As moms we juggle so many things on a day-to-day basis. It’s easy to feel a sense of overwhelm at all the moving parts in our day.
Guys, I have a little secret for you. I write a lot about getting organized and time management tips for moms not because I am the most organized person on the planet. It’s because I used to struggle with managing my time and often ended up overwhelmed. At some point I realized something had to give, and I needed to buckle down and figure out how to stay on the ball.
In the beginning, getting organized and time management was actually really hard. I thought I would put things on the calendar and poof! They would automagically get done. (You thought that too, right?)
I messed up a lot and tried so many tactics before I figured out what actually worked. My success in getting organized to reduce the feeling of overwhelm was part mindset and part having the right tools and systems in place.
A Winning Mindset
Let’s talk mindset. I can sum this up with one simple quote. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”.
If you think you are doomed to be forever overwhelmed. Well, you will be right. If you think you’ll never get a handle on your budget and finances, you will be right.
But, if you think you can tackle your to-do list. You will. If you believe in yourself and commit to a budget, you will achieve your financial goals.
Now, I know this is easier said than done.
Our minds are muscles, and powerful ones at that. If we train that muscle to think negatively about our ability to get organized, be productive, and achieve our goals (both big and small), then we will continue to struggle in these areas.
But, if you begin to train your mind to see that you are capable of achieving what you set out to do, then it will become easier for you to accomplish these things.
Before I share with you my list of tools and strategies to win on a daily basis, I want you to close your eyes and visualize what it is you want to achieve.
Do you want to have a cleaner house?
Do you want to be on time more often?
Do you want to have more free time?
Whatever it is, these are your goals. Focus on them for a few minutes and feel what it would be like to achieve those goals.
Now let’s talk about some tools that will help you achieve those goals.
Time Management Tips to Reduce Overwhelm
1. Put it on a Calendar
I know I said putting things on the calendar doesn’t mean they will automatically get done. But using a calendar and writing things down will set you up for success.
Writing things down and being intentional will make it easier to be more productive.
Most smartphones come with a built in calendar app. But there are so many other free calendar apps out there that let you do so much more. I’m talking email reminders, specialized alerts, and more!
Start using a calendar and write down the things that have to get done.
2. Make Daily To Do Lists (and make them shorter)
I love my daily to do lists. They help me stay focused, reduce my procrastination, and help me to just get things done. But not all To Do lists are created equal.
The trick to getting through your to do list? Make it shorter. Make it realistic. What can you actually accomplish? That’s it. I’m talking a to do list of 3 or 4 tasks, 5 at the most.
Making shorter realistic daily to do lists, rather than a total to do list can help you focus and be more productive.
You can still have an “Everything I need to get done list”, but break it up into smaller chunks each day. It will reduce the feeling of overwhelm and will actually serve as a motivator.
If you get through your to do list each day you will have a greater sense of achievement and you will be motivated to do more.
And if you don’t? It won’t make your next day’s to do list too much more overwhelming.
3. Create an “Already Done List”
A few years back I read the book “The Gifts of Imperfection” and it was a total eyeopener.
Among many things that I loved about the book was the author Brene Brown’s suggestion to create an Already Done List at the end of the day.
A lot of us (me included) get to the end of the day and think “I didn’t get anything done today”!
But it’s not the truth.
In reality, I got the kids to school on time, walked the dog, ran to the store, tidied up the house, breastfed a baby all day, and gave everyone baths and got them to bed.
So as part of your evening routine, or really any time you need a reminder of how much you actually do accomplish, sit down and write out all the things you did that day. I bet it will be a longer list than you thought.
4. Create a Meal Plan
Look. I know cooking from scratch everyday is not a realistic goal for everyone.
But, you can still create a meal plan that will reduce the stress around the question “what’s for dinner?”
Meal planning saves me so much time and stress. I don’t have to panic on a day when we are running from one place to another after school. By having a meal plan in place, I can plan to make one of my go to easy meals for busy nights.
I won’t go too much into meal planning here because I’ve already talked about meal planning a ton here.
Just know that meal planning will save you time, money and stress.
5. Morning routine
You know those mornings where everything goes wrong?
It can ruin the rest of your day, right?
You can set an amazing foundation for an awesome day by creating a morning routine. I mean a morning that has intention and sets you up for success for your whole day.
I have 7 simple rules for creating an amazing morning routine. I’ll give you a sneak peek here:
- Wake up early
- Get dressed
- Don’t Check your phone
- Eat A Healthy Breakfast
- Pack up the Night Before
- Give yourself some wiggle room, even if it’s just 5 minutes.
6. Sunday Planning Session
Every Sunday I sit down for 20 minutes with my coffee and I look at my week ahead. I think through the things I need to do, where we need to be, and set some goals for myself.
If you are new to creating a weekly plan or even if you are a sometimes planner like I was, creating a plan and writing it out for the week actually provides you with greater flexibility. By doing a weekly planning session you will 1) know what happens when and 2) make smart decisions when things come up. This will deter your week from going into a tailspin when there are hiccups.
Starting a weekly planning session may seem daunting, but I promise you after a couple of times you will have your weekly schedule done in no time! You will feel prepared and ready to take on the week.
I love doing this on Sundays because it’s a chance to take a deep breath and really focus on the week ahead.
7. Make time for self care
Yes friends. Take some time for yourself.
If you don’t, you will burn out and you will not get anything done.
And you know I’m right.
You should schedule self care just like you schedule everything else. Put it on your daily to do list, or block some time on your calendar to take care of you.
Self care is not selfish and is necessary for us to be the best versions of ourselves. Self care doesn’t have to be a trip to the salon or an hour massage. It could be as simple as going for a drive, listening to your favorite podcast, or going for a 5 minute walk.
You don’t need to implement all these time management tips tomorrow. Start with one and slowly weave it into your day. Once you get the hang of one, try another.
Remember to also work on your mindset. Focus on the positive and on achieving the things you set out to do each day. Believe that you can and you will.