20 Time Management Tips For Work At Home Moms
Time management is such a loaded concept — especially for the work at home crew. And it’s something that a lot of people just don’t get.
They look at these people who get so much done in a day and think it’s a fluke. Or that it’s something they just can’t do.
And if you fall into that category, I’m here to debunk that myth for you.
Because it isn’t impossible to get more done in a day. And those of us who do aren’t some weird super-human species.
We just follow a few simple techniques to get it done.
And I’m going to lay a handful of them out for you right here in this article. This way you can see how easy they are to implement in your day-to-day life.
Warning — I’m not here to make any false promises. You cannot make more time magically appear. If you’re on this page looking for a silver bullet you’re not going to find it. What you will find are simple changes you can make right now to get more done in the time you do have.
So let’s dive in. Here are 20 time management tips for work at home moms!
Be Selective in What You Work On
A lot of people ask me how I get everything done in a day.
And my simple answer is I don’t.
Because I don’t get everything done that I want to get done. I just get everything done that I need to get done.
And understanding the difference between these two is what can make or break my productivity.
Only Focus on What Matters
So how do I separate what I need to do from everything I want to do?
By only focusing on what matters.
And I do this by considering why different things are on my to-do list.
On why it’s important that I get it done. On what sort of change completing that task will bring.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Now, after considering why different things are on your list, you’ll still have more to do than is humanly possible to get done in a day.
So the next tiem management tip for work at home moms is to prioritize everything, so you’re always working on the most important stuff.
And I use the Urgent and Important matrix for this.
You simply consider the importance and the urgency of each task and put the things that are most important and most urgent at the top.
So take a few minutes and go through your to-do list and prioritize everything. Then, work from the top down.
A side note here — make sure that you’re taking the time to schedule in the important stuff that isn’t necessarily urgent. These things are usually overlooked but are still important for you to do. So make sure you get them done!
Only Take On Important Stuff
When you were prioritizing the different things on your to-do list, how many things weren’t really that important?
Now I want you to ask yourself why there are things on your to-do list that aren’t important. In other words, why are you committing your time, energy, and resources to something that isn’t important to you, your business, or your family?
I’m sure the time you were to spend on those tasks could be better spent on things that actually matter.
Another side note here — Yes, there are going to be things that you have to do that aren’t important. And you will need to prioritize them to get them done. Just make sure these things don’t monopolize your time and constantly push the important stuff back.
Break Big Projects Down
Now, there are going to be plenty of instances where a massive project is sitting on your to-do list. And it’s always super tempting to procrastinate working on something like this because it’s hella intimidating.
So don’t put the entire project on one line in your to-do list.
Break it down into manageable — and actionable — steps.
Looking at the individual steps you need to take is a lot less overwhelming than looking at the entire project. So take some time to do this at the start of every project.
In addition to breaking a project down into smaller steps, you also need to assign deadlines for these steps.
In fact, everything on your to-do list should have a deadline.
Otherwise, there’s no guarantee that it will ever get done.
Just make sure you’re realistic about how long the task will actually take to complete so that you give yourself enough time to get it done. There’s nothing worse than rushing to finish something because you didn’t give yourself enough time to do it right.
Create Time Blocks
After you’ve set deadlines on everything you need to do, you need to make sure it actually gets done.
And I do this by creating time blocks through my day.
These are preset blocks of time where you will work on certain tasks.
I usually create one time block in the morning and one in the afternoon. Then, I chose one specific thing to work on during these blocks.
If I finish what I was working on, I can always move on to the next thing on my prioritized to-do list.
Work When You’re Most Productive
Another time management tip for work at home moms is to work on stuff when you’re most productive.
To do this, you need to be aware of when your high-energy times are and try to schedule time blocks during these times. Then, make sure you’re working on the most important things on your to-do list during these times.
First of all, it’s always so much easier to work on something important — or difficult — when you’re able to think clearly.
Also, if you’re working on stuff when you don’t have a whole lot of energy, you’re more likely to make mistakes. And it’s always more time consuming and costly to fix something later than to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Pro-Tip — I split my to-do list between high and low-energy tasks. This way I always know exactly what to work on during my high-energy times as well as my low-energy times, so I’m not having to go back and fix mistakes the next day.
Another way to avoid making costly mistakes is to stop multitasking.
When you’re splitting your attention between multiple things, you’re a lot more likely to make mistakes.
Also, it’s going to take you a lot longer to finish one task if you’re constantly jumping back and forth between different things.
Instead, focus on one thing at a time. Finish that task. And then move on to the next.
Keep Your Mind Fresh
You also want to make sure that you’re not forcing yourself to sit still and work on one thing for too long.
To keep the momentum going, you have to keep your mind fresh.
And you do this by working in shorter time blocks.
