By Karen Lynn
When you are trying to balance growing your career with taking care of your family, it is nearly impossible to fit everything you need to do into a 24-hour period. You may find yourself looking at the clock and realize it’s later than you thought it was, and think “Where did the time go?” We have all been there. However, if you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day every day, you may be struggling with time management. These 7 tips will help you use your time more efficiently so you can get more done and feel less stress!
Plan Your Day
Too much time is spent not sure what to do next or feeling scattered. You get to work and you spend 10 minutes sitting at your desk not sure where to start, or you dive into one project, then halfway through you start something else. When you get to your office, before you start sending emails or making calls, plan out your day as a combination to-do list, and schedule where you can determine what you need to do and schedule the time to make it happen.
Prioritize Your Day
As you create your daily plan, make sure you set your two or three highest priority items at the top and get those done first. Not only is this great for taking care of your business, but it gives you a great sense of accomplishment! Don’t set more than two or three items as high-priority though, or you’ll stress yourself out. Getting in touch with a distributor about a missed shipment and vacuuming your office rug are not on the same level of priority.
Shut Off Social Media
Social media can be amazing, but it can easily turn into a huge time waster. A one minute tweet about your business can turn into liking friends’ vacation pictures and taking quizzes about what type of person you are based on your astrological sign. If you use it for your business, use a site like Hootsuite to create a few days’ worth of content and schedule your social media posts, or block out a time each day to post on social media and follow up.
Take a Lunch
Spending all day plugging away at work seems like you’ll get more done than if you take breaks, but that isn’t necessarily true. Your brain does need some down time, and you need to re-fuel. Schedule your lunch for a specific time. You will naturally work more quickly to finish projects before your scheduled lunch time than if you were planning on eating while you work or skipping it altogether. Plus, when you return to your work, you’ll have a refreshed mind and outlook.
If you work from home or you receive a lot of interruptions from others while you are working, those interruptions can eat into your productivity. Stopping your project to take care of something else, then having to find your place and get back into it is a major time-stealer! If you struggle with unnecessary interruptions, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. This doesn’t work if you have customers or clients who need you and you need them, but it helps with children and co-workers if you work in an office. If you worry about hurting feelings, but you can’t be interrupted, tell the person, “I want to devote 100 percent of my attention to helping you, and I can’t if this project is hanging over me. Let me finish this, and I can give you my full attention.”
Trying to do two (or more!) projects at once seems like a great idea, in theory. However, dividing your focus actually takes an overall longer amount of time than if you would have done one task first, then the second one. You are also much more likely to make an error if you divide your concentration and having to correct it will waste even more time. Start a project, finish it to completion, then more onto the next thing. If you get an unavoidable interruption, focus on that until you can transition back to your original project.
It’s easy to slip into the “I’ll do it myself” mindset. You know that when you do something, it is done to your specific standards, and it’s hard to let go of that control. However, if you have employees working for you, you hired them to help you. Let them help you. The same goes for kids, too. If you’re tired of coming home to a messy house, even the smallest child can help pick up the mess. Don’t be afraid to let others shoulder some of the load.
For more information and great tips on how to de-stress your busy mom life, click here to sign up for my free newsletter and receive a free gift. I also offer a free complimentary phone session if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity and de-stress your life.
Karen Lynn is a certified Life & Holistic Health Coach and the founder of CoachKarenLynn and the creator of the “From Frazzled to Fabulous” programs. Which helps mom entrepreneurs find health, balance and an amazing life of their own design.
Karen Lynn mentors mom entrepreneurs to create time in their busy days, so they can feel focused, relaxed and productive in their business & their lives. As a single mom who has worked in both the corporate world, and has owned own businesses, Karen understands the challenges that busy working moms are facing these days. She designs her programs to fit easily into a busy moms lifestyle. She is a Certified Life Coach and Holistic Health Coach, with 10 years experience in the Health & Wellness field.