As all single moms are, I was up at 4 a.m. this morning so
I could make a dent in my to do list "before the day started." Even
though I'm no longer a single mom, all of these strategies I discovered or uncovered
while I was a single mom and literally desperate for more sleep!
In my opinion, there's no such thing as time management, but there is time maximization -- which is what single moms really need to be great at! Since efficiency is one of my focus areas as an executive coach, I thought I'd share some tried-and-true methods for maximizing time, but first, let's explore what maximizing your time will help you to do:
- Get more done in less time.
- Make more money in less time.
- Feel less stress and more productive.
- Work smarter, not harder, and ...
- Feel happier!
The first and most important thing is to get clear about your priorities. I need clean laundry, but it doesn't need to be folded, hung up, and put away more than I need to spend quality time reading with my girl. We want a freshly vacuumed carpet, but our kids need love and attention more. So make a list of all of the things that need to be done, and then rank them in order of importance. The things that aren't the most important, that aren't critical if left incomplete and be left undone (and crossed off that list)!
Next, let the "structure set you free." I calendar everything, including down time. You absolutely must have clean underwear (and other clothing, towels and linens), so calendar in time to do it. What I do is throw a load of laundry in while I'm doing other tasks that don't need my undivided attention. As they say in Sweet Home Alabama, Oprah calls it "