Everyone gets the exact same amount of time in a day. It is one thing you cannot buy more of or earn. So how can you manage time? You can’t. You can only manage your use of time.
As single moms, you handle two person’s work in the same 24-hour day. How are you going to fit more into the same amount of time with limited resources? Here are some tips for you:
Tip 1 – Get it all out on Paper – Write down everything you need to get done this week. They don’t have to be in any order and if you can group them together in categories, that will be great. For example: work, household (bills, bank, rent, groceries), children (child care, school work, PTA), self care (hair cut, exercise, massage, personal development, taking walks).
Tip 2 – What Matters Most – From the earlier list, choose only those that matters most; the urgent and important. Do not include anything that does not support your healthy, happy, stress free lifestyle. With limited time you will have to let go of something if you want to add something new into your life. Be very careful of your choices, there isn’t enough room for everything.
Tip 3 – Do versus Outsource – Out of the what-matters-most list, decide what has to be done by you and what can be outsourced to or shared with your support group. Some of the routine maintenance work can be done by others while new projects and tasks that need creativity will be best done by you.
Tip 4 – Prioritization – Do you keep putting off the more important tasks while you go accomplish the not-so-important activities? Align your values and goals with your activities. What things are you doing in your life that is not supportive of the life you want?
Tip 5 – Activity versus Productivity – Are you often very busy but not really doing anything productive? Pareto principle rule applies here. Find the vital 20% of things you do on a daily basis that produces 80% of your key results. Free up 80% of the time. We are often consumed by what’s urgent and unimportant which does not get us anywhere.
Tip 5 – Work Backwards – Have the end game in mind. Decide what needs to be done by when, what resources are needed and work backwards. This helps you fit all that needs to be done in the time frame given.
Tip 6 – A Flexible Plan – Do you leave enough room for surprises and contingencies? Are you able to switch and adapt should something unplanned happen in your week? Having a plan is good, being able to adapt is better.
Tip 7 – Quality Time – Since you only have limited amount of time, make sure you think creative, healthy, happy thoughts, feel love and compassion, do good and show kindness. One genuine act of love and kindness will accomplish much more than a life time of idle thoughts and empty chatter.
Apply these tips and you will be more discipline with your use of time. If you can be in a community with other single moms and share lessons learnt applying these tips, you will be spending quality time building up yourself and others. Find a community in your area and get supported.