1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Time Management 101 for the Busy Working Mother


Woman in bathrobe with towel wrapped around her head using appointment book, close-up
Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images

Time management can be one of the most difficult skills to master. In fact, many working mothers agree that there simply isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Even the most organized person will become stressed out when short on time.

From doing the best each day at work, to spending quality time with your children after the workday is over, working mothers deserve the best time management strategies to accomplish all the items on their ever-increasing to-do list.

To get the most accomplished each day, learn to use the following time management strategies on a regular basis:

Focus on each daily task. One of the most common time management mistakes is to become distracted. Time management is all about staying focused. If you're working on a business presentation, don't start thinking about what you're going to cook for dinner. Instead, force yourself to complete your presentation before allowing your mind to wander in any other direction. If you find dinner is repeatedly drifting into your mind, give yourself a timed, 5-minute break to write down your meal plans, and return to the presentation with a clear head.

Avoid ineffective multi-tasking. Many working mothers think you can save time by multitasking. However, multitaking has its drawbacks when you try to complete two physical tasks at once. For example, don't try to iron your suit while making your children's lunches; something will get burned or forgotten. Multitasking, however, can be effective if you choose to complete only one physical task at a time, such as making a long-awaited phone call to your mother while ironing.

Separate work and motherhood responsibilities. One of the best time management secrets is to leave parental responsibilities at home when you're at work. Similarly, when you walk in the door after work, put on your "mommy hat" and leave your job responsibilities at the office. If your job requires take home work, such as if you're a teacher and have papers to grade, complete these tasks after the children are in bed. If you work from home, make sure there is an end to your day. You need to close your home office door and leave work.

Set reasonable daily goals. Time management is about getting all your daily duties completed in a reasonable amount of time. Set daily goals for yourself for both your work and home life that allow you to enjoy a sense of accomplishment. Don't set goals that will be impossible to reach. If it's your goal to finish a business proposal, make it your top priority during the workday. If you're determined to finally wrap all your holiday gifts, make that your evening's primary task.

Don't be a slacker. If you dread cleaning your kitchen, don't save that task until the weekend when you'll want to spend time with family. The best time management techniques entail using time wisely. Don't procrastinate. Prioritize tasks on your to do list. If you let tasks, like house cleaning, go for too long it becomes more difficult to finish them.

Related Video
Tips for Freelance Work Time Management
  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Working Moms
  4. Organize Your Home
  5. Time Management 101 for the Busy Working Mother

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.