Time Management Tips for Busy Moms

The demands on the time of a modern mother can be overwhelming. There are household chores, kid's activities, extended family obligations and workplace responsibilities. For busy mothers everywhere, time management is crucial to managing the stress and getting what needs to be done on time while still (sometimes miraculously) finding quality alone and partner time.

Multitasking Doesn't Always Work

Back in the 1980s and even in the 1990s the best mother was the woman who could multitask. The theory behind this was to get twice as much done per day. The only problem with this is that as human's we're not able to fully focus on many things at one time. We tend to focus on one task at a time if even for a few seconds when we're trying to multitask. This means that if you take on too many projects, you're likely to not be able to finish each one fully or accurately.

This is not to say that you should never try to multitask. But it's a good idea to combine mindless tasks with ones that require a bit more focus. Prepare supper while discussing your child's day with her. Make business calls while walking. (And yes, it's important to make time for exercise.)  Listen to your child read while sweeping the floor. Stop trying to multitask if you start to feel harried. If you can't properly focus, you won't be able to get anything done properly.

It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect

Sometimes it's okay when a task is done "good enough." The kitchen floor doesn't need to be fully mopped every day or even every week. It's fine to wipe up spill spots as necessary. You don't need to make all food from scratch and you're not a bad mother if you use canned pasta sauce instead of making it yourself. And while your grandmother may have ironed her tea towels, it's not necessary for you to do that too.

The Flexible Schedule

Sometimes the only way to get anything done is to schedule a specific time and date for it. This can include everything from "me time," to partner time to creating a dinner menu in one- or two-week increments. This can help guarantee that there's time for the things you may not usually make time for to helping you keep track of when basic chores (like floor mopping) were last done. When you're not occupied with those little mundane details, you can better focus on any other tasks you may have.

While a routine and schedule are good to create, you can't be so rigid that any change completely confuses you or makes you feel stressed. The unexpected happens and sometimes you won't be able to get to everything you've planned to do.