Ducks 'n a Row: Five Keys To Effective Time Management For Busy Moms

05 April 2016

Five Keys To Effective Time Management For Busy Moms

" Time Management " = saving time; maximizing efforts; doing two things at once; doing more with less effort. 

Time management is a skill that is developed with practice. Don't you just love the days that move along like a fine-tuned machine? "Yes!" And don't you hate the uncontrollable days where circumstances seem to be running the show? "Double-yes!"  When that happens, be prepared to shift. You may be getting a signal to lay tasks aside and do something else.

A perfect example is when your child is too sick to go to school. Mom (or Dad), face facts that you will not be getting a zillion things done that day. Your attention must be invested in your little one. He will need lots of tender loving care. Your number one priority is to help him get well.

When things are going somewhat normal, that is the time to plan and implement. 

Here are five ways to help you utilize your valuable time best:
  1. Multi-task.  Throw in a load of laundry that can be washing while you do something else. In fact, get the dishes loaded up in the dishwasher, too. Now you'll be getting three things done at the same time! 
  2. Do things ahead. Rethink your habits. Do you do something, such as grocery shopping, every week that can be done less often? You can gain 2 or more hours a week by consolidating your efforts and doing it fewer times.
  3. Make a list and check it twice! Being prepared can save time. Grocery lists are a great example. Check expiration dates on regularly used items before you go. I learned this one the hard way. Certain that my shopping trip would cover two weeks of meals, I wrote my list. We had a nearly full gallon of milk in the frig. What I didn't know is that it was one day away from expiration. So, I was back at the store only a day later! Having learned the hard way, I now check the longevity of our food before I go to the store. 
  4. Reschedule your life.* Have things changed? What worked well before may not work at all today.
  5. Do it now. Certain tasks will be harder to complete if you put them off. Like what? How about opening the mail. If I don't open, sort and toss the moment it comes into the house, it piles up and even gets lost. Another example is the laundry, which also can pile up quickly. Make a decision to take the clean clothes from the dryer and put it all away immediately. 
How I rescheduled my life for a time. Things had changed. My elderly dad was suddenly in need of round the clock care. My job as a school administrator was demanding but I had to find a way. Wanting to be with him, and to be of help, I decided to come see him every Saturday for 5 hours. There went my primary shopping day!

Here is the shift - I did the grocery shopping on Thursday nights after work. It was WONDERFUL - much less crowded and everything I needed was out on the shelves. My husband had dinner ready for us when I got home from the store. After we ate, the groceries got put away. It wasn't a permanent change but for over a year it worked very well.

What do you do to get the most out of your time?

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