Written by: Christina Chwala, President and CEO of Omni Commercial Group
As a busy mom you are no doubt pulled into many different directions during the day. It can be hard to balance the daily distractions, schedule demands, your needs, and the needs of your family. A good way to make sure you are successfully navigating your day is to prioritize your responsibilities, create time blocks in your schedule, set achievable goals, and make time for you! Here are a few tips to help create balance and success in your busy schedule.
Make a list of everything you need to do for the day the night before or morning of. Once you have your to do list, prioritize the list based on your objectives and demands of the day. A good rule of thumb is to prioritize your non-negotiable items first. These would be appointments, work, errands that can’t wait, meetings, pickups or drop-offs, etc. It’s also good to add one goal activity a week to your non-negotiable list. An example of this would be to add a daily workout because that is an activity that helps you accomplish your weight loss goal. If you’re serious about accomplishing your goals don’t leave them subject to the rest of your day. Instead, be proactive in scheduling them in your non-negotiable list. After you have your non-negotiable list down, you need to prioritize your daily responsibilities like meals, chores, phone calls, helping with homework, and fun or relaxing activities. Using a Time Block in your schedule will also help you achieve your goals.
A time block is a simple yet effective tool which is not usually implemented in our daily schedules. Time Blocks help you dictate your day instead of letting your day dictate you. When creating a time block in your schedule it’s important to leave a little leeway before and after each time block. For example, if you want to spend an hour organizing your paperwork, you should schedule 15 min leeway before and after your scheduled time block. This way, your schedule allows for interruptions that may throw your time block off. If you miss a time block one day don’t give up the next day! Even if you miss two scheduled time blocks out of five you will still be more successful than if you didn’t schedule any time blocks that week at all. If you want your time blocks to be the most rewarding, pick the best time of day for your most important time blocks. The best time of day is usually the time of day where you will have the most energy and least amount of distractions to achieve your goals.
Start by making a list of your goals that are achievable in your current stage of life. If you have never been rock climbing, then setting a goal to climb Mount Everest next week is probably not the best starting goal for you to create. Your final goal might be to climb Mount Everest but your initial goal should be to learn how to rock climb first. It’s also okay to adjust your current goals based on successes, failures, or major life changes. You want to be sure to adjust your goals and not quit these goals after setting a reasonable amount of time to access your progress. Check in with yourself, or an accountability partner, once a month or quarter so you can see what activities are working well and what activities need to be adjusted. For optimal success, it’s best to focus on only a few goals at a time.
To achieve your goals you need to know the “what” and the “why” of your goals. The “what” is what activity you’re doing to achieve your goals and the “why” is the reason you’re doing it. For example, a goal of getting your body in shape is the “what” and the “why” is to have more energy for family. The why behind your goals helps fuel the “what” of your goals. When you’re feeling discouraged, focus on the “why” of your goals to help you say focused.
Making time for you
Probably the most important, but most over looked, step for any mom! Making time for you is a must! You set the tone in your household as the mom. The old saying “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” still rings true today! If you have the energy and patience you need for your family, the daily stresses of life won’t be so overwhelming. I suggest a self-check at least once a week if not every day. The purpose of the self-check is to evaluate how you are doing emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you caught yourself being short with your kids for no reason then that may be a signal that you’re running on empty. Sometimes as busy moms we miss our own body signals that tell us when our energy level is too depleted. If you are feeling depleted, make time to do energy giving activities. Make yourself a priority everyday so you can manage your time efficiently and with excellence.