We all, especially moms, need basic time management skills.
But based on what most moms obsess over and what, anecdotally speaking, I have encountered is that moms need time management almost as much as entrepreneurs do. And here’s the caveat: A mom’s life is sometimes very similar to that of an entrepreneur.
Think about it. Managing a business involves doing some very disparate tasks to reach a specific goal. The goal is usually defined, but the way to reach it needs some pretty boring stuff along the way. Both involve dealing regularly intractable and sometimes unreasonable humans.
Also, both involve selling.
It’s no wonder I find myself scouring business books on a regular basis.
My post about breaking up the day into fifteen to twenty minute chunks struck a chord with almost everyone, but especially moms. So here are some ideas about how to put that to practical use:
I have found that my children’s attention span peaks at about fifteen minutes. So I keep lessons to about the same time. If they want to do more, I require that they take a break, go play outside, then come back and sit down. We rarely go over twenty minutes, even if they want to do more. I find that the little bit of craving to do more keeps them coming back and being excited to come back to it the next day.
Sometimes, I set the timer for chores. This can get counterproductive, but it helps them visually to be able to better organize their own time. I also offer a reward if something is done on time. Otherwise, they spend their minutes daydreaming.
For leisure for me:
My eight o’clock hour is for writing and other aspects of our home life that requires me at the computer. I break that into my own fifteen to twenty minute chunks and do not allow interruptions. I send the kids out to play and let them know that nine o’ clock is time for chores. That way play time is out of the way and done when we get to chores. Also, this helps them get along with each other. If there are fights and arguments, everyone gets punished, regardless of who started it.
For naps (for me!):
I set a timer. Yup, I said it. I sleep on a timer. I set it for thirty minutes during television time. I put the child lock on the front door and I take a guilt-free nap. I tell the kids not to wake me up unless there is smoke or blood. I usually wake up refreshed.
Many people ask me how I find time to read. I really love the picture in my head of reading all day, but not only is that impractical with kids around, it also bores me to death. So again, I set the timer. I read in twenty to thirty minute chunks. I can usually read a page a minute, so two or three of these chunks and I can easily read a book a week.
And there you have it. You don’t need all day; you only need fifteen minutes.