If I have 1 time management tip for Working Moms- and for All Moms, it is that they should do the most important stuff first. I get asked at least once a day, sometimes more how I manage to balance everything. I hear at least daily that I’m crazy. I’ve heard plenty of speculation about the time machine that I supposedly have too. I’ve filed labman tickets asking for extra hours in a day, and for some reason, they were denied. What’s with that? Somehow I still have only 24 hours in a day, and I need around 8 of those for sleep. So, what’s a person to do?
I simply prioritize the tasks in my life according to what MUST happen, and what doesn’t HAVE to happen. Usually I manage to get those priorities right, so things like studying for classes, planning for GS meetings, and making sure we have a plan for dinner are taken care of. Note that I didn’t say that I actually ran every single Girl Scout Meeting, or cook every dinner, just that there is a plan in place for them, and my team helps me take care of those.
I try to figure out which things I absolutely have to be the person to do. Frequently, though, I realize that I have to let go of some control, and let others handle things. The things that are most important for me to do myself are emergency or critical healthcare decisions for my dad. I do not have to be there for every one of his doctor’s appointments- that is what his care team does, and they return with a written report. Frankly, the RN on the team has more years of experience than I’ve been alive, and knows what questions to ask. I try to stay out of her way, and support her in her job. I could cite literally dozens of instances of this in my life. It means that I get more done- I focus on the things that require me to make a direct decision. My husband is more than capable about making many decisions, and I do not second guess him on them. I may ask questions to understand his position, or what happened, but am careful to allow him to remain in control of those situations. He does the same for me. It is remarkably liberating to focus mainly on the things that I have to do. It is an amazing boost to the amount that I can accomplish.
So, my time management tip for working moms is this- do the most important stuff first, and let unimportant things go.