I prefer to work on something for an hour and a half max, and then I have to get up and take a break. Even if it’s just to stand up and stretch, maybe grab another cup of coffee. It still gets my mind off whatever I’m working on long enough to refresh.
Because if you force yourself to push through, your brain is going to get tired, and your productivity is going to plummet.
Brain Dump Your Thoughts
It’s also important to have a place to put all the random thoughts that pop into your head throughout the day.
I like to take a few minutes each day to do a total brain dump. I open a blank Google Doc and just start typing. I get it all out. This helps me get all the gunk out so I can get my point across a lot clearer throughout the day.
I also keep a little notebook handy at all times to jot down random stuff.
This way I’m not tempted to multitask or to start working on something else entirely when I think of something.
I just jot it down and come back to it later.
While it’s impossible to do it all, it’s definitely possible to get a lot more done if you delegate some of your tasks.
This could mean asking your kids to pitch in more around the house or hiring a part-time VA to offload some of the less important work.
And if you’re concerned about spending money on something like this, always consider how much more important (revenue generating) stuff you could get done if you didn’t have to spend so much time on these smaller tasks.
Another time management tip for work at home moms is to set reminders for everything you have going on.
Don’t just expect yourself to remember everything. You have more important stuff to focus on.
And don’t let stuff slide because you just completely forgot about it.
I know this sounds like unnecessary advice, but you would be surprised by how many people don’t do this. And trust me, you’ll notice a significant difference in everything that you actually remember to get done if you just take two seconds to set up some reminders.
Turn Off Email Alerts
Now, reminders can help you stay on task for the stuff you need to get done. But they can also pull you away from important stuff for things that are a lot less pressing.
Like your email.
Yes, people need to be able to reach you. But they don’t need to be able to reach you every second of every day.
To avoid email taking over my life, I turn off the notifications and only check it during predetermined times.
This prevents me from reacting to things in the moment. It also prevents me from diving into something that I hadn’t planned on working on.
And email probably isn’t your only distraction.
If you can, you want to get rid of all the different things that pull you out of the zone during your work hours.
And one of the best ways to do this is to set clear boundaries by telling people when you are available, and when you aren’t.
In other words, make it clear that you can’t be reached during the time blocks you’ve created to work on the important stuff.
But create office hours, or set times, that people can get ahold of you.
Tidy Your Workspace
Keeping a tidy workspace is also crucial to your productivity.
Because think about it. If you have to take five to ten minutes to clean a space to work before you can start working, that’s lost time.
But, if you took just a minute to clean up your workspace at the end of the day — and created some systems to keep it tidy — then you could just sit down and get right to work.
So what type of systems will help you keep your workspace tidy?
Some basic organization! (You didn’t seriously think I’d go an entire article on productivity without taking about organization did you?!)
How will this help?
If you always keep your things in the same place, you’ll never waste time looking for them.
And, if you always keep things in the same place, you’ll never waste time trying to decide where to put them when you are tidying up.
Plus, when things are organized correctly, you’ll always have the things you need most often in the most convenient places.
It’s a win-win for your productivity — and your sanity.
Have a Routine
If you just picked up on the finer points in this article, they all should have led you directly to this point. That having a basic routine is going to be one of your best weapons when it comes to managing your time.
This means having a routine of when you work on things (your time blocks).
Having a routine on how you work through projects and handle distractions.
Even having a routine on where you put your things.
This takes the guesswork out of everything. It also leaves you with fewer decisions to make throughout the day. And decision fatigue is one of productivity’s worst enemies. So beat it to the punch.
Manage Your Stress
All of this should also help you manage your stress.
But it won’t do all the work for you. You also have to schedule in some “me-time” to keep the stress at bay.
And it’s incredibly important that you take the time to do this.
Because when you’re stressed, you won’t want to do shit.
And if you’re stressed and keep pushing through, you’re likely to burn out. Which is never a good thing.
So prioritize yourself, too.
And the final time management tip I have for work at home moms is to stay inspired by what you do.
Remember why you do it. Focus on the good things it brings to your life.
The moment that you stop caring about what you’re doing is the moment you’ll stop caring if you get it done. And, once that happens, all the time management advice in the world won’t get you back into the game.
Ready to Jumpstart Your Time Management?
If you’re ready to get serious about your time management and start getting more done, then sign up for my FREE 5-Day Productivity Challenge.
You’ll walk away with total clarity on where you should focus your time and energy, how you’ll find the time to get it done, and a solid plan for maintaining it all going forward.
Plus, it’s totally free!
So sign up today and take back control of your day.
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Happy to inform that this post is included in our recent Productivity Articles roundup episode! Thank you so much for these excellent tips for improving work at home productivity.
Please find the entire article on https://www.timecamp.com/blog: Productivity Articles: Take the First Step! 25/2/18
Ola at TimeCamp
Awesome! Thanks! 🙌🥃