Tried & True: Time Management Tips
for Moms On-The-Go
Last week, I shared some of my favorite ‘Life Management’ Secrets for Moms. Today, I wanted to zone in on the topic of scheduling, calendars, and time management specifically.
Since a lot of life management as a mom is planning and preparing, I want to encourage you with a few tried and true tips for managing your time.
- Choose the Right Calendar – If you keep losing the paper calendar or it’s not big enough, use something like Gmail, Yahoo, or Cozi. For a lot of these online calendars, you can color code each of your children’s activities (homeschool, child #1, husband, household, etc.)
- Set Weekly Planning Session – Keep these sacred. Setting aside time to discuss logistics with your husband, outside of date-night, can do wonders for your stress levels and your romance life. They don’t have to be long and drawn out – sometimes just 10-15 minutes to verbally discuss what’s coming up is all you need.
- Set Limits Ahead of Time – Be on the board of that organization every other year. Volunteer to bring snacks only once a quarter. Give the kids each one extracurricular weekly activity. Setting limits ahead of time, gives you a pre-planned ‘out’ when you’re feeling overwhelmed or over stretched.
- Develop Regular Routines – Schedules use time and duration as a measure of success. Maybe your family would do better on routines by using completion as a measure of success. This often works well with the little ones – first brush teeth, then pick up toys, then read books…
- Consolidate the Errands – Driving around to the dry cleaner’s, drug store, grocery store, post office (the list goes on…) If you had to pack the kids into the car for all of those errands only one time in the week, that could shave hours off your calendar! Consolidating errands into 1 day each week, might not be possible. But consolidating into Tuesday and Thursday might be great! Perhaps a trip to the park, if there’s time left-over would be a great treat for the kids to join along and help too!
- Plan to Arrive 30 Minutes Early – Now, this might be unnecessary in all cases, but leaving room for the “bumps in the road” can just be a huge stress relief! Especially for those times when one of the kids accidentally forgets something and you need to turn around, or when you remember to fill up the car with gas.
- Keep some While-You-Wait Items Nearby – Sometimes all we can do is wait. Doctor’s offices, Post Office – standing in line or waiting is sometimes unavoidable. Keeping a few Thank You cards or a few go-to tasks (like meal planning or emailing) will not only make the time go by quickly but you get to cross a few things off your to-do list too!
- Strategically Grocery Shop – Next time you’re at your grocery store, ask the cashier or store manager when their lulls happen during the week/day. You might be able to carve off a lot of time spent shopping by going after the kids are asleep. (Homeschooling Perk! Sometimes grocery shopping while all the other moms are waiting to pick their kids up from school is a great time to go to the store.)
- Ackowledge You Can’t Do It All – It’s okay. The world will keep spinning. Arriving late or leaving the dry cleaning an extra week is not the end of the world. Give yourself (and your family) room to breathe and room to learn through mistakes.
Do you have any scheduling tips and tricks to share? Are there any tried and true recipes for calendar success in your family?
I’d love to hear them.
God, thank you for giving us life. It is so precious and valuable. Give me to wisdom to instill rich values and life-long characteristics in myself and my children. Clarify the moments of pure value and worth.