Today, I am giving you 5 simple steps to help you master your time management as a work-from-home Mom because I know what you are dealing with. Just like you, I’m dealing with it too. I have spent the past five years perfecting my method and using it daily. I know there are still people who don’t believe it’s possible, but I know it is simply because they probably are not doing these five things. They do not have these steps working for them in their life. I want you to be able to have them in your life.
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Master Your Time: 5 Simple Steps For Better Time Management
My 5 steps for you are not an order. They don’t need to be in any order. They should be things that are getting done for you to master your time. We talk about mastering your time, also known as time management, and what it means for you to really understand the nuances of your own life. These change every time you have a shift in season in your family. We have to learn how to manage our time in each season. There are seasons of our children and how they grow, and seasons within our marriage. Everything changes, which means we have to learn how to manage our time and not just manage it but, in my opinion, master it.
These are the 5 things I am doing to help me stay on my A-game. To keep up with my time management as things shift and change in my life. It’s going to be straightforward. You can start putting this into practice in your life right away.
What Time Management Step Do You Want To Focus On First
At the end of this, I want you to circle the one you think you should focus on first. These steps will not happen overnight or automatically, they take time. You can get these steps in place faster if you have my home management system that is plug-and-play in your life. However, you can go out and do it on your own as well. It may take you longer and that’s okay. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed and feel discouraged by the fact that you can’t do all five of these things at once.
You might already be doing a few of these five steps. Maybe you’re not doing them how you want, or at the level you want to be. This would be another great thing for you to look at.
Step #1: Use Screens And Technology Wisely To Boost Your Time Management
Let’s look at number 1. To master your time management and reclaim your day, you need to use your screens and technology wisely. This does not say don’t use them because I don’t think that’s wise. It’s more of a conversation about what using screens and technology wisely looks like to you. For me, it’s a hybrid method. We’ll start with this right out of the gate. It’s not fully managing my time 100% digitally. I believe in a hybrid method. Additionally, I believe in pen to paper for a lot of reasons. That’s why I have my paper planner that I talk about so much here. It’s the number one tool I use, but I also use my Google Calendar a ton, so that is one piece of technology I utilize.
A caveat to this is how we use screens and technology with our kids to get them to be independent so that we can focus on the work we do from home. This needs to be done wisely too. Have conversations with your spouse and your kids about what this looks like for your family; lastly how you can create some automation with technology in your life, in whatever way, shape, or form that might be.
Get Creative On How To Juggle Your Use Of Technology For Your Time Management.
I’m a huge advocate of not having your phone next to your bed overnight or in general, the hard part about that is this is what everyone uses as their alarm clock. Sure, we can plug it in on the other side of the room but, what happens in the middle of the night if I want to check what time it is? Sure, we can get a clock but how do I see it in the middle of the night, or what if I don’t want it red and glowing in my face?
There are all different kinds of things to try, but one fun thing we’re trying is having our lights connected to timers and dimmers. We have been exploring and playing around with the lights being our alarm clock by setting the lights in the master bathroom to come on just a little to help us wake up when it is still dark outside. There are so many ways you can use technology and screens to your advantage to help you manage your time.
A good starting point is to take a good inventory here with a list of:
Here’s what I want to be doing.
Here’s what I don’t want to be doing.
Then, making a plan to work towards that.
Step #2: Know What To Prioritize And When To Prioritize It
Another step in mastering your time management is to know what to prioritize and when to prioritize it. There’s a lot that can go into this but it also can be really simple. When looking at what to prioritize, we need to know what needs to go where, on what day, and when it’s going to be there. The question is:
What needs to be done every week?
Things that need to be done every month?
What needs to be done every day?
Then, what needs to be done this week? That is when we prioritize it.
When do I need to be doing these things this week? Everything I teach for managing your time revolves around seven-day planning. If you try to go any further it gets to be a lot and things can change. If you plan every three days or every day, it becomes a lot of sitting down and recreating the wheel. This is why I feel seven days is a great time frame to sit down and plan out what you need to do and when to prioritize it.
For me, a lot of these things are my fundamental needs. I need to prioritize them each week. I know when to prioritize them based on what my week looks like.
Step #3: Plan Out Your Day And Your Week Ahead Of Time
The third step to mastering time management is to plan your day and week ahead of time. We touched on this a little bit in step two, this is specifically how what you’re doing every day should be the same all the time with some variances.
None of my days are identical to each other; however, I have a framework for what it’s supposed to look like using my five-block method. We talk about that a lot and what I’m referring to. It’s a time management framework. We go through our five blocks every single day. Sometimes they’re bigger, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. It all depends on what the day looks like. This is how I know what’s going to happen every single day. I know routines live inside each block. This is what I do during my Sunday sit-down every weekend. I go through several checkpoints on what I want to accomplish during the week.
Then, we layer in our time blocks, routine stacks, fundamental needs, goals, habit trackers, to-do lists, plus meal planning. On Monday, we know what the entire week looks like.
Step #4: Have a Flexible Framework, Not A Rigid Schedule
Step four in mastering your time management is to have a flexible framework, not a rigid schedule. Sit down and look at how you are currently managing your time. Is that working for you? Do you feel like you are in control of your day or do you feel like as soon as something unexpected happens you lose control of everything and it all goes out the window?
Perhaps, you don’t have any control, are flying by the seat of your pants, everything willy-nilly, being a Wing It Wendy. It’s okay no matter where you are. The point is to look at what you are doing because you are doing something. Are you waking up, doing whatever, being a hot mess, and piecing things together? That’s what your system is right now. What I would encourage you to do here is to set up a framework that is super duper flexible.
This framework should look like you know what typically happens on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or Tuesdays and Thursdays or, maybe Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday, Fridays, and then Thursday is different. What is a framework for your life? When do the dishes fit in best? When does the laundry fit in best? Get to a place where you feel your time management is covered. Where you understand you’re going to be using time blocks using a Google Calendar.
“We’re still structured, but in a fashion that lets us have some breathing room and wiggle room.”
Start Looking At How To Add All Your Responsibilities Into Your Time Management Plan
Look at when are you going to master all of the responsibilities that have to get done within the framework and start adding those. That is how you’re going to slowly but surely build a flexible framework. Peel back and look at it from farther away, instead of your position in the weeds of your time management that’s not working. That is a huge part of the problem right now. You haven’t been able to come up high enough to see it from a different view. We’re looking at all the details every day, but we need to see those details from a different view or angle, to be able to see how to set up a system for this that can bend and flex depending on what’s going on.
It’s about knowing that if something comes up on Monday and I have three things scheduled, I can take those out, put them somewhere else, or delete them and move them to next week. We don’t want to be so busy and locked into this mindset of “I have to be here at noon. Next, I have an hour for this and 30 minutes for that.” We need to stop creating situations where we constantly feel under the gun. Every once in a while there’s a day like that around here, and there’s nothing wrong with having one now and again, but living like that is what leads to the overwhelmed and feeling like you’re not managing your time.
Step #5: Shift Your Thought Processes From Doing One Thing Into Focusing One Segment.
While a lot of people say to do one thing at a time, I’m going to tell you NOT to do one thing at a time but, I don’t mean to multitask. The fifth step is to shift your thought process from focusing on one task at a time to focusing on one segment instead. So, what does this look like? This is really, really important when it comes to being able to master your time management. It’s going from “I’m only doing this one thing right now,” to broadening that into focusing on a segment at a time.
That way, when you’re in a space where there are a few things you could tackle you have the flexibility to do so. When people pigeonhole themselves into this “one thing and this one thing only mindset,” that leads to having a rigid schedule.
The last thing you want is to be so obsessive about each individual task that you can’t handle when something random pops up because it derails your entire schedule.
How Can You Start Looking At Things In Segments To Better Manage Your Time?
Start looking at how you can say “I’m going to do the entire kitchen, or the entire downstairs on this day of the week, or in this part of every single day.” That way, you’ve given yourself a bit of freedom and your brain can think about the one thing that’s getting done. It’s not multitasking. We’re not cleaning the entire house, while we’re trying to answer emails, while we’re also trying to cook dinner. We’re still structured, but in a fashion that lets us have some breathing room and wiggle room.
Now, you can go into the kitchen knowing you’ve set aside an hour every single day at a certain time to do group tasks that are in the same place. Your kids can all be doing the same thing while you’re doing these tasks. Group them into segments or buckets that make sense for your family.
Focus On Specific Responsibilities Instead Of Specific Tasks To Better Your Time Management
One of the biggest things I realized with this is making sure that I’m not trying to switch between responsibilities. That is the multitasking part I want you to get rid of. Yes, we’re going to do one thing at a time, but I’m focusing on a specific responsibility. For example: the kids and whatever tasks need to be done for or with them, focusing on an area of my house. If you’re focusing on prepping for the week, you may be in several different areas. Plan your food, do laundry, and update your planner. Everything related to preparing for the week is what you focus on. You don’t need to think about that any other day, because it’s already done.
Master Your Time Management With These 5 Steps:
These are the 5 simple steps to help you reclaim your day by mastering your time management as a work-from-home mom:
Use your screens and technology wisely
Know what to prioritize and when to prioritize it
Have your day and your week planned out ahead of time
Have a flexible framework, not a rigid schedule
Shift your thought processes from doing one thing at a time to doing them in segments
As you implement these steps, you will start reclaiming your day and feeling in control of your time instead of feeling pulled in all directions. I’m excited to hear all about it! Share how you are implementing these steps to master your time management with me over in our Facbook community or come visit me over on Instagram. If you need more inspiration on time blocking, check out Episode 296: 5 Simple Tips To Help You Start Time Blocking When You Have Never Tried It Before As A Work From Home Mom
Until next time…
Frequently Asked Questions
I want to learn more about time block and managing my time. Where should I start?
Good new mama, you came to the right place! The Systemize Your Life Podcast has lots of amazing episodes on time blocking. Check out Episode 117: Tired of Feeling Pulled In All Directions? Try My Fail Proof Time Blocking System For Beginners or Episode 105: Everything You Need To Know About Successful Time Management In 10 Minutes
If you want to hang out with like minded mama’s, come join us in our Facebook group, where you can connect with other mama’s, ask questions and get help as you embark on your journey of time blocking.