9 of the Best Time Management Tips for Work at Home Moms

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The best time management tips for work at home moms aren’t actually all that complicated.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things in life that you are responsible for and have to manage, you need simple.

Am I right?

Simple, actionable steps that will actually make a difference.

At least, that’s what I know I need.

Implementing time management strategies is important for everyone, especially moms that work from home.

It is a unique situation with a different kind of structure. In fact, you’re pretty much responsible for creating that structure.

So, in the midst of all the overwhelm I want to give you clear strategies that you can start applying to your life right now.

Use them to create the balance that you are longing for.

woman writing in notebook

9 Essential Time Management Tips for Work at Home Moms

#1 Set Daily Goals

Do you have long-term goals that you are wanting to achieve?

It can be entirely overwhelming to focus on just those every single day.

While it is great to keep them in mind, it is also really important that you break down your big goals into smaller ones.

Related: 5 Habits to Make You a Successful Work at Home Mom

You want small goals that you can work to achieve on a daily basis. Over time, achieving all those small goals will get you closer and closer towards reaching the big goal that you have set.

They don’t have to be super in-depth but you do need to recognise what they are and note them down.

I love to use my Mom on the Go planner to do that. It is specifically geared towards mamas and has a place for just about anything you can think of.

I’ve been using it for 3 years now and highly recommend it to any moms looking to use a planner.


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Tips for Goal-Setting:

A great tip for setting daily goals is to write down 3 things that you know are likely to be achieved.

They should be the most important things on your agenda for the day.

And example could be:

  • Write 1000 words for a new blog post
  • Clean the bathrooms
  • Book doctor’s appointment

See, they’re not rocket science, but by jotting them down and ticking them off as you achieve them, you’ll get a whole bunch of satisfaction and motivation to keep going!

If you find that you’re acing getting 3 important things done a day, then you could extend that to 5.

Just don’t get over ambitious because the whole point is that they are achievable.

crayons in a box

#2 Plan Clever Activities

If you have children at home when you need to work then you need to come up with clever activities for when you need to work.

If they’re really little you may be able to just fit work into their nap times.

Once they’re older you may need to be a little more creative.

One of my favourite parenting tools is Independent Playtime. We utlize it on a daily basis!

You can also find some really great activity ideas for toddlers here.

My children are generally really good at entertaining themselves (outside for the most part!), but on rainy days they really love to play with Playdoh, color in, play hide n’ seek, and play the ThinkFun Roll & Play game.

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#3 Use a Timer

This is a tip I recently started implementing and it has really helped me.

I have a habit of getting lost in my work and losing track of time. By using a timer I can focus on my work without worrying about whether or not I need to be doing something else.

My favourite tool for this is our Google Home Mini. I don’t have to plug in any times, I just talk to the thing and it sets it all up for me!

I thought it was a bit gimicky when I bought it for my husband a little while ago, but I’m actually kind of in love with it now.

It’ll list off all of my reminders for the day, tell me the weather forecast, read off the news headlines, play music…and so much more.

I’ve also found it super helpful for parenting as well. One way in which I’ve used it successfully is to avoid fights over cleaning up toys, etc.

I simply say to the children that it is time to stop what they are doing and clean up when the timer goes off.

Google Home Mini is loud enough so that everyone will hear and for whatever reason, the children respond really well.

#4 Focus on High ROI Activities

This point right here is really, really important.

If you are struggling to get things done and feel like you are completely failing at everything, then it is so important to sit down and take a look at what you’re trying to achieve in a day.

It is no easy feat running a home, caring for your children and working all at the same time.

However, there are somethings that can be done in a smarter way, and some things that can be dropped altogether.

Focus on the jobs that have the most return on investment.

list of things to do today

That could be things such as meal planning and a laundry routine if we’re focusing on household jobs.

When it comes to work you know what activities give you the best ROI in your industry, so focus on those and let go of the rest.

Here are two examples of things that I have stopped doing in the past couple of weeks because the ROI was pitiful.

  1. I stopped folding my kid’s clothes (they always end up a mess anyway and now they can put them away themselves.)
  2. I stopped posting to Instagram (I was spending HOURS every month editing photos and the blog traffic I got in return was barely worth mentioning)

It can feel weird to stop doing things when you’re attempting to accomplish more, but trust me on this one.

If it isn’t benefitting your or your family, just let it go.

You may also want to make some investments in tools that help to lessen your workload.

For me, those tools are a dishwasher and robot vacuum for our home and Tailwind and Tasty Pins for my blogs.

Planner

#5 Set up a Routine

Setting up a routine isn’t just a suggestion, it is imperative to achieving balance and success as a work at home mom.

Yes, your days are going to change because you have children to care for. However, if there are no boundaries or routine, you will find it really challenging to get any work done.

This is especially true if you are working from home with a baby.

If you have older children, then they may be in school and there’s a bit of a forced routine in place.

However, if you have little ones home 24/7 then the job of setting up a work at home mom schedule is up to you.

For instance, I have 3 children at home with me all of the time. None of them go to preschool or daycare of any kind. This is what our days typically look like:

Example Work at Home Mom Schedule:

  • 6:30 AM – Check emails and get organized for the day
  • 7-9 AM – Children up/breakfast/get ready for the day
  • 9-10:15 AM – Work while the children nap/have independent play time
  • 10:15 AM-1 PM – Spending time with the children/run errands/do a little work if they are happily occupied
  • 1-3 PM – Work
  • 3-7 – Family time/household chores
  • 7-9:30 PM – May work if necessary

You may be surprised how much time you’ll be able to work for if you structure your day accordingly.

I typically work a minimum of 5 hours per day, often more. It can be done and with balance if you are intentional about it.

woman writing in notepad

#6 Stop Multi-Tasking

Say what?!

I know, I know. Motherhood is basically made up of multi-tasking all. day. long.

One kid needs to use the potty, another wants a snack and all this is happening while you’re also trying to feed the baby. (Yes, this is a real-life example from my life)

You know what, though? When it comes to working I can almost assure you that it is killing your productivity.

Here’s the problem with multi-tasking:

You start on one job and then turn to do another, but then you get distracted by another thing.

You may feel as though you’re doing a whole bunch of things and getting stuff accomplished. However, at the end of the day, you’re left with a whole lot of half-finished jobs and a sense of failure.

What is a practical way to accomplish work activities without multi-tasking?

Here are some great tips:

  • Do your most important work when you can devote 100% of your attention to it (i.e your kid’s nap time or when they’re at school)
  • Get rid of distractions (social media, email notifications, etc)
  • Focus on your daily goals!

When you stop multi-tasking and instead focus on one job at a time, not only will more stuff get done, but you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment that you weren’t feeling before.

woman sitting on couch drinking tea

#7 Evaluate Your Priorities & Learn to Say No

Remember that big goal that we talked about right at the beginning of this post?

While it is important to not let that weigh you down on a daily basis, it is still vital to keep in mind.

Why?

Because it’ll help you to prioritize things.

If you’re measuring up commitments and the like to your goal then you’ll easily be able to see what you should take on and what needs to be left alone.

The other side to this is learning to say no.

You don’t have to do everything. Your kids don’t need to attend 5 activities each every week.

Keep life simple. Trust me, it’ll be better for the entire family.

#8 Establish Boundaries

When you work from home it is imperative that you establish work boundaries.

This is because you absolutely must rest.

If you don’t put boundaries in place that allow you to switch off and recharge, you will end up burnt out.

It will likely also affect your family relationships.

Neither of those results are what you want to achieve so make the effort to decide when work will happen and when it will not.

desk with computer and mouse

#9 Keep Your Workspace Tidy

I laugh as I write this because my workspace is NOT tidy right now.

You know what though?

I have been working less productively this week as a result.

Without some kind of order to things, your workflow won’t be as smooth and productive as it could otherwise be.

My issue is a desk that is far too small for the 5 notebooks that I frequently refer to. That will thankfully be solved by simply investing in a better suited desk.

Keeping your space tidy and organized is up to you though.

We are often unaware of how much mental space mess and clutter take up subconsciously.

You don’t have to be a neat freak, but you should be able to work without having to dig for resources that you can’t find in all the mess.

Key Takeaways:

  • Establish a routine and set daily goals
  • Evaluate your ROI and cull activities that aren’t giving back
  • Use a timer to keep yourself on track and have a list of activities to occupy your children when necessary
  • STOP multi-tasking and instead focus on your top priorities both long-term and short
  • Take the time to keep your workspace clean and organized for better workflow
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