Time. It seems no one ever has enough time. I mean the hours in the day have not changed but it seems we just can’t get all our many tasks completed. I have learned over the years some tips to help with time management for busy moms.
This isn’t brand new information but it will help increase your productivity and mental health that goes along with a busy schedule.
Do you ever go to sleep at night and wonder…. “Did I even get anything done today?” You feel like you were constantly busy, but don’t feel like you made any head way on your “to do” list.
Yeah, me too.
When I decided to start living this homesteading life, I knew there were things that needed to change. I craved the simple way of life but didn’t know the best ways to get it. I wanted to add in cooking from scratch, gardening, having animals, and more…. but knew all those things took a lot of time and my days were already jammed packed.
How was I going to do it all?
You can not do it all, all of the time.
Let’s just call out the big fat elephant in the room right off the get go.
You can’t do it all.
There isn’t anyone out there that is doing all of it, all of the time. If they try, their stress levels go through the roof and no one benefits from it. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Contrary to what social media makes you believe, no one is doing it all. It just isn’t possible.
So please don’t look at my life or anyone else and compare, because I promise you they are not doing it all.
But I do believe there are things to help you with time management for busy moms. With some strategy and useful tips on your daily routine, along with enough sleep and healthy foods, you can maximize your time well and thrive in your home. I truly believe that.
I mention sleep and food because I believe those two go hand in hand with how our productivity of our day goes. If you aren’t fueling yourself with good nutritious foods and getting a good amount of sleep you will never able to work at top notch.
At the end of the day the most important things in life are God and family life. So while these best time management tips may help you to get loads done, don’t lose sight of why we are busy in the first place.
Now let’s get to the best tips for time management for busy moms.
Tip 1: Plan ahead.
“Failing to plan is like planning to fail”
I just love that quote. There is so much truth behind it.
Now I know what some of you are thinking right about now. I am not a planner so this is not going to work. But hear me out.
I do understand that not everyone is an ultra planner like myself. And that is ok! You don’t have to have every second of every day planned to be successful. But having a lose plan for your day will help tremendously!
Waking up and having an idea of what you need to and want to get done that day will help you to fill in any little gaps in your day. For me I plan out my whole day for an entire week at a time. But for you, you may just want a to-do list with a few major bullet points so you don’t forget to do them. Either way having some form of plan, will do you well in maximizing your time!
How I plan my weeks.
This is how I plan my entire week in a few hours on Sunday afternoons. You do not have to do it this way, but it works really well for me and I am able to get a lot done within my week. You can also do this every evening for the next day, but I find by doing it all on Sunday afternoons my week goes a lot smoother.
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Every Sunday, after church, I sit down and plan out my whole week in my day planner. I look at my calendar and see what days we need to be out of the house and if we have any appointments. I haven’t found a day planner that I absolutely love. But this one works well for me and I have been using it for years. Maybe one day soon I’ll make my own that is exactly how I want it.
I then take my day planner, and plug those appointments in.
Next, I think of what projects I need to or want to get done that week. I will start plugging into my day planner those projects on days that we don’t have to be out of the house. For example, if we have a doctors appointment on a Tuesday or Wednesday, I know I won’t be home to do any projects. So I am not going to plan a canning project on those days. Let your plan work for you and not bring you added stress.
Knowing the amount of time it takes to complete a task helps to know when to plug them into what days.
Now I plan out my meals.
After I have my weekly plan, I plan out my meals for the week. This helps so much in maximizing my time. When you cook completely from scratch you need to have some sort of plan. A meal plan is just the answer!
Once I have my meals planned. I plug into my days anything that can help me throughout the day to get the from scratch meal on the table.
So for instance, if I know I am making sandwiches for lunch on Tuesday, I will write in make bread on Monday’s to-do list so I have bread ready for Tuesdays lunch.
The first couple times you are planning your days and weeks out like this, it will take some time. I have been doing it so long, I can plan out my week with meals and all in less than a hour now!
Bonus Tip: Write your meal plan in your day planner too. That way you can look back at previous weeks and months and plug in meals you haven’t made in a while. You don’t have to think up a brand new meal every day of every week! If you need extra help on meal planning, make sure to check out how I create a weekly meal plan.
Tip 2: Include Your Children In Your Tasks.
This step seems like a no brainer, but I want to encourage you that this really does take tasks off your plate and helps you maximize your time.
There was a time that I would be doing it all myself. I never wanted to let anyone help with anything that was “important.” I mean, they couldn’t do it right, so I thought. Don’t worry my perfectionist ways have gotten milder with time.
I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it all myself and still stay sane.
Train them when they are young.
The good news is my children are great helpers and if you can train them young they are incredibly eager to help!
I find that if you can capitalize on their desire to help when they are young, you don’t have to fight them so much when they are older. It is just a trained behavior to help around the house and with the family.
You will be amazed at what even a small child can do to pitch in and take a load off of you. Giving kids chores that they are responsible builds their confidence, gives them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, along with building their character.
It’s the little things you do when they are young that makes for a well rounded adult. And I believe getting the kids involved in the day to day operation is a key part in this.
If you are needing some more help on kids chores and what chores to assign your children to help, check out my post on how we handle kids chores in our home.
Tip 3: Make a Schedule
Now, much like the make a plan, there are some of you out there that aren’t schedule people. And that really is ok!
