Is there never enough time in your day? Feeling overwhelmed? Do you ever wish you could duplicate yourself? Are you a working mom who could benefit from more time in your schedule? I know, we’ve all been there.
Nothing excites me more than helping you find a better way to manage your life. Today I want to talk to you about time management. Do you know there’s no such thing? There is no such thing as time management. We don’t need to manage time. Time is like gravity. It exists, and it moves. There’s nothing we can do to slow it down, to speed it up, or to get more of it.
Lesson from a dog named Baloo
It reminds me of 12 years ago. I brought home a 40-pound puppy, seriously, 40 pounds. That’s the size of most people’s full-grown dogs. Her name is Baloo, and she was Newfoundland puppy, three-months old, already 40 lbs. So you know, as well as I do, that she was going to be a 120 to a 150 pounds, and I was nervous.
I decided to hire a well-respected dog trainer in our area and guess what advice he gave me? He said we are not going to be training this dog. Dogs, like most animals, are remarkable creatures. What I need to train is you, Renee, I need to teach you. I need to show you what you need to do so that you have the best dog on planet earth. And guess what? It worked.
Baloo is amazing and is now 12 years old. She has lived 4 or so years beyond the expected lifespan which is 8 to 10, and she just turned 12. There are all kinds of reasons why, right, but I did it right. And we need to do the same thing with our time. I am not going to teach you how to speed time up, make more time, or find more time. I am going to show you how to prioritize your life so that you have more time in it.
Grab a pen and some paper – Let’s get started
I am going to give you three quick exercises that you can do to help you better manage your time, prioritize your life and allow you to get more done. Does that sound good?
The first thing I want to tell you before we get started are the facts. Since my first career was a CPA, let’s begin with the numbers. There are 168 total hours in a week. Yes, we all have the same amount of time in a week. I have 168; you have 168, your whole family has 168. We can’t change it.
What are the three non-negotiables in our life that take up most of our 168 hours?
Sleep is number one in my book. We all need to learn how to get more sleep. That’s going to help our productivity right out of the gate. If you sleep seven-and-a-half hours a night, seven days a week – now, don’t argue with me about that, watch one of my videos on sleep or read one of my sleep blogs. So 7 1/2 hours multiplied by seven days a week is 52 1/2 hours per week. Let’s give ourselves an extra half hour of sleep and round up to 53.
Let’s take three meals per day and multiply that by seven days, which is 21 hours a week on eating. This time I’m going to round down to 20.
People typically work 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day. I threw in some time for travel and even a little bit of time to get ready in the morning. It’s included in there, so I rounded that to 50 hours a week. Now, if you have a long commute, that might be different. However, we are going to learn what to do with our commuting time to make it more productive.
Adding up those, what I call non-negotiables gets us to 123 hours a week, give or take. So that means we all only have 45 discretionary hours.
Time Management Tips for Working Moms
Let’s learn how to get more efficient with your time so you can have more time to live the amazing life you desire. Does that sound good? Grab your pen and paper and let’s get started.
- Download the PDF
- Keeping the following questions in mind. Who do I love? What makes me happy? And when do I feel alive and fulfilled and excited about living?
- Set a stop watch for 5 minutes.
- Begin to “brain dump” on the paper.
- Now take all those words from your “brain dump” and rank them in order of importance.
- Get three different colored highlighters. I always like to start with my favorite color, blue. And I want you to pick the three most important things; I assume they are the top three. For example number one, highlight with your favorite color. Number two, choose another color and number three in another color.
That’s the first part of this exercise. Determining and defining what’s important in your life. I like to write at the top of my page – these are the most important things in my life – before I even start.
Over the next seven days, fill out Daily Activity Log included in the attached PDF. Include everything such as when you are sleeping, working, preparing meals, or even feeding the dog! Everything you do goes on these sheets.
Try this exercise for an entire week, starting from the time you wake up, until the time you go to bed. I want every one of those 24 hours delineated as to what you were doing. It may sound daunting, I understand. If you do this exercise, it will change your life. I promise! Let me know how you feel after those seven days?
Exercise # 3 – Let the fun begin
Remember Exercise 1 where we took three highlighters and picked our top 3 priorities?
- Based on your highest priorities and using the same color highlighters, go through your Daily Activity Log and highlight all the activities that pertain to that priority. Example: Your priority is your family, and you used a yellow highlighter. In your Daily Activity Log, go through and highlight everything that had to do with your family in yellow, such as driving the kids to school, helping with homework, cooking them dinner, etc.
- Now take a red pen and circle anything over these past seven days that did not pertain to your top 3 priorities.
- It is time to analyze. Count up all the hours that you circled red. How many hours do you have?
Let’s analyze your work.
- Find all the items circled in red and add up the hours.
- How many hours in your day compared to red things? For example, taking out the garbage, doing laundry, they are probably not important to you, but they are necessary things. Which items could you stop doing or which ones could you hire someone to do? Some we may need to do ourselves, and we may need to factor that in and how many things related to the three most important things in your life.
Take the 45 hours we had leftover. These are our discretionary hours. Begin to allocate your 45 hours, and what you are going to do with them, based on what you need to do and don’t need to do. Discover where you spend your time and where you know you should be spending your time. This exercise should significantly help you reallocate and prioritize your time.
I hope these time management tips for working moms helped and allowed you see where you might be wasting time. Perhaps you are doing things that don’t align with the top priorities in your life.
Would you like to dig a little deeper? If yes, I’d suggest you take my free life audit? The life audit gives you an even bigger picture of every area of your life. It allows to assess and come up with more important priorities so that you can make the most of your limited time.