Not too long ago, I read the quote "You have time for what you make time for." That really struck me.
Or, "If you have time to scroll through Instagram, you have time to build your business."
If you are a working mom, or a mom looking to escape the 9-5 with your side hustle (like I am!) you probably see a lot of this advice. Productivity guru's tell you to work 9-5 for your job, then work 5-9 for yourself.
But how do kids fit into the picture?
Learning to Prioritize
There are things that we all want to do with our lives, we have dreams for the future, and of a life that is different than the life we have now.
When we learn to prioritize our time, then we can have more time for the things that really matter. Spend less things doing things that aren't serving you. Use organization and productivity tools. Learn to say no and set boundaries.
Remember, setting boundaries is self care.
You don't have to say yes to everything. If it isn't something that you actually want to do, say no. It sounds crazy simple, but there are frequently so many things we feel obligated to do and we don't actually have any interest in.
If you don't want to bake cookies for the school bake sale, don't.
If you don't want to go out drinking with old college friends, don't.
If you don't want to go to one more networking event, don't.
Do things that fill you up and energize you, not things that tear you down. Read a book with the kids, do some yoga, spend time building your business.
If it isn't a priority, then in a lot of cases it should be a full stop no.
Of course, there are things you actually have to do, like cleaning, driving the car pool, or taking the kids to the doctor. But you don't have to say yes to everything. Split up some of these tasks with your partner, or find ways to do them faster.
Do Things That Fill You Up
What do you love most of all? Do more of that.
Do you want to have more free time to spend with the kids? Time for friends and hobbies? Time for self-care? To build a side hustle?
No matter what it is you want most of all, find a few minutes a day to do that. You can start small, as little as 10 minutes a day. Let it become a habit over a few weeks.
According to Healthline,
The study also concluded that, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.
Then, you can gradually increase the time that you are spending on what you actually want to do. For example, go from 10 minutes to 20 minutes a day with your new habit.
Eliminate Time Wasters
Some of the biggest time sucks are things that involve waiting. The more we can eliminate things like waiting in line, or waiting in traffic, the more time we have to spend on things that matter.
According to The Daily Mail, "A survey has found that the average Briton spends almost seven years waiting around – about 11 per cent of their whole life."
I would guess that this figure is similar in other countries as well.
For this reason, if you have to do boring tasks like going to the bank, the supermarket, or to renew your drivers license, first check if you can do it online. If you can't, find out times when it is the least busy. This can easily be done by calling ahead.
Also, you can set appointments for things like oil changes or haircuts (where you do have to go in person), instead of just walking in and waiting. It takes some planning, but can save a ton of time.
You can set up your bills to automatically withdraw from your account so you don't have to spend time paying them.
These tips can apply to basically anything where you will have to spend time waiting in line.
Just like the airport has express check that you can set up with the TSA so that you can enjoy more of your time on vacation instead of waiting, there are express options for most things now a days.
Get things delivered when possible. It may cost more, but it saves you time!
Start looking at things you do as much in terms of "Time cost" as you do at the financial cost. Then, think about how much your time is worth. This may help you eliminate or outsource tasks that are wasting a lot of your time.
Make your time your own. Make it work for you, so that you have the biggest amount of time possible for the things that matter to you.
If you want to spend more time with your kids, your partner, or building a business, you want to eliminate time sucks as much as possible. You can do this by prioritizing your time, doing things that fill you up, and eliminating time wasters.
What do you do to maximize your time? What works well for you? Let me know in the comments!
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