Now, when it comes to this whole time management thing?
A lot of it, for me, goes back to being organized as a stay at home mom. Time is a precious commodity and since we only have 24 hours (or less if you count the time that you’re sleeping) during the day; we really need to make the most of it. My time management skills are a work in progress but here are my best time management tips for autistic stay at home moms.
Why do stay at home moms struggle with time management?
Time management has been a struggle for me as a stay at home mom. And that carried over to my transition into becoming a work from home mom. While I may have gotten somewhat better, I know that I still have a lot of work to do.
Quite a bit of this though also has to do with my struggles with executive functions. I’m autistic and I have ADHD. Executive functioning is impacted by both, though I can’t pinpoint it to one or the other. It just doesn’t quite work like that.
With my youngest at home and with my older daughter at home, sometimes my need for routine and structure greatly increases. But, it’s also unpredictable. During the summer months, she prefers to spend as much time outdoors as possible. And while I would love to take more time off, there are times that I need to do my work.
So where do we really start?
First, it helps to understand what time management is.
Time management skills for stay at home moms
One way to work on your time management is to develop techniques and skills. For example, you might want to learn how to overcome procrastination. For me, I had to make scheduling my time a habit in order to stick with a routine. I had to start with simple time management techniques and then go from there.
Makes sense right?
So first, I had to create a time log to see where I was best using and wasting my time during the day. I really had to learn how to be mindful with my time.
From there, I could create a time management plan that would be easy enough for me to implement and that I could also tweak as I needed. Then, I could start listing out my priorities for the day and putting those on a reasonable to-do list (no more than 3!) that I could work on first.
The one thing that has really helped me with my time management as a stay at home mom? Time blocking. When I started using time blocking, I started getting more effective with my time and I was getting more done in the time I had. I use the Pomodoro method (25 minutes of focused work with a five minute break) and Toggl to track.
So how can work at home moms benefit from these time management tips?
Is there really such a thing as work/life balance for work at home moms?
Well, a lot of it has to do with finding the ideal work/life balance. That may depend on how many children you have and how old they are. Regardless of that though, you should know that you are going to need to take breaks.
And it helps to learn how to say no. I don’t just mean saying no to your kids, either. I mean saying no to others.
You can also work on creating functional morning and evening routines. Or you can work on better life management skills first. Whatever route that you decide, make sure that it fits into your lifestyle and aligns with your goals.
My goals, long term, include creating more passive income streams so I can work less. I acknowledge, however, that it takes work in the beginning. I am more than willing to put in that work if it means I can reach my long-term goals as a work from home mom.
What time management strategies have worked well for you? Do you block schedule or use a to-do list?
Time management is a simple concept: plan and organize your schedule to make your time as clear and productive as possible. However, as with most stay at home moms, we must accept that there will be plenty adversity during the day and we have to deal with it.
Time Management Tips for Busy Stay at Home Moms
If you are finding that you are pressed for free time or that you just feel too busy chasing your kids around, here are some tips to make your time more productive and find some time for yourself.
Wake up a Little Earlier and Take Time to Take Care of Yourself
Remember you have control as to when you wake up. Consider waking up a little earlier. I find that taking the first 30 – 60 minutes of the day to just think does wonders for my mental outlook.
Take a few minutes to have a cup of coffee or tea and write down what you need to do for the day or maybe do absolutely nothing. If you want, write down any tasks you promised your family or yourself to do earlier and prioritize as to when you can complete them.
If you really want to do something great take on exercising: wake up 60 minutes earlier than your family and work out. Movement is a great way to start the day and it clears your mind. There is so much to be said for exercising and living a healthy life style.
The point is that you want to give yourself a head start. Again: you can control when you wake up.
Take Control of Incoming Demands
Children can be a very powerful distraction that can easily take your focus away.
The best thing to do here is to try your best to teach your children to ask for things one at a time and also (if age permits) show them how to do things on their own. If you are doing something very important and it’s not a life and death request from your child, try to defer it until you complete the task.
Your time can be well spent by teaching your kids to take care of a few things themselves when they ask for something.
You can also try teaching time management to your kids.
Keep a Note Book and Pen Handy
Try to keep a note book with yourself at all times. As long as you are not driving or doing something dangerous, it is best to write down your random thoughts in a note book. This way you can decide what to do with the task when you are ready to review new information.
This is a good way to decide if an idea is good enough to pursue. More importantly you can prioritize the idea.
Writing down your ideas and forgotten tasks in a note book can be a powerful tool in dealing with distractions. If you are like me (with a mind going a mile a minute), a note pad and pen is essential to time management.
Time management is necessary for almost anyone in this super busy world we live in.
Our days are filled with running around for our children, working on multiple projects at the same time plus some of us try to juggle school or a home business. So time management skills are definitely needed and can really help.