Being a mom is a full-time job, but many moms also have to balance a career or other responsibilities outside of the home. Finding a balance between work and family life is challenging, but it’s essential for the well-being of yourself and your family. I am sharing these useful time management tips to help you find the balance you need to thrive in both areas.
Before we dive into these tips, it is essential to understand what time management is and its goal. Time management is about more than maximizing the number of completed daily tasks. Instead, time management means focusing on the most important things to you. For example, if you achieve a healthy work-life balance, you can be more productive at work and have more time to spend with your family.
Mom guilt comes from thoughts and feelings that you are not doing enough as a mom or not a good enough mom. Being a working mom is challenging, and you are doing your best. You can’t be everything to everyone, and no one should expect that, including you.
Read my article, 25 Ways To Stop Mom Guilt Immediately to learn how to remove the mom guilt that comes with our parenting choices, circumstances, and thoughts about self-care.
Motherhood is about managing the lives of the family. So between scheduling haircuts, organizing appointments, meal-planning, sports activities, work deadlines, and marriage, you may forget something. Motherhood isn’t about perfection. Instead, the goal is to raise emotionally healthy children who can live and love well in an imperfect world.
Read my article, 10 Myths of Being a Good Mom and How to Overcome Them to discover the truth about good moms and put these myths to rest.
It’s important to remember that you are only human and can only do so much. Setting realistic expectations for yourself and your family can help alleviate some of the pressure and stress of balancing work and home life. It’s easy to feel like you have to do it all, but the truth is that no one can do everything. Be honest with yourself about what you can accomplish in a day or week, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. Remember, it’s not about doing everything perfectly but finding a balance that works for you and your family.
A working mom must prioritize her time and tasks to balance work and family. Make a list of your daily and weekly tasks, and put them in order of importance. Focus on completing the most important tasks first, and don’t hesitate to delegate, as this will free up more time to spend with your family. Consider creating a “5 before 11” list. Most people are the most productive in the morning, so this practice encourages you to complete your top 5 tasks before 11 am. According to Allyson Lewis, Founder of The 7 Minute Life, by completing your 5 before 11, “you will have a blissfully peaceful sense of accomplishment, knowing you have done what is meaningful to you.”
Remember, saying no to things that don’t align with your priorities is okay. You can achieve greater balance and control as a working mom by prioritizing your time and tasks.
Creating boundaries in your work and home life is a great way to help achieve balance. When leaving work, keep yourself from getting pulled into tasks that can wait until tomorrow. Similarly, in your home life, set limits on how much you’re willing to give of yourself. Remember you still have other tasks and commitments to take care of, so make sure to factor this into your day and plan accordingly.
Read my article, 10 Steps for Moms to Set Boundaries in Relationships to learn what boundaries are, why they’re important, and how to implement them.
Balancing the demands of work and family is challenging. So, communication is key for working moms to achieve a healthy balance. Start by talking to your employer about your needs and limitations as a parent. Ask if flexible work arrangements can be made, like working from home or adjusting your working hours to help manage your time and responsibilities better. Communicating with your family about your work schedule and commitments is also essential. Let them know when you’ll be working and when you’ll be available to spend time with them. Involve them in decision-making, such as planning family vacations or scheduling appointments. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can reduce stress and ensure everyone is on the same page.
As a working mom, trying to do everything yourself can be tempting. Delegating tasks can also help you avoid burnout and maintain your mental health. For example, consider hiring a housecleaner to handle household chores. This will free up your time to focus on work or spend quality time with your family. Stop feeling guilty about passing off responsibilities; consider it an investment in your productivity and well-being. Plus, it can be a great way to support other small businesses or freelancers in your community. Delegating tasks and asking for help can make all the difference in achieving a healthy work-life balance.
You are not obligated to say yes to every party invitation, school fundraiser, or other extracurricular activity if it causes more stress. Choose activities you and your family will enjoy the most, and don’t feel bad about saying no to the rest. Overbooking and overcommitting yourself and your family will decrease joy and increase stress. It is better to say yes to less.
You are not a machine. You need moments of rest and moments of fun to be at your most productive. So, do what you can to take care of yourself. Some helpful ways include ensuring you get eight hours of sleep, not working through your lunch, and spending time with friends. Working moms often get so wrapped up in caring for everyone else, they forget about their self-care. Prioritizing self-care will make you more productive and effective when you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
Read my article, Self-Care Is Never Selfish: How to Lose the Guilt of Self-Care to learn the importance of self-care and how neglecting self-care is a warning sign you are overworked.
Your spouse is the first to get neglected when life gets busy with work and kids. Find a reliable babysitter and go out on regular date nights to reconnect with your spouse. Have an honest conversation with your spouse that doesn’t involve work or kids.
Listen to my interview with Gary Thomas on How To Strengthen Your Marriage to learn practical ways couples can improve their marriage.
To maintain your work-life balance, set aside those precious moments for activities with the kids. Planning simple things like a walk in the park, baking cookies, or even playing games together can be incredibly rewarding. Quality and quantity don’t mean the same thing. It’s vital to recognize that this quality time is most valuable in preserving your family relationships and well-being.
Multitasking reduces efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Splitting your attention between multiple tasks will make you more prone to mistakes and less likely to retain knowledge. Also, finishing one task will take much longer if you constantly jump back and forth between different things. The bottom line is that multitasking prevents you from bringing your best self forward.
Are you thinking that you have been multitasking for so long, how will you be able to stop? Don’t worry; I have some techniques to help you stay focused.
Limit Your Distractions: You can reduce distractions by turning off phone notifications, closing your office door, and closing non-essential apps or programs on your computer.
Train Your Focus Muscle: Just like how you exercise to train your physical muscles, you can prepare and strengthen your ability to stay focused. Set a timer and start with 10 minutes of distraction-free time where you focus on just one task. As this becomes easier, you gradually build your focus muscle for 60 minutes and more.
Take Small Breaks in Between Single Tasks: Going for a short walk, getting up from your desk, and doing a few stretches or listening to your favorite song are some ideas of how you can decompress before starting your next task.
When you are at home, you feel like you should be at work and vice versa. A Harvard study found that test subjects, 47% of the time, were not fully engaged or fully present with what was right in front of them. The study determined that not being present in the moment was the cause of test subjects who reported unhappiness, not the consequence.
Allow yourself to be present in the moment. By being fully engaged in what you are doing, you will be more productive and increase your joy.
Balancing life as a working mom is possible by saying goodbye to mom guilt, setting realistic expectations, communicating, delegating, and being present in the moment. Remember that work-life balance is an ongoing process. You will have to adjust as you move forwards. But one thing will always remain the same-you are creating a life balance that works for you and your family.
Maybe time management isn’t your superpower, but you FOR SURE have one! Take this 2-minute free quiz to find out your secret superpower.
And remember: You’re doing great!