Do you find yourself struggling to find a balance between your parenting responsibilities, personal goals, and romantic relationships? Most of the moms I know wish they could find an extra hour or two in the day to be able to accomplish everything they want to do. And while I can’t freeze time for you, I do have four secrets on how you can better manage the time you do have.
This information comes from the book: “THE 3 SECRETS TO EFFECTIVE TIME INVESTMENT” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders.
Establish Your Priorities
When you’re planning your day, your week, or even your life the first step you need to take is to establish your priorities. This means you’ll need to ask yourself, “What would success look like for me?”
Often we think we can do it all and be it all, when in reality that just leaves us feeling stressed and burnt out. Often you’ll find more success by focusing on just a few of your most important priorities. Knowing what those priorities are can help you to better manage your time.
If you’re planning a day with your kids, this might mean a successful morning would be getting out of the house – on time – without yelling. Or a successful evening might be putting a healthy dinner on the table, and having a family conversation without electronic distractions.
What success looks like to you, really is a personal decision. It has nothing to do with what society deems as important.
Make an Action-Based To-Do List
Now that you have a clear understanding of what success means to you, make a list of your priorities in order of importance.
If “Eating Healthy” is a top priority for you, then your top actions should be creating a weekly dinner menu and shopping list.
If getting out of the house on time is a top priority to you, then make a list of things that will help you be successful. You could: wake up 10 minutes earlier, set out the kids’ clothes the night before, have a healthy and quick breakfast, etc.
Now, you have a personalized to-do list based on what would create your best version of success for you.
What Could Go Wrong?
Once you have your top priorities and your action based to-do list then you need to ask yourself, “What could keep me from being successful?”
You may be able to identify a few things that are outside of your control that could derail your best laid plans, especially when you are a parent to a toddler or baby.
But if you’re being honest with yourself, then you’ll realize that you (or your emotions) are most likely the biggest obstacle standing in your way.
If you’ve ever made plans to wake up early and work out, but then the alarm goes off in the morning and you continually hit snooze – you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Often it’s our own emotions that stand in the way of us changing our habits and accomplishing our goals. Make a list of the excuses you might be tempted to use when things get uncomfortable. Then you’ll recognize the excuse for what it is, and find the will-power to move past it.
Set Realistic Expectations and Ask for Help
If you still find yourself struggling to find time to work towards your biggest priorities, then you may have unrealistic expectations.
Is there something you could change or let go of to better reach your goal? Maybe instead of going to the gym for an hour, you could workout at home for 20 minutes?
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to friends and loved ones and ask them for help with specific tasks. Often people are willing to help, they just aren’t sure exactly how to help.
I hope you feel empowered to better manage your time and find success – whatever that may look like to you.