven’t missed an important email yet!
Plan the big things for when you have more time available.
I still need to do work on weekends in order to get things done, but I leave the big things (writing posts) when I have a large amount of time to complete each task.
Turn off all notifications on your phone.
I have so many apps that send notifications and news stories that catch my interest. Instead of having these pop up on my phone screen, I turn them off so I’m not tempted to check the story “real quick” instead of focusing on my kids at that time. Or those little numbers! Those little numbers in the corner of my apps tend to bug me for some reason. Turn these off so you’re not tempted to make them disappear.
Make a to-do list and prioritize.
I keep a daily list of what needs to get done on an Excel spreadsheet (there’s a lot as a blogger) so I don’t have to rack my brain trying to remember everything that needs to get done. Not only do I have a daily schedule, but weekly and monthly schedules too!
Most importantly of all…TAKE A BREAK!
You might think this is counterproductive, but actually, it can be one of the most productive pieces of advice!
It’s easy to get caught up in things that waste time. I’m guilty of getting caught up in the extras and not concentrating on what matters. Cutting out the extras and building a schedule for yourself, alleviates the stress from managing the commitments in your life. The simple ways of cutting out the time wasters in my day have helped me become more productive throughout my days.
Are there any time management tools that have worked best for you? Share them in the comments! I could always use more!