I have never been great with time management, which doesn’t really work well with being a work at home, homeschooling mom. So how am I changing this? By implementing a to-do list. Yes, that’s right. Here’s how using a to-do list changed my time management.
Time management has never been my strong suit. Sure, I work well under deadlines but if I know that I have an abundant amount of time to complete a project? I wait. Yes, I am a procrastinator at heart. Sometimes that has worked in my favor because I will hyper-focus on my project. But usually it just amounts to a lot of unnecessary stress.
If this sounds like you, please do keep reading.
I was desperate to learn new solutions and tricks for taming my time and making the most of the hours in the day. Because, let’s face it, we don’t have 24 hours to do all the things. We have to make accommodations for sleep, after all. And I don’t know about you, but my days of pulling an all-nighter are behind me.
Unless I’m up all night with a sick child, but that’s another matter entirely- right?
So what have I done? What revolutionary hocus pocus have I conjured?
A to-do list. That’s it. A simple to-do list has changed my time management for the better. It’s now just one of the many time management tips for stay at home moms that I’m happy to share with you.
The Benefits of Using a To Do List for Time Management
You see, I was always put-off by creating a to-do list. But that was until I learned how to create a smarter to-do list. And a to-do list that worked for me instead of against me.
Seems simple enough, right?
I thought so too. But the to-do list was still my enemy even after purchasing those pretty bullet journals and fine point markers. I was lured in by my obsession with pretty stationary products and office supplies. And somehow, I told myself, I would make it all work.
I was still stuck and still feeling overwhelmed. While my bullet journal sat neatly in it’s plastic wrap, and my toddler was making the most of the fine point markers.
I needed help and I needed it quickly so I could start to nail down some sort of workable schedule for myself.
Do you often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do? Do you face a constant bombardment of looming deadlines? Do you sometimes just forget to do something important, so that people have to chase you to get work done?
All of these problems can be solved by constructing a simple “To-Do List”. To-Do Lists are prioritized records of the tasks that you need to carry out, ranging from most important to least important. Keeping effective To-Do lists ensures efficiency and organization, and is often the first personal time management breakthrough for people as they begin to make a success of their careers.
While To-Do Lists are very simple, they are also extremely powerful, both as a method of organizing yourself and as a way of reducing stress. Often problems may seem overwhelming, or you may have a seemingly huge number of demands on your time. This can leave you feeling out of control, and overburdened with work.
How I Created a To Do List that Works for Me
I was browsing through Pinterest (or wasting time on Pinterest), checking Facebook, and looking through my Google Analytics. A typical blogging morning where my attempts to multi-task were probably working against me instead of in my favor.
After wasting a good ten minutes, I went to my email. Waiting to see what it would bring today.
And it was something revolutionary.
The biggest thing that had to change though was recognizing where my executive functions were helping and where they were causing harm. I deal with time blindness on a daily basis.
It goes with the territory of being autistic & ADHD, you know? So because of that, I had to develop routines that I could stick to. And that I could adapt over time.
My Workable, Reasonable, Actionable To-Do List
Gone was the mindset of needing to do all the things.
My supermom cape was shed to the wind.
Time was no longer my enemy and I no longer dreaded creating my daily to-do list.
I granted myself grace to shift things as necessary. I learned to put the most important things at the top for priority purposes. I also told myself to be patient (something else that I have struggled with all my life) and tweak things as needed until the system worked for me.
And it is working.
It’s not a perfect system, which is also why it’s working. I can make adjustments to my time management and I am not stuck with a rigid schedule. Soon, I’ll be sharing my sample SAHM schedule with you so you can get a better idea of how I’m doing this.
In the meantime, I wanted to share part of my system: a Daily To-Do List and Daily Goals sheet.
As my business has grown and evolved, I’ve also developed and refined my productivity routines. Yes, routines. Gone are the days of a to-do list.
Do you utilize a to-do list to plan your day?