One of the most common excuses busy working moms have for not working out regularly is, “lack of time”. Between work, your kids’ schedules, time with your spouse or significant other, running a business, going to school, and other personal obligations, finding time to work out can seem impossible! Well, today’s post is going to help you get your time management skills up, and learn how to slay your day, so that you will never miss a workout again! Let’s get started!
10 Powerful Time Management Tips For Busy, Working Moms
1. Start your day off right. As a busy working mom, waking up at the same time as your children can be a recipe for disaster, especially if you have to be at work in the morning. Getting up before your children, and having time to yourself to pray, meditate, drink a cup of coffee, take a shower, get in a quick workout, or simply get focused and ready for your day, can make all the difference. Hitting the snooze button three times, or waking up to screaming, hungry kids, isn’t exactly the best way to have a productive day. Set aside at least 15 minutes of quiet time each morning, to set your intentions for the day, and get into a positive and peaceful mindset. Remember, the way you start your day can either set you up for success, or stress. So make sure you start your day off right.
2. Get organized. This may sound like common sense, but it’s actually not so common. Getting organized means everything from keeping your children’s clothing, shoes, backpacks, and belongings in specific places, so that they know where to find them, to staying on top of your daily tasks and schedule. This alone can save you a lot of time because it cuts back on the time you spend looking for things (seriously, where do all of the socks go?), and trying to remember what you were supposed to do that day. It’s also imperative that you are the queen of organization so that you can have a clear mind, and do what needs to get done every day effectively. When your home (or office) is neat and organized, you feel like you have more breathing room, and you feel more at peace. When there’s clutter everywhere you feel overwhelmed, and claustrophobic. Those feelings of distress can really slow you down, and cause you to spend valuable time feeling paralyzed, simply because your life (or your home) lacks organization. Getting more organized will change your life for the better.
3. Sync your calendars (and add reminders). I don’t know about you, but I am just not capable of remembering everything. As hard as I try, it’s just not possible! But thank God for technology, because not only can you add reminders and alerts to your phone, you can also sync your calendar across different devices and platforms. I highly recommend this. Between your own appointments and to do lists, it can be very easy to forget about all of your children’s different appointments, activities, parties, and events. Having your calendar synced, and set up with reminders and alerts is a lifesaver for every busy, working mom. Put Siri to work for you!
4. Don’t overbook yourself. Speaking of your calendar, in order to manage your time effectively, you have to be selective about what you agree to do. Although you may want to take your kids to two birthday parties in one day, work out, and also attend a networking event, that may not be the best idea. You have to consider how you will feel at the end of the day, when you make decisions about what you can do, and where you will go. It’s okay to say, “No, that won’t work for me”, and keep it moving. Also, your children should understand that they won’t always be able to go to every event or party they are invited to. Incorporating white space, or downtime into your schedule, is key to your own mental health and wellness. If every second of every day is booked with something, to the point where you never have a chance to just sit quietly and think, or read, or watch your favorite tv program, that’s a problem. While you’re booking dates for various appointments and activities in your calendar, be sure to schedule in some time for absolutely nothing!
5. Be more straightforward. I grew up hearing my Dad tell us to do things right the first time, so we wouldn’t have to go back and do it over again. This same rule applies to how you communicate with people every day. If you are not straightforward with people, and 100% clear about what you need, what you want, and what you expect, you will be forced to constantly go back and revisit conversations and situations multiple times. This is the ultimate time waster! To make it simple, let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t be passive aggressive. Don’t sugarcoat your feelings, because you’re afraid of how someone else will react. Just be honest, and be direct (in a kind way of course). All of that beating around the bush, and expecting people to read your mind, wastes too much of your valuable time. It’s just not worth it. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
6. Write things down. According to LifeHack.org, writing things down, “clears your mind for higher-level thinking, helps you process your emotions, and fosters a sense of achievement and progress, expanding your possibilities, and increasing your productivity.” The Productive and Free blog puts it this way: “Writing things down helps clarify your goals, priorities, and intentions, and helps clear your mind.” If that’s not reason enough to start writing things down, here’s another reason. "Writing things down that you need to remember – like checklists – gives you a far better chance of actually remembering them when you have to” (via the Shopify blog). Hello time saver! Spending time trying to remember that great idea you had for your business, or for that project at work, or that thing you were supposed to do today, or that phone call you were supposed to make, can take up more time than you realize. Get those thoughts, ideas, and tasks, out of your head, and onto paper, so that you can free up space in your brain, and save time trying to remember everything.
