Every day, the challenge in my mom/wife/work world is this: complete about 20 hours of tasks in 12-14 hours. Work deadlines, household chores, childcare tasks, money management routines—there are a lot of “to-dos” when you stack them all up. Needless to say, it doesn’t always work out.
But an interview I heard recently caught my interest and gave me a fresh sense of hope! The speaker was explaining the benefits of a four-step plan to streamline the task load in the workplace. As I listened, I realized that the four steps could work in every arena of life—including the home! You can accomplish more in less time and with less frustration by just reexamining your daily routines.
Find out how to streamline your day and gain a little more breathing room in your schedule with these 4 Steps to Time Management for Moms.
Question #1: Can I Eliminate this task?
Believe it or not, sometimes the answer is yes! Just because you decided last month that your child’s birthday party would include handmade party favors doesn’t mean it has to happen. You could punt that task and buy some premade treats instead. If it’s coordinating the office party for a colleague who’s moving away, perhaps you need to ask another coworker to take over. There are several ways to eliminate nonessential tasks (and cut yourself some slack) to recapture valuable time every day.
Question #2: Can I Automate this task?
If you’ve determined that a task must be done, the next step is to assess whether there’s a more efficient way to check it off. Thanks to a world of apps and online tools, lots of our weekly and monthly to-dos can be automated—like paying bills. Sign up for electronic bill paying with your bank, or set recurring bills to auto pay. What about less tech-centric tasks, such as packing lunches? You can “automate” that to an extent by setting up a lunch-packing station!
Question #3: Can I Delegate this task?
Moms are notorious for keeping more on our plates than is really necessary. The most productive people at home and in the work place know how to delegate. At work, it may look like trusting your assistant with more responsibility. At home, it will mean learning to delegate cleaning and other chores to members of the family.
Finally: Do it myself.
If your task won’t disappear with one of the three tools above, it’s one you simply have to roll up your sleeves and tackle. The good news is, you should have more time to do it since you’ve eliminated or streamlined other tasks with this process!
Remember: Eliminate, Automate, Delegate…or do it myself!
Let’s Talk: Do you have any tricks or routines that help you eliminate repetitive or unnecessary tasks from your day?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.