You do not need to have a rigid schedule and you don’t need to plan out every second of every day into a schedule. You can make this work for you however fits best for your personality and family.
But having a loose time block type schedule will definitely maximize your time and you will get so much more done. These helpful systems help the flow of your day but also the whole flow of your family too. Kids thrive when they have a schedule and know what to expect within their day. Even if it is a loose schedule.
Example of my block schedule:
- 5am-9am: quiet time, blog work, get dressed for the day, make breakfast, 1 load of laundry, quick house pick up/room chore, prep any meals for the day.
- 9am-12pm: school time and lunch
- 12pm-3pm: errands or household projects (i.e. work in garden, clean out closets, pay bills, canning project, make cheese etc.)
- 3pm-5pm: quick tidy around the house, finish up any projects, quick blog work, and prep dinner
- 5pm- until bed time: family time, dinner, anything extra.
As you can see, there is not anything super firm in my schedule. They are loose times and tasks. But what it does is it gives me some form of structure to my day. This helps me to stay on track and not waste the day away.
I also have a similar schedule for the girls. Of course theirs is a lot more loose with lots more free time. However, this gives them an opportunity to complete the tasks they need to so our whole family runs smoothly, but also they don’t flounder with too much free time on their hands.
It is also teaching them at a young age how to take a busy schedule and learn some time management skills to get it all accomplished.
When we have a schedule all the household responsibilities get done and that leaves us with enough hours for family time and fun!
Tip 4: Get Up Before the Household
This is going to be hard for those that are not morning people. I am definitely a morning person over a night owl. Mornings are my jam and I get so much accomplished! I always laugh and say I do my best work before 8am. But don’t ask me to do anything productive after 2pm…. My brain is pretty much goo by that point.
Which is why you will notice in my schedule, the first block of time has the most in it. That’s when my brain is the sharpest so I put the most important tasks in that block.
Even if you are not a morning person at all, getting up even 15 minutes before the rest of your house will set your day up right.
I have done it for so long now, if I happen to sleep in and my girls get up before me, they are completely shocked. They rarely see me in bed when they get up.
Getting up early sets your day up right.
Having this alone time in the morning to get your mind wrapped around the day, is so crucial to your own wellbeing. Sometimes with everything we as moms have to do, it is like a juggling act, and if we are not careful all our balls drop.
I find that getting up before anyone else, having my quiet time with my bible, and a good hot cup of coffee, sets my mind up to tackle the busy day ahead.
During this time, I also glance at the schedule I made on Sunday. I look at what is on the schedule for the day to do, along with what meals I plan to make. This gets is fresh on my mind so my day can flow seamlessly.
Getting up before the rest of the family sets up a peaceful day.
Tip 5: Set Up Seasons VS Staples
Remember at the beginning where I said I don’t do it all. This is exactly why I don’t!
On a busy ranch or homestead there are always a lot of moving parts. Which is why you can not do it all, all of time. For us, summer seems to be the busiest time with the garden and canning/preserving, while winter seems to slow down a bit.
So this is why dividing tasks out to seasons vs staples is so important.
The first thing you want to do is make a list of everything you want or need to do. Things like, canning, making bread, making cheese, gardening, sourdough, making kombucha, household chores etc.
Now you are going to take those tasks and place them either in the category, season or staple.
A season is something you want to do for a specific season. I classify a season as either a day, a week, or even a month or more. It just means it’s a really busy season during that moment so the things on your season list will need to take a back seat.
A staple is your nonnegotiable things. The things you want or need to complete no matter what is going on in your life. Some of these things are feeding animals, laundry, and cleaning house. You will also find things that are staples for you but may not be a staple for someone else. I will explain below.
Here’s an example of what it looks like for me:
One staple for me is bread making. Now I know this may not be a staple for everyone but it is for me. I don’t want to buy bread from the store for my family. So no matter how crazy my day, week, or even month is I will always find the time in my schedule to make bread.
This means that bread making has to be plugged into my schedule as just what I do. It is not a “project” but something that is apart of how my whole household runs.
However, I do not have a milk cow so making cheese would be for a season in our house. I buy my raw milk from a dear friend, so I will adjust my milk order depending on if I am in a busy season or not. There is no point in making my stress level high to make cheese when I don’t have gallons and gallons of milk flooding into my kitchen.
Another thing that is in the seasons category for me is sourdough. Sometimes the daunting task of feeding my sourdough starter every single day and baking sourdough bread, just won’t work for our schedule. And that’s ok!
I simply stick my starter in the fridge and bring it back out when life slows down and sourdough bread baking is a treat for us again.
While sourdough bread is something we enjoy and I treat it as a season, yeasted bread baking is a staple. That’s because yeasted breads don’t take as long and there is no starter maintenance.
You will find that when you plan your tasks out like this, you won’t feel quite so overwhelmed!
Don’t get discouraged, these tips for time management for busy moms can help!
There are so many daily tasks that we have to get done within a day, following these 5 tips for time managements for busy moms will help you to stay on track and maximize your time.
Just always remember that the home life that your create is what’s important. I am guilty of getting so wrapped up in the tasks I “have to do” that I lose focus of why I do all these things to begin with. While have good time management and getting lots done is a good thing, it can become an idol so quickly.
Don’t lose sight of what God has called you to do in your home and that is protect the walls of your home, rest some, and have a little fun every once in a while too!