I have always prided myself on being a great multitasker. Doing multiple things at once has never scared me. In fact, I thrive on that feeling of doing so much at once. It’s kind of like a high for me. Multitasking is great in lots of situations. Especially for a mom that wears so many hats. Filling a sippy cup, cutting fruit, talking on the phone, all while nursing a baby is not new to us. However, since being on maternity leave for the second time and trying to start a business from home while setting goals that I have for myself, I have realized that multitasking isn’t working well anymore. I stretch myself too thin and because of this, everything takes twice as long to get done and it doesn’t get done well. That is the key. It’s tough striving for perfection when you have little ones at home that require all of your attention. Because of this, I decided a while ago that I would have to change up my method and look for different ways to get s*** done! I use the techniques below, separately and on their own depending on the day and what is on my list of things to do.
3 Time Management Techniques for Moms
1. Time Blocking
This is the first technique I tried. Basically, time blocking is all about designating everything you have to do in a day to a specific time frame. Everything gets put onto my calendar. I mean EVERYTHING. If I typically get up at 6 am, have coffee, do yoga (I don’t), and then get the kids up at 6:30, this would all go in my schedule. If you like to do laundry and clean when your baby goes down for their nap at 9 am, that would go on the calendar. Even your 12 o’clock lunch time would. If uninterrupted playtime happens between 2 pm and 4 pm, that would go on the calendar and you would know that during that time, playing and hanging out with your kids if the only thing being done. No phone checking, no TV watching, nothing. A solid 2 hours goes into your kids. I know you may be thinking it seems crazy to schedule in playtime but honestly I am so much less distracted and I can give my kids my undivided attention during this time. It’s a great technique when you are starting out and trying to find out a new strategy.
This is a great hack to use with just about anything in life. Essentially, batching is a productivity tool that allows you to give your full attention and concentration to similar activities and do them all at once. Take cleaning for example. I leave the major cleaning to one day a week. Bathrooms would not get done one day, dusting the next, floors the next. I would rather get all of my cleaning supplies out and get everything done in one shot; except for laundry! I don’t ever want to batch my laundry. If I am prepping for a meal, I make up extra to have for the week, and if I am getting the kid’s clothes ready for the next day, I take it a step further and organize their outfits for the next few days. This way of doing things ultimately leaves me with more free time to spend with my family.
3. The Pomodoro Method
This is by far my favourite and the easiest one for me to stick with, especially being a mom and not having all the time in the world to get things done. I implement it every day, whether it’s with housework, cooking, blogging, even reading. A timer is set and work is done in 25-minute intervals. You set yourself up with no distractions for 25 minutes, work for that timeframe and then take a 5-minute break. Start again, work for another 25 minutes and then take another 5-minute break. If you end up doing this sequence 4 times, take a 30-minute break and then start back at step 1. These short spurts of time really help me focus and it has allowed me to get more of what I need to done, in an overall shorter period of time.
I hope some of these techniques will help you discover new ways to continue being a mom of the year! If you have any other tips you would like to share, please let me know in the comments.