How to Better Prioritize Your Time as a Working Mom
Updated: Jun 26, 2022
When you have more on your plate to do every day, prioritizing your time becomes even more important.
As a working mom, there is an expectation that we be super women and "do it all." If you have been doing the working mom thing for longer than about 20 minutes, you probably know that this is impossible.
Choosing your priorities and values is always important, but even more so with kids. If you follow these tips, it will help you find a way to balance your career with motherhood.
Use Organizational Tools
Whether it is automating your calendar, shopping list, or to-do list, anything you can do to be more organized will help to streamline the tasks that you have to do, but don't really want to do.
You can keep a running shopping list on Amazon or Walmart for your groceries, so you don't have to figure out what you are out of, or make extra trips for forgotten items.
You can automate your bill payments, so that they are handled through automatic withdrawals (who likes paying bills anyway?).
Not all organizational tools need to be computerized either. It can be as simple as making sure to clean the kitchen at night and have coffee made with a timer, so that you don't have to waste time making the coffee.
There are tons of easy cleaning hacks you can use too, so that you spend less time cleaning, and more time doing something interesting. One way to do this is to involve children in doing chores. Or, it can be as simple as putting away stray items every time you go into another room.
When it comes to cleaning, I personally think that spending a few minutes tidying the house every night before bed is easier than spending extra hours cleaning on the weekend. Who really wants to spend five hours cleaning?
The more organized you are, the less time you waste. And, time is our most precious commodity after all.
If you have a partner, they are your key team mate. Sometimes, you may want to divide and conquer difficult tasks. Or, take turns spending the time with your kids while the other does chores, or takes time for self-care.
In addition to your partner, you may be able to get help with the kids from family or friends. Building relationships with grandparents and other older family members is good for both generations. Maybe your mom can do after school pick-ups? Or take your child to a special club or activity?
There are other kinds of help available too, in the form of paid services. If you don't want to clean all the time, you can hire a cleaner. Don't want to cook? You can get a subscription to a meal box or order take out once a week. You can get groceries delivered. Now a days, there are subscription boxes available for most everything.
The more tasks you can get off your plate, the more time you can devote to both your kids and your career.
Learning to say no is a game changer. Whether it is to your boss, your kids, or that mom at soccer practice who asked you to bake some cookies.
And remember, "No." Is a complete sentence.
I know that it sounds cliché, but you are going to burn out if you say yes to everything. Unless you want to live for the next 18 years off of Red Bull instead of sleep, learning to say no is a crucial skill. As someone who says yes too much, this is something I had to learn the hard way.
If you have a demanding career, sometimes the time you have with your kids may suffer. For example, if you have to respond to calls or emails at home. Make it a practice to put a do-not-disturb on your work phone and email after a certain time, and stick to it. You don't really need to be replying to calls or emails at 10pm or 5am. My sleep timer is on from 9pm to 7am, but you can do whatever works for you.
Personally, I have left jobs in the past because they didn't give me enough work-life balance. I don't want to work for a boss that expects me to be on call all the time. It may be a sacrifice career wise, but it is something you can ask about the company culture as early as your interview.
If a company culture isn't a fit for your life, then that may not be the dream job that it seems to be. Office culture is important.
It is also important to set boundaries with your kids too, especially if you work from home. My daughter knows that if I am on the phone, she needs to wait to ask me something, unless it is an emergency. If not for that, I would never get anything done.
When you are a working mom, you are constantly juggling 100 different balls in the air.
By learning how to prioritize, you can spend more quality time with your kids. Some ways to become more focused on your priorities are using organizational tools, asking for help, and setting boundaries. If you do all these things, you will clear a lot of unnecessary tasks off of your plate.
What do you do to stay organized and focused on your kids as a working mom? I'm sure other moms would love to hear your tips too. Let me know in the comments!
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