7. Do first things first (prioritize). I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I go to bed at night, and feel like my whole day was a waste, or like I did not accomplish what I set out to accomplish for that day. No one should ever have to feel like that. Well, the best way to avoid those types of feelings is to prioritize. When you prioritize, and make it a point to do the most important items on your to do list first, even if you don’t accomplish everything you set out to accomplish for that day, you’re still winning. Why? Because the most important things were done, and all of the other stuff can be handled later, with no negative consequences. Sometimes, those things that we don’t really enjoy doing, or feel like doing, are the most important things that need to get done first. But instead, we choose to procrastinate, and make excuses. Meanwhile, this just leads to feelings of guilt and regret. So let’s just bypass all of that, and handle first things first. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you complete your most important tasks first is invigorating, and highly motivating. Give it a try, and see for yourself.
8. Create a routine and stick to it. "You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." — John C. Maxwell The power of your routine lies in its ability to allow you to do certain things habitually, without requiring a lot of thought, decision-making, or adjustments. Your routine saves you time because it’s something that you’ve crafted ahead of time, to help you be as productive and efficient as possible, and you’re able to execute it without hesitation. Whether it’s your morning routine, your kids’ bedtime routine, your workout routine, or your routine to get your house work done, you need to have a consistent routine. Lack of a daily routine can actually create anxiety for you (and your kids too), and set you up for lots of stress, disappointment, and a serious lack of productivity. Another thing you need to recognize is that, even if you have a solid routine in place, it may need to change from time to time (like when you have a new baby, start a new job, or change your health and fitness goals). But in lieu of those unique circumstances, you should do your best to stick to your routine, by any means necessary. Don’t let anyone, or anything distract you from your routine. Your daily routine is another key to your success.
9. Block out your time. This is something that is so beneficial, when it comes to time management, I don’t know why more people don’t do it. "Time-blocking is essentially organizing your day in a series of time slots. Instead of writing a list of tasks that take as long as they take, with a time-blocked approach, each of these time periods is devoted to a task or tasks. It immediately lets you see where you’re being unrealistic about your time and keep yourself focused on what you’re supposed to be doing.” ~ via Fast Company The most effective way to time block is to set specific times, and time frames, for your tasks, and then shut out any possible distractions during that block of time. The way you keep your “distractions” in check is by scheduling specific time slots for them too, i.e., 9-9:30 check Facebook, 9:30-10:15, respond to e-mails, etc. That way, you’re not constantly stopping your important tasks to reply to an e-mail, or a message or comment on Facebook or Instagram. Giving every hour a job, typically lets you make much more efficient use of your time, says Georgetown University Professor, Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Give it a try, and let me know how it impacts your productivity and stress levels every day.
10. Respect yourself (don’t entertain time wasters). I’m sorry to have to tell you this but, there are some people in your life, who do not respect your time. I’m just going to put that out there. You know, those people who want you to work for free, or spend your valuable time offering them tons of free advice? Yeah, they’re called, “time wasters”. Those people who constantly want you to support them, and give them your time and energy, but never support you or reciprocate, are people you need to stay away from (the block feature on social media is great for this lol)! Or that friend who’s always an hour late, or that client who always wants to go over their allotted time. Yeah, you need to check ‘em. You have to respect yourself, and teach other people to respect your time. So the next time someone wants to “meet up for coffee, so I can pick your brain”, go ahead and tell them, “No thanks, my time is valuable”. This also goes for those friends who reach out to you to simply dump their problems on you, vent to you for an hour, and then don’t even bother to ask how you’re doing, or what’s going on in your life. Respect yourself enough to walk away from people who are there simply to use you, take advantage of your kindness, and waste your time. In the eloquent words of P.Diddy, “No time for fake ones”!
So those are your ten, powerful tips to help you manage your time better, and start slaying your day, every day. Implementing just one of these tips, could be life-changing for you, so if you’re able to apply all ten to your daily life, you will see a major, positive transformation happen.
I’d love to know which one of these tips resonated with you the most. Which tip do you need to implement, starting today, and which tip have you tried in the past, which helped you save time?
Post a comment below and let me know, I always love to hear your feedback and your experiences! Please don’t forget to share this post on social media, and help a fellow, busy, working mom get her stress levels down, and her time-management skills up.
P.S. While you’re updating your calendar, and blocking out time for your workouts, be sure to add my upcoming "Jump To Burn" jump rope classes to your schedule! I’ll be in Philly tomorrow, and back in NYC on July 28th.
Click here to sign up for my "Jump To Burn" jump rope classes. Jump 2 Burn is a 1-hour workout class where you will learn the fundamentals of jumping rope. Different jump rope skills and tricks are broken down into smaller steps to make them easier to execute on their own or mixed to create combination moves. Let’s make it fun to break a sweat, burn calories, and get fit! This class is suitable for all levels! See you in class!
Ready to take your jump rope workout to the next level right now?