Do you find yourself longing for “more time” to be able to achieve more or create time for yourself?
Do you want ways to cope with all the balls you’re juggling?
As working career mums we can feel particularly laden with decisions and tasks on a daily basis. It can be overwhelming and stressful.
What if I told you that you don’t need MORE time, you need to learn how to get the best out of your time?
In order to do this, we have to talk about mindset first though, because you can have all the tools and tips in the world, but without the right mindset those tools are going to be meaningless.
Lets have a look at reframing your perception of time before we jump before diving into the tips and techniques.
Most of us want time freedom but realise that doesn’t always give financial freedom. We have to make a way to have both reasonably and so that it works for our particular situation.
This generally means that you need some structure and a framework to get more out of our time so we are working smarter not harder.
If you were asked how you feel about time management, do you feel like it is a skill you can learn?
What do you think of?
Often we need to reassess what are our true priorities are and what is possible to achieve with our time.
So I ask you…do you know what is costing you time?
Can you identify with any of the below time thiefs?
- Indecision. When you waste time in choices, you stay stuck. Do you battle to make decisions? My experience has taught me that can’t always make the best decision or they may not be a best decision. Learning to accept that the decision made was the best decision at the time helps immensely with making a decision and closing a take. You can move on.
- Overthinking. Do you spend too much time mulling and stewing over decision making, situations, events and difficulties, playing the replaying scenarios and conversations in your head.?
- Procrastination. Do you procrastinate and things end up being lastminute.com, making it stressful and a bit panicked?
- People pleasing. Do you feel like you’re always trying to keep everyone happy or content?
- Scrolling. Are you spending time scrolling through social media, news sites and other apps?
- Are you not backing yourself? You create a plan and don’t see it through or you make a decision but doubt it. Are you always questioning yourself?
If you relate to any of the above or have your own time thief then you can almost certainly find a solution in the below tips and techniques.
12 TIME & PRODUCTIVITY BOOSTING TIPS
It sounds simple, but it isn’t always. It has been proven that multitasking reduces your abilities. Women and multitasking is worn like a badge of honour, but you’re actually taking longer to achieve tasks. Set out a task, focus on that one activity and complete it. Completing tasks also gives you momentum which will drive you to complete the next task and the next.
Focus on your senses
Productivity coach Jo Bendle shared this nugget of advice she received. Take a walk, don’t listen to anything but rather focus on your senses. What can you see, hear, smell, touch and taste. When you’re focus on this it helps clear your mind and give you better focus.
What can you control?
Work with what you can control. There are many things in our lives that we cannot control. Those things can be put to one side, not make a priority. Aim to reduce the amount of time you spend thinking about these things and focus on working on things you can control.
Our habits and beliefs
Are your current habits going to make navigating your life easier or harder? If you want to work towards a better version of yourself and that means not comparing yourself to anyone else, focusing on the best version of you, you need to assess your habits. Are your habits helping you work towards your goals? Are they contributing positively to your life or are they hindering you?
Stop and check-in
Yes! Check-in with yourself. How is a situation or something making you feel? Is it serving you or contributing positively to your life or situation? If not, is it something you can do without?
Stack your habits
This can be so useful. Find ways that you can get a number of your habits in at the same time. For example, walk your child to school, jog or walk home while listening to a podcast or nothing at all. You get time with your child/children and you get your movement in for the day. Listening to something could be a way to consume media that benefits your personal life or career. Not listening to anything could be selfcare.
The 80:20 rule
You know this rule. 80% of your output comes from 20% of your input. What is going to give you the maximum output. Get intentional about what matters.
Watch what and how much media you consume
This is a biggie because it affects our emotions and thoughts as well as our ability to sleep. Some of the best advice is to not consume media that makes you stressed or upset first thing in the morning or last thing before bed because this sets the tone of your day or affects your quality of sleep. If the news upsets you, watch less of it or watch it in the middle of the day.
This truly works! Give yourself 5 – 10 minutes to writing down how things are going in your day, week or life. Get your positive and negative thoughts and feelings out and written down.
When you write down your negative thoughts it removes so much of the power of these thoughts. When you write down the positive it improves your mood and helps see things in perspective. This can also often clear up something that has been causing you anxiety or stress. Writing down your emotions helps with self-awareness and give perspective which is very important.
When you have a clear mind, it gives space for other tasks and bigger goals because have capacity.
CEO your life
This is such a great tool and can really transform your week. If you are particularly overwhelmed then you can apply this technique daily as it helps you keep setting yourself up for success. Take 10 – 15 mins at the same time every week (day) to review your week. What worked, what didn’t.
Determine your goal for the week, it might just be surviving and that’s OK! You have to be very clear on your goal.
Write down what you have to achieve no matter what. Pick up kids from school, grocery shopping, extramurals, payments, presentation, meetings, report… what MUST you achieve. You know this intuitively. Write those down. Don’t add anything that could fall into another week.
The trick to this technique is getting very specific. The more you do it, the better you will get at it.
Then brainstorm 2 – 3 things daily that will get you to your goal. These can be personal or for work (always work in one or two things on your list for personal).
When you’ve got a plan for each day of the week, making decisions is simple because you’ve already set out your tasks, you’ve immediately removed decisions of what you have to achieve daily and for the week.
Giving yourself permission to set yourself up for success tomorrow.
Start trusting yourself and showing up for yourself. When you make a commitment to someone else you stick it to it. It will generally be something extenuating to not see that commitment through. So why do we compromise our commitments to ourselves?
Show up for yourself. Trust yourself.
When it comes to trying to implement change, my advice is always to aim to start slowly. Chose one of these tips and introduce it. Do that until you’re doing it without thinking. You want to avoid overwhelming yourself or adding to your current stress
I’ve left the SECRET WEAPON till last.
Routine helps with anxiety. It creates a feeling of control, removes decision fatigue, helps us manage change and reduces stress, amongst other benefits.
Having routine and structure supports us and enhances our focus.
Having routine doesn’t have to be restrictive or rigid. But it gives you a structure to work with while you are implementing changes and trying to reduce stress and overwhelm as it helps manage all the moving parts.
If you enjoyed this article, head over to my private Facebook group Healthy & Thriving Career Mums for busy career mums like you and listen to the 30 minute masterclass on time management with myself and Jo Bendle (expert productivity coach).
P.s Download my FREE Healthy Habits Toolkit to get started on creating new healthy habits that will support you in your journey to health and your goals.