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One of the biggest struggles that working moms face today is time. There is so much to do and so little time and not enough time in the day to take care of everything and everybody (including yourself).
Everyone needs you in some way and it’s impossible to give 100% to anything. You want to be able to spend more time with your kids and you feel mom guilt for having to go to work. The house is a mess, it never looks how you want it to. You find it difficult to find time to exercise, take care of yourself and do extra things you enjoy.
Do you feel like you can never get caught up with everything that needs to get done? Its pretty much inevitable that someone or something is going to end up being neglected in some way.
Do you feel like time is never on your side? Are you always rushing or running late? This is me every morning.
If any of this sounds like you, these 51 time management tips will not only save you time, they will also save your sanity.
51 Time Management Tips
- Slim down your schedule. Reduce the number of things you need to do during the day. Put tasks on hold or completely eliminate them from your schedule if possible.
- Prioritize your to-do-list. What needs to be done now? What can be done throughout the week? Are there ongoing tasks?
- Double up on meals. Make larger portions when you cook a meal and freeze left overs so they can be used for future meals.
- Stay organized. A lot of time is wasted looking for things that aren’t where they belong. Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
- Have a central location for school items. Keep your kid’s backpacks and lunch bags in the same place where they can just grab and go when it’s time to leave in the morning.
- Use the internet. Save time by shopping and paying your bills online. Order groceries online through your local grocery store or try Amazon Fresh.
- Give everyone a job. Have everyone in the family chip in on chores. Even the little ones can get involved.
- Let it go. Stop trying to control everything and do it all yourself. I know that sometimes it feels that if you want it done right you need to do it yourself. Or maybe you don’t want to “bother” anyone. Learn to delegate and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Get a filing cabinet. Use a filing cabinet to keep important documents and passwords organized.
- Get some sleep. Without getting enough sleep you won’t have the energy to conquer the day.
- Evaluate your work hours. Maybe you can alter your work schedule to work better with your home life.
- Say “No”. Set boundaries. You can’t make everyone happy, even when you try. A lot of times we end up taking on additional unnecessary stress.
- Know your limitations. Have attainable and realistic goals.
- Stop trying to be perfect. Perfection is unobtainable, stop comparing yourself to others and do what works best for you and your family.
- Limit screen time. Put down the phone and turn off the TV.
- Don’t take on others responsibilities. You have your own issues to deal with.
- Plan ahead. Use a calendar or a planner to keep track of everything.
- Leave work at home. The work will still be there tomorrow. If you can, separate work time and home time, your kids will appreciate it.
- Get errands done on your lunch break. Sometimes I use my lunch break to do errands, this way I don’t have to it after work or on the weekends.
- Try a meal subscription service. If you don’t like meal planning or spend a lot of time figuring out what you are going to have for dinner, try a meal subscription service like Blue Apron, Dinnerly or Sun Basket.
- Limit your children’s extracurricular activities. I allow each of my kids to have one extracurricular activity each at a time.
- Have a support network. Sometimes unexpected things happen. Find someone that can be your back-up in case of an emergency.
- Have regular routine. Creating a regular routine saves time because everyone knows what they are expected to do.
- Get things done while you are waiting. Sometimes we spend a lot of time waiting, for instance at a doctor’s office. You might be able to use this time to get some homework done, read a book, check emails, make a phone call.
- Meal plan and meal prep. If you can find the time one day to meal plan or meal prep for the week, this will save you a ton of time. Using $5 Meal Plan or MyFreezEasy simplifies the whole process.
- Have a do-to list. There is too much stuff to remember from day to day and I tend to forget things if I don’t write it down.
- Use block of time. Give yourself a certain amount of time to complete a task, then move on to the next task.
- Get the hard stuff done first. Do the hardest task first or the task you’ve been avoiding the most. Once that task has been accomplished, the rest of your duties may not look so bad and you can just knock them out.
- Don’t let chores stack up. It’s like a snowball effect, your day to day chores will just get worse and worse and harder to accomplish if you don’t take care of them daily. For example, wash your dishes or rinse them and fill the dishwasher every night. Fold your clothes right after you take them out of the dryer, even if they don’t get put away right away. I’m guilty of having a mountain of clothes on the couch and wasting time searching through the pile when someone needs something, then wasting more time putting everything away when I finally get around to it.
- Pump while you drive. Those of you who pump or pumped know how time consuming it is. When I went back to work from maternity leave I saved valuable time by pumping in my car on my way home from work. A nursing cover works perfectly for this.
- Single-tasking. I’m not saying that multitasking does not work, it does work in some situations. However, multitasking is stressful and you end up feeling like you got nothing accomplished. When you multitask you are often less focused and less efficient. Single tasking is more efficient overall. Give yourself a block of time to be able to focus on the task at hand. Focusing on a particular task ensures the task is seen through.
- Use the time during your commute. I just finished the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University audio CD which I listened to on my way home from work.
- Have certain days for certain chores. Have a specific day you clean the bathrooms, do the laundry, mop the floor……………you get the picture.
- Break large tasks down to several smaller tasks. Sometimes I find it overwhelming when I think of the overall goal. It is less overwhelming and more manageable for me to accomplish larger tasks when I do it piece by piece.
- Limit distractions. You will be more productive if you can find some time and a quiet place to get some stuff done.
- Simplify meals. Meals don’t have to be complicated. I like making one dish meals in a casserole or with my pressure cooker (instant pot) and crockpot. I love the set-it and forget it philosophy.
- Split tasks with your partner. Each of you can do the tasks you are stronger in or the tasks your partner doesn’t like doing.
- Hire some help if you can afford it. If I could afford it, I would definitely hire a housekeeper.
- Delete Steps. Find ways to get the same thing done in a less amount of time.
- Be flexible. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned and you need to learn to go with the flow.
- Save time on your morning routine. Have your kids take baths the night before. Make lunches and pick out clothes the night before. Decide on what is going to be for breakfast the night before.
- Have some me time in the morning. Wake up 15-30 minutes before the kids and enjoy some alone time. This way you are more relaxed and ready to take on the morning.
- Take care of yourself. You will be more productive and feel less overwhelmed if you can find ways to reduce stress in your life.
- Identify distractions and time wasters. You probably waste a lot of time doing a lot unproductive things.
- Carpool. Alternate carpooling your children to school and other activities with other parents.
- Go grocery shopping once a week. Make a list and check it twice to eliminate the need to go to the grocery store multiple time a week.
- Keep an emergency bag in the car. Be prepared by keeping snacks and a change of clothes in your car.
- Take advantage of time saving apps. I like to use apps for coupons, it’s easier for me than clipping them. Plus you can quickly find coupons and discounts on services, not just products and grocery items. Or, you can use apps like Cozi (a free family organization app) to manage your day to day responsibilities.
- Try and have all obligations in close proximity. A lot of time can be saved when everywhere you need to go is close by.
- Take advantage of online subscriptions. Retailers like Amazon and Target have subscription services that enable you to have items you purchase often automatically delivered directly to you on a schedule you set.
- Every now and then take a day off. Take a break. Take the day off from running errands, doing a chores and cooking dinner. My kids have enjoyed a bowl of cereal for dinner on occasion, and guess what? They were perfectly fine.
I would love to hear from you, share some ways you save time in the comments section. Also, shares and follows are always appreciated.