Time management can be a difficult goal for a work at home mom to achieve. With so much on your plate, from working, taking care of the family, household chores, and finding time for yourself, many struggle with finding a balance for it all. I struggle with it myself, though it’s a lot easier for me now that I have been working at home for several years.
At first, however, it was really hard. I wasn’t sure that I would ever be able to get everything done and really enjoy myself when at home. I felt like I needed to be in front of my computer at all times – and sometimes when I was there, I’d stress myself out more because I’d procrastinate on Facebook, Twitter, [insert any other fun site here], etc. rather than actually working.
Over time, I have acquired some tips and ideas that have really helped me with my time management skills. I still get overwhelmed and complete things right at the deadline, but for the most part, I am able to make good use of my time. Here are some tips that I recommend for WAHM’s needing help with time management.
1. Create a schedule for yourself.
This has really been the most difficult for me, but when I do it, it works. Finding the time to sit down and actually make the schedule can be a challenge. I keep a running to-do list of things I need to get done throughout the week, and plan my Monday-Friday accordingly. If you know ahead of time when you will be able to work, you can also schedule out blocks of your days where you do nothing but work.
2. Utilize time management tools.
Focus Booster is a really good one that I have used. It uses the Pomodoro technique of working in 25 minute increments to get your work done. For that block of time, focus on nothing but your work. It’s amazing how productive you can be when you are not distracted, even when it’s just 25 minutes!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
WAHM’s often feel like they need to be superheroes. You have a lot on your shoulders and only 24 hours in the day. However, it’s not a sign of weakness if you need to ask for help from your spouse or family in order to get your work done. Family time shouldn’t suffer, but getting a babysitter when work is demanding can seriously help you with effective time management.
4. Learn to say no.
Because we like to “do it all”, having so much to get done can really make time management difficult. Learning to decline offers for the things that aren’t as important will allow you more time for the things that are. For example, if you know you need to work in the evening, it’s okay to tell your friends you cannot go to the movies. You don’t want to isolate yourself from others, of course, but saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way will leave you very little time for your priorities.
Everyone will manage their time differently, so not all of these tips will work for you. However, they can be a good starting point to finding the methods that allow you to get things done and still have time left over in your day!