Time management for working moms is essential as it can be difficult balancing both work and family life. However, it doesn’t have to be so hard.
There are ways you can make the most out of your day without neglecting any part of your responsibilities or your family.
So if you’re constantly running around in the morning before heading off to work or school, or finding yourself forgetting or showing up late to events, these tips on time management for working moms are for you.
[Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own.]
What is time management?
But first, let’s start by clarifying what time management even means.
According to MindTools, time management is “the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.” In doing so, it increases effectiveness, efficiency and productivity.
In simpler terms, you’re working smarter throughout the day, not harder, but still getting things done.
So let’s get you to where you want to be by guiding you through the best time management tips for working moms.
Time Management Tips for Working Moms
Here are ways that will help keep track of all those important tasks that need to be completed throughout the day without causing so much stress. Not only will this save you time as you’re being more efficient but it’ll free time in your schedule too.
This means, no more working mom burnout or working mom guilt. And this is what we want, isn’t it?
Get enough rest
One way to ensure time management for working moms is actually effective is by getting enough rest. I know as a mom it’s pretty unrealistic to get the recommended eight hours of sleep, but I suggest you at least aim for 6-7 hours.
This will help you recharge and keep your body healthy, which in turn contributes to being able to manage your time better.
Set a bedtime
One way to ensure you’re getting enough sleep is by setting a bedtime. Depending on the time you need to wake up, count 7 hours backward and set that as the time for you to be in bed.
However, once you set this bedtime, make sure to follow it as best as you can. If you find yourself continuously missing it, then try to set it back an hour or if possible, wake up a bit later.
Track your sleep
If you’re anything like me, your mom brain doesn’t let you fall asleep so quickly. In fact, sometimes I give my husband a jelly stare as he can fall asleep within seconds LOL.
But mom brains aren’t programmed that way. So to ensure that you’re actually getting plenty of rest, I highly recommend wearing a Fitbit like the Versa 3 to sleep so that it can give you insight on your sleep cycles.
This way, you can make adjustments as needed. And trust me, you may be shocked at just how little you’re actually sleeping. I know I was.
Brain dump on paper or digitally
The next thing you want to do is get into the habit of brain dumping. You can choose to do this either on paper or digitally so that you always have it with you.
This Monthly Brain Dump Journal for Moms is perfect for on-the-go or to have pinned on your fridge. Either method will help you jot things down as they cross your mind.
Set priorities and goals
But a good way to get ahead and not have so much mind clutter is to set aside time to specifically brain dump. This can either be done daily, weekly or monthly at the start or end of your day.
During this time, you’ll want to set priorities and define your goals for the next period.
So let’s say you’re brain dumping daily, you’ll want to prepare for the next day. If you choose to do this weekly, then you’ll define these for the following week and so forth.
Brain dumping is a great way to not only keep track of things but also to get rid of the stress that comes with forgetting certain tasks or events.
Related Post: Brain Dump Journal for the Busy Modern Mama
Establish a flexible, daily routine
Time management for moms then really starts at the routine level. You want to become familiar with your current routine to see what’s working well and how it can be improved.
You’re likely already doing many repetitive tasks at the same time each day, so this is actually not as hard as it seems. You simply need to become aware of those tasks and make them visible.
At the same time, you need your routine to remain flexible. Our kids definitely don’t let our day stay the same each day (LOL), so we already need to plan in some flexibility and not try to stick to a super tight schedule.
Practice time blocking
If there’s one thing that can help you with this, it’s time blocking. This is the act of scheduling your day into specific chunks that are dedicated to certain tasks or events.
You would only time block the most important tasks which are pretty much your non-negotiables. For example, you have to pick your kids from school at a certain time. Or perhaps they have soccer practice after school twice a week at the same time.
All other tasks will then fall into your flexible category and you would decide how to fit them in each day, week or month.
Use a planner or calendar
To make this easier on you, I highly recommend either using a paper planner or an online calendar like Google Calendar. Using the same one you use for work may also help you organize yourself a bit better.
However, if you run your own business or attend many meetings daily, you may need to have two planners or use two calendars.
Your day-to-day planner will have your work day blocked whether that’s 9-5, 8-4 or whatever it is. Your work-specific planner or calendar will then have your work related tasks listed.
Either way, definitely grab yourself a planner or utilize the planning apps already on your phone to better track your routine.
Lists are a huge part of time management for working moms.
In fact, checking off tasks or items from a checklist can even give a rewarding feeling as it’s visually acknowledging what you’re getting done. So you’ll want to create checklists for just about anything.
Here are some ideas of some checklists you can create:
– A running grocery list near your fridge that everyone can write on
– Weekly chores checklist for your kids to complete
– A spreadsheet or list of bills to be paid along with due dates
– Routine checklists for your kids (morning, after school and bedtime)
– Game day ready checklist on what to pack for your kids’ football game
Now these are just a few examples. Take some time to think about anything you and your family does that could be put into a list format.
Get family involved with using checklists too
Now the beauty of having checklists is that it becomes visible for others to know what needs to be done too.
So involve your family with utilizing your checklists so that it doesn’t always fall on you.
For example, my son knows to come home and refer to his after school routine checklist each day and follow it in the order provided. This saves me from having to repeat the same thing to him each day.
We also keep our grocery list near the fridge and everyone knows that as they notice we’re running low on something, to go ahead and jot it down instead of telling me.
So definitely think of specific checklists that will help you not be the single person in charge of certain tasks.
Related Post: Fun & Easy Bedtime Routine Chart for Kids
Set up helpful systems at home
A big part of time management for working moms is making things as efficient as possible. So you’ll want to think about setting up helpful systems around the house to make doing certain tasks a breeze.
Some systems you could do create or implement include:
– Designating a certain day (and person) to check the mail every so often
– Clean in little spurts throughout the day and decide when and who will clean what
– Meal plan for the week and grab groceries based on that
– Set out your clothes for the next day the night before
And so forth, and so forth. These are just a few examples.
What you want to do is take a look at your day and see how things could be improved if you were to do something(s) differently.
In the beginning, it may be a bit rough to implement or to figure out what systems could work, but once you get it down, it’ll really make everything else run a lot smoother.
And keep in mind that these systems don’t only have to be for big tasks. Little systems for little tasks add up.
Those two minutes you saved from having to walk to the kitchen to grab your keys combined with the 15 minutes you saved by picking out your clothes, equals you getting back quite some time in your morning.
Set working schedule boundaries
Listen, before you say anything, just know I’ve been here too. It’s so hard setting work boundaries when you have to pay the bills and have so much work that needs to get done. I get it.
However, our family needs us to be present. A company will replace you in a jiffy, but you’re irreplaceable to your family which is why they come first.
So, work when it’s time to work and stop when work is supposed to be over.
Don’t accept extra shifts
One way to ensure you maintain your work boundaries is by not accepting extra shifts. If you do this, you’ll be at the risk of stretching yourself too thin and will never have time for anything else.
If money is an issue, definitely talk to your boss about increasing your pay (because I’m sure you’re worth more anyways) or look for other ways to make money as a mom.
You want to find a workplace that’s mom-friendly and trust me, there are plenty out there. You could also choose to look for ways to make money from home like starting a blog or becoming a freelance writer or virtual assistant.
Keep work away from home
Another way to stick to your work boundaries is by keeping work out of your home. This means not bringing your work home with you, whether that’s in the form of your laptop, paperwork, responding to emails, making phone calls etc.
By bringing your work home, you not only risk neglecting the other parts of your life, but you’re also not giving your 100% to your family. And we’re all about mastering mom-life balance here so that you can truly enjoy quality time with your loved ones.
So if possible, keep work at work as much as possible and keep your mind off of it until it’s time to go back again.
I know this is hard and there may be times when you have a critical deadline, and that’s okay. Just try your best to limit these from happening by finding ways to be more productive while at work.
Stick to your working hours
One thing that also helps maintain boundaries and separate mom-life from work-life is by only sticking to your working hours. This means only working while you’re meant to work.
This holds true whether you work from home or outside of the home. If you’re scheduled for a certain number of hours, do your best to leave on time.
Try not to check emails or other work related tasks throughout the day, unless there’s something absolutely critical that needs attention or else.
If an email comes through while you’re spending time with my family, ignore it until the next day or after the kids go to bed. Once again, this is where your work productivity should kick in, so aim to get as much done as you can while on the actual clock.
Learn to say “no”
You also want to make sure you’re not agreeing to do everything or go everywhere.
I know this can be hard as we want to be helpful or maybe you’re just too nice to say no. But don’t let anybody peer pressure you or make you feel bad for doing (or not doing) things you don’t want to do.
You and your family come first. And you, as the mom, knows what and how much you can handle or realistically take on without causing extra stress.
Just because you’re not a member of the PTA doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. And even though your kid is getting invited to 20 birthday parties, it doesn’t mean you have to attend all of them.
Instead, choose to only participate in the things that are truly important to you.
Stop doing everything yourself
One of the best time management tips for working moms is to let go of the mom superhero mindset. Us moms have the tendency to take on everything, help everybody and do it all ourselves.
We think that it’s easier just to take care of it by ourselves instead of teaching or guiding someone else, but in reality, this just adds onto our plate.
Delegate tasks to your husband and kids
Remember how I said your family needs you to be present? Well, you can’t be present if you’re busy doing all the household duties. So delegate tasks to your family and kids.
Assign them a list of chores and hold them accountable. You can add chores to your kids after school routine and ensure that they get them done before they have any enjoyment.
You should also discuss how you and your husband will split some other chores like cooking, washing dishes etc.
All chores should not fall on you. Everyone lives in the house and should each put in their fair share of work.
Outsource other tasks
Another lifesaver for us has been to outsource certain tasks. Like I said, we aren’t wonder woman and we can’t possibly do it all while keeping our sanity as a working mom.
Therefore, take a look at your budget and see how you can fit in the expense of hiring a cleaning company, paying delivery fees for groceries or taking care of yard work.
Many times, when the mom also works, household duties get pushed to the weekends.
However, I’m a true believer that you should spend quality time with your family on the weekends at minimum.
So take a look to see what you can outsource so that you can enjoy family game night or Sunday Funday with your special kiddos and husband.
Ask for help or support from others
It definitely takes a village to raise a family. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying. So definitely ask for help or support as needed.
As a mom with a new baby, this is something that has especially been super beneficial and has helped me get by. Having a strong support system is important for all parents so reach out to see if someone can help pick up the kids from school or maybe participate in a car pool with some friends.
Simple things like this could make a huge difference.
Related Post: How To Help New Moms (& How Not To) in the First Weeks
Utilize the internet to get things done
You should also take advantage of the amazing and most powerful tool, the internet. There are actually plenty of tasks that can be done online nowadays so take full advantage of it.
Automate certain tasks
Start by automating certain tasks so that you don’t have to worry about them at all. The simplest thing you can automate is your bills. Send everything to auto-pay and forget it. Even though bills only get paid a few times a month, those are extra minutes you can spend doing something else.
Amazon has also made it easy to set up recurring transactions on items you may need repeatedly like diapers. You can sign up for Amazon Prime to receive these every so often, and even get a slight discount on each order for doing so.
Another option is to sign up for a meal service like Yumble Kids or Hello Fresh to deliver meal supplies or meal kits directly to your doorstep every week. This helps you not have to worry about picking dinner or worrying about your kids not eating their meals.
Order things online
Another thing you can do is order things online. Of course, having Amazon Prime is a major plus and allows you to get just about anything you could possibly imagine with the tap of a button.
But besides Amazon, you could also order your groceries online and either pick them up on your way home from work or have them delivered to your doorstep while working from home.
In addition, you could also order your kid’s school uniforms, clothing or school supplies from the respective websites too. Since online shopping has become a huge part of a company’s revenue, many are even starting to offer free shipping which is a huge win for us mamas.
There are also kid’s book subscription services that will ship straight to you monthly so that you always have new books to read with your kids.
The point is to find ways to use the internet to save you little bits of time here and there because they add up.
Related Post: Productive Things to Do at Home While Working
However, speaking of the internet, it can also get quite addicting if we aren’t careful. It’s one of the top distractions that can keep you from truly being productive at home.
So limit your web and social media surfing time and be conscious of how much time you’re spending on it.
You also want to eliminate other types of distractions by turning off the TV and avoiding checking your phone constantly.
Instead, try to maintain focus on whatever you’re working on. This can be work-related tasks or something at home. The more you can focus, the quicker you’ll be able to get it done without sacrificing the quality.
Accept that perfection doesn’t exist
Another time management tip for working moms is to accept the fact that things aren’t always going to be perfect. Perfection isn’t truly attainable so there’s no point in trying to force it.
You can’t expect to do work at home without some interruptions. Your kids are probably going to want your attention or you’ll be too tired after a long day of working to keep up with household chores.
Instead, focus on getting things done as best as possible and don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. Sometimes things just need to be “good enough.”
Take time to enjoy life
Lastly, make sure to prioritize yourself and your family. This means taking a little bit of time off from work or at least working on things that will allow you to have more flexibility with your schedule.
Spend time with your family
Schedule time to do things with your family and follow through on it. Make sure you’re actually present and not busy on your phone because kids will take notice.
So enjoy family movie night, ask some Would You Rather questions to bond on a deeper level or simply cuddle with your babies because time flies and they’ll be grown before you know it.
And mama, don’t forget to schedule time for yourself too. Even if it’s just a little bit of personal time, it’ll help you recharge and give you the energy needed to be present in your everyday life.
So schedule in a few minutes of self-care each day. You can even ask another loved one to take care of the kids for a couple of hours every so often so that you two can enjoy a nice date night together.
Whatever makes you feel relaxed and stress-free again is what you should aim to do. Whether it’s squeezing in a mini workout during your lunch break, pampering yourself with a face mask or reading a good book.
It may not seem like this should be a part of time management for working moms, but trust me when I say it’s actually one of the super important ones and you don’t want to skip out on it.
Related Post: Uplifting Self Care Ideas for Moms Needing a Break
Time to Practice Better Time Management for Working Moms
With these tips, you should be able to find more time in your day and get what you want done. Time management is one of the most important skills a working mom can learn and it’ll help you not only feel more confident in your abilities but also make sure that no part of your life gets neglected.
When you master mom-life balance through better time management, you’ll be a much happier mama and your family will truly appreciate it.
What are some time management tips you have tried yourself? Are there other strategies for working moms to be more productive that you recommend? Please leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!
And be sure to grab your copy of the Monthly Brain Dump Journal for Moms here and start your months off more productive.