Are you an working mum who can’t seem to properly manage your time? Do you hear the words time management and cringe because you are constantly trying to fit more hours into an already packed day – unsuccessfully?
If you are having problems at home or at work, there is a good chance that your problems may be caused by your inability to properly manage your time. The good news, however, is that there are a number of steps that you can take to improve your time management:
1. Admit that you have a time-management issue
Knowing that you have a time management problem is the first step in changing your behaviour. Although it is typical to be late for work or a social event on occasion, it is something that should not be happening on a daily or a weekly basis. If it is, it is time for you to realize that you may have a problem.
2. Decide to change
Knowing that you have a time management problem is important, but wanting to change is even more important. You need to set goals for yourself, as these goals can help to provide you with a source of motivation. Sample goals include showing up to work on time for a whole month, being on time for all dinner dates, and so forth.
3. Stick to your goals
Creating a number of time management goals for you to meet is advised, but it is important that you don’t give up right away or when you are faced with complications. Setting goals simply just isn’t enough; you need to stick with them.
4. Create daily task lists
Creating a to do list for yourself is an easy way to properly manage your time. In fact, it is one of the easiest approaches that you can take. Outline what you need to do throughout the day. Be sure to list your tasks in order of importance.
5. Use time management tools
Properly managing your time is important, but it can be hard for many working mums to get use to, especially right away. If you are one of those working mums, you will want to consider using time management tools to your advantage. In fact, did you know that many mobile phones and computers come with calendars, alarm clocks, alerts, and so much more? If you didn’t, where have you been?
Another thing about mobile phones these days is that if you have a smartphone, like BlackBerry, iPhone or any of the Android phones you have access to lots of apps, that you can use to make your life more productive. For the BlackBerry, for example, you can get the ToDoMatrix app, which will help you manage all the things you need to do at work and home by arranging them into different categories, and then prioritising them in order of importance.
If you are a mum who shies away from all things tecchie, and you prefer to use traditional methods, then a trusty diary is perfect for you. Filofax has the Family Organiser Pack, which let’s you make a log of not only your work and personal life, but what your family is up to as well. If your kids are a little older, or you still like to (and have the energy!) for socialising, then you may prefer the City dweller Pack.
Dodpad also has the Household Stuff Book, which is great for keeping track of everything the family is doing, and comes in neat folder where you can put bills and letters etc.
6. Learn how to say â€œNo!â€ â€“ And (not feel guilty about if afterwards)
In all honesty, there are times where you may not be able to refuse a project at work or a task at home, but try to not take on more than you can accomplish. If you must, look into using outside help. In the home, this outside help can come from a housecleaner. At the workplace, this outside help can come from a colleague.
7. Get organised
Organisation is key to being able to properly manage your time. If you are unorganised, you are likely to waste a large amount of time.
For example, in the workplace you can waste time by searching for lost or misplaced documents. The same can be said for the home; if you are unorganised, you can spend hours searching for your glasses or car keys.
8. Consider getting the professional in to help
As previously stated, if you are overwhelmed at home, you may want to call on a professional housecleaner. In addition to taking this approach, there are other professionals that you can target. There are working mums and companies who specialise in teaching others how to effectively manage their time and stay organised â€“ usually life coaches, but if you use the tips and tools we give you here on www.motherswhowork.co.uk you may not need the services of a life coach.