Children are one of the greatest joys to their parents however, taking care of them is one of the greatest challenges parents face. In all the challenges of bringing up a child, time management is one great task parents face. Be it a stay-at-home mum or a working class parent, time scheduling is not an easy task and one that you can’t take short cuts. For those mums like myself that are working, managing home responsibilities and taking on professional tasks is just like having two full-time jobs. That’s why I am sharing with you these 8 time management hacks for busy mums.
Mums know very well that motherhood eats most of their time and one of the most difficult and time-consuming task is to plan a menu for the entire household. This is one of the time management hacks for busy mums that I have benefited most from.
I usually spend a lot of time contemplating on what to cook that will satisfy all, where to get what to cook and the time to go get it given I am working full-time. There are times you even come out with a list but will have to run multiple times to the supermarket to get the ingredients.
To make things easier for me, I usually go for a monthly menu plan. I make sure I prioritise the basic groceries in my list like meat, fruits, vegetables, milk and bread. For things like bread and milk, I get them when I am out in local corner shops or grocery stores.
At times, I would have to browse online and place my order to be delivered on specific days. This works well for vegetables since I always like it fresh and not to store and use later. For things like meats, I buy monthly fresh from the butcher and freeze. My husband helps me out with the other dairy products, fruits and bread top up when coming back from work.
Before I took up my role where I work, I made sure my working hours aligned well with what I have to do at home. At times, working mums are faced with the situation where they have to respond to calls or emails after hours or even weekends. Mothers usually dedicate their after work hours and weekends to spend with their family. It is very necessary for you to do periodic checks to ensure that your expectations from work have not changed so that you can efficiently manage both.
Mums usually find it easier doing everything by themselves, but if you have to continue in that light while working full-time, then you may end up wasting more time which you would have used to rest or even burnout.
It’s necessary for you to teach your children how to carry out some tasks at home. My kids are aware that they have to park their own toys, get their juice or snacks by themselves. It may not look difficult to do for them, but it helps you save some time to concentrate and take care of other things.
Checkout this post on What Parents With Kids Under 10 Need To Do With Toys
You can teach your kids how to juice fruits, cutting or grating food, making their own lunch and how to use public transport when they get to 10. You can even come up with a timetable on what they should do in the morning, after school and in the evening. This doesn’t only help the child in becoming responsible but helps you as a working mum to carry out other responsibilities and have enough time to rest and supervise your kids.
If you don’t have anything else to do or the children are taking up some of your responsibilities, it is that time you need to get some rest. As a working mum, you need to prioritise your sleep. This is because if you don’t rest well at night, you will struggle through out the day wasting more time especially if you are intolerant to coffee. Make sure you schedule your sleep hours and go to bed on time in order to get up and function well the next day.
Multi-tasking may seem good in the eyes, but frankly speaking, it reduces performance. Once you focus your attention on a task at hand, you perform better. Multi-tasking may lead you to not finish any of your task for the day, meanwhile if you had focused on one task, you would have finished it.
It wasn’t easy for me to stop worrying about dinner when I am at work or texting my husband not to forget buying X or Y when I am helping the kids with their home work. Once you can do this, you will effectively and efficiently finish one task and go to the other without any problem.
Because I draw a menu plan for the month doesn’t mean I don’t plan for the week. We all have goals to achieve, and breaking them down is an efficient way of achieving them. I usually make a plan for the next 7 days on Sundays after sending the kids to bed. On Sundays, my kids go to bed one hour early from the usual time. This gives me an hour free to schedule my activities for the week.
Once you do that, you can put it on a visible place where everyone can see what will be coming up. Yes, I usually make sure my hubby sees it because it usually contains what he has to help me with. This helps me to not get distracted texting him a grocery list while doing the kid’s assignment. You can also read this post I wrote about Setting Daily Goals and These Daily Goal Setting Tips To Set Yourself Up For Success.
Just as you should not multi-task, you need to prioritise on whatever you have to do. The key to successfully organising your activities is knowledge of your priorities. That is knowing what needs to be done now and what can wait. I usually divide my would-do list into three sections – things that need to be taken care of immediately, those that can be done within the week and those that can wait for long term (especially ongoing projects).
I intentionally used would-do list in this last point instead of a to-do list because the latter is always too long. There are many things to be done that you can get confused or feel too overwhelmed that you can even give up. Once you take a to-do list and look over, you end up feeling bad about the things yet to be done. This means it is best when you write down only the things you have to do for the day or the next day.
Some of the time management hacks for busy mums I have mentioned above may not be easy for parents whose kids are still too young. However, no stage is too early for you to know them because the children will one day grow up and you will need them. These are just a few of the time management hacks for busy mums that I have selected for you. Try them and thank me later. Cheers!