11 time management tips for busy mums (but when I got a little time to myself, this is what I did)

11 tips for a busy mum

If you are a mother, you must have understood what I am talking about. Working or stay-at-home mom, we never or hardly get some alone time or even time to finish some of our personal things. I am a full time working stay-at-home mom – I mean I work from home and so there is absolutely no time left for myself. Anyway, I had to complete two blogs, write a review and get my eyebrows done. I asked my husband to go visit his cousin, who lives nearby, and also asked him to take our daughter along. And not to come home before four hours.

I had everything already planned: first hour finish two blogs, next hour review, 30 minutes for the eyebrow thing, since the parlour is right next to our building, and the last one-and-a-half hours was reserved for a nap. As soon as he left, I closed the door and thought, “Okay, now I will quickly have my breakfast and then get a move on.” It has been months since I have had tea peacefully; I like watching some clips or a compilation of Friends on YouTube, so I thought I’d catch a small clip while having tea. Of course you know what happened next. Before I knew it, I had already wasted an hour. I finally got up, turned on my laptop and started writing, but then my mind was diverted. I decided to take the power nap first, set the alarm for 30 minutes, lay down in bed and started scrolling through Facebook on my phone.Before I finally decide to doze off, I saw that I had wasted twenty minutes already. “I can get my eyebrows done next week,” I said to myself, set the alarm again and slept. Trust me, it was such a beautiful nap, no one was sitting on my back or head, no one was whispering in my ear, no one was asking me to make her dolls and teddies sleep first…it was just me and my nap. Then the alarm rang, and I was too lost in my sleep that I did not even bother to plan the next two hours, I just turned it off, said “Whatever!” and slept like a baby. Next thing I know was that my daughter was sitting next to me, and my husband did not even bother to ask me if  I was able to finish my work – I guess he understood what I had done.

Now, I am neither a lazy person nor careless, but there are these days when I just leave everything. I can still write at night or even when my daughter is playing with her friends, but I can’t take a nap then because even if they play in the house, it  is important to stay awake and keep a check on them. It was a much needed nap.

Other days, this is how I try to manage my time. If followed, these tips can also help your child learn from you.

1. I follow a fixed routine come what may.

If it is a rule to turn off the lights and be in bed at nine every night, then there is no way that I’d change it. Sleepy or not, I make my daughter lie in bed at nine with me. I tell her stories, sing lullabies and within half-an-hour, she’s asleep. That gives me almost two hours every night to write or do something else.

2. I always assess my time.

I look closely at how I spend my time and that helps me put on hold or completely eliminate not so important things.

3. I use sticky notes to prioritise tasks.

My diary has sticky notes in chronological order of priority. Every time I fold a sticky note after completing the task, I feel so good. 

4. I organise everything.

Even the wardrobes have small baskets or organisers to make sure that everything has a special place, and I try my best to teach my daughter to keep things where they should be. The best way to teach that is to practice it yourself. We consolidate everything from school books to story books to kitchen toys to hair clips. Each assigned space is equally accessible so that she doesn’t always need my help.

5. I compromise sometimes.

I know I cannot tolerate dust on the floor, but I am okay if the bed is not made just right. So I know where I can save a little time.

6. I try to multitask.

For example, I apply my facepack while arranging books or clothes, I often write while helping my daughter with her homework, I cook and use the washing machine at the same time.

7. I ask for help.

One thing that really helps is assigning tasks. My husband knows that he has to wake our daughter up, set the dining table or arrange her toys with her. My daughter knows she has to help her father always.

9. I believe that if we are able to finish half our tasks by 9:00 am, we are more likely to finish the rest on time too.

So, I make sure that my maid comes sharp at 7:00 am. Before that, I make all the preparations for breakfast and get lunch ready for my husband and my daughter. By 8:00 am, I am done with bathing, pooja and dusting. My husband and daughter leave together, and once they leave, I have no household chores left to do. So, I have fairly three hours to myself to complete my writing or meetings.

10. I do yoga and meditation.

This has helped with concentration, keeps me calm and thus plan better.

11. I keep meals on weekdays simple and planned.

I try not to make something over complicated on weekdays, planning the meal on Sundays for the entire week.

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