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Time Management Tools for Working Moms
Who has time for time management?
We are all BUSY trying to fulfill so many different roles in our lives – the loving parent, the compassionate leader, the fun camp counselor, the engaged citizen, the attentive spouse, the zealous protester – and there isn’t enough time for all of them.
And while you’re figuring it all out, you may find yourself in need of fresh new ways to revamp how you go about getting things done.
One of my superpowers is productivity and even I have been struggling to get work done over the past few months. The burdens have felt so heavy and the bed has looked so tempting…
To reorient myself, I have doubled-down on practicing these time management techniques to improve productivity and maximize my time and energy each day so I can efficiently produce exceptional work.
3 Proven Ways To Do Higher-Quality Work In Less Time
Time is the great equalizer – we are all working off of the same 24 hours in a day, but what makes the difference is how you use it. That’s what time management is all about. ✨
1. Plan Your Day
I highly recommend creating a morning ritual to set the tone for your day and get firmly grounded before distractions and obligations arise. (Tip: Rise early! Studies show that nearly 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least 3 hours before their workday begins.)
Plan your day by organizing your tasks into buckets. High-value tasks are your “must-do” tasks that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals, therefore, are critical to you and your business – schedule your day AROUND these tasks to ensure they get your highest energy and least distractions. Routine administrative tasks, or low-value tasks, are best fit for when you have the least amount of energy during the workday.
High-value tasks get the best of you. Administrative tasks get the rest of you.
2. Eliminate Distractions
On average, it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to resume work after you’ve been interrupted by activity such as text messages and email notifications. To eliminate unnecessary distractions, try turning off Outlook notifications, putting your phone away, or closing your office door.
Family and house work can be huge distractions when working from home, so make sure to set ground rules for your family and for yourself so that you can keep a productive schedule.
3. Take Meaningful Breaks
When you take time away from tasks to recharge, be sure to engage in activities that allow you to decompress and refresh your brain, not completely drain the energy you need to finish your day strong. Did you know your brain can only focus for 90 to 120 minutes before it needs a break?
Here are some of my favorite break ideas:
Take a lap around the block for some fresh air
Engage in playtime with your children
Listen to a thought-provoking podcast
Take a power nap
Have a healthy snack
10 Productivity Tools To Give You More Time
To support you in crafting a routine that works for you, I’ve compiled my go-to list of productivity tools. Experiment with one today and see if it works for you:
1. Time Blocking
Divide your day into blocks of time, dedicating each block to either one high-cognitive task or a batch of the same tasks, and only those tasks. Instead of starting your day with an open-ended to-do list, you’ll start with a planned schedule of what you need to do and when you’ll do it.
2. The Pomodoro Technique
Set your timer for 25 minutes, give your undivided attention to one task for the duration, and when the timer goes off, take a short break. This technique encourages you to work with the time you have rather than against it, allowing you to eliminate burnout and manage distractions.
3. The “Touch It Once” Rule
As soon as you touch something, whether it be an email or laundry, immediately act on it. This could mean completing the task all at once or determining the next actionable steps to move it along.
4. “Eat the Frog First”
As Mark Twain famously said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning, and if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” In other words, do your hardest task first thing in the morning to get it out of the way so the rest of your day feels like a breeze.
5. Project Lists
On these lists, include statuses and deadlines for each task within a project so you know where you, team members, and deliverables are in the process at any given time.
6. Email Notification Management
As I mentioned in my first video on productivity, do away with the unnecessary notifications! These can be distracting and a huge blow to your productivity.
7. Energy Tracking
The Designing your Life Energy Engagement Worksheet is a great tool that allows you to track your energy and engagement throughout the day, also known as your natural flow. By analyzing this, you will become more aware of when you are your most energetic self and “in the flow” so you can plan your day based on that.
8. Power Hour
Set aside an hour and get as many two-minute tasks you can get done in an hour – it’s also fun to tally your completed tasks so you can revel in all that just one hour allowed you to accomplish!
9. Three Task Commitment
With the current state of the world, I’m only commiting to do three things each day. When I get those three things done, I count the day as a success!
10. “Got It Done” List
Write down all of the things you do in a day – from tie dying t-shirts to preparing presentations to cooking dinner. Seeing how much you accomplish in any given day keeps your energy and motivation up!
Drop in the comments below the ONE action you’re committing to experiment with tomorrow…
Remember, anything that doesn’t light you up is too small for you,
Business + Leadership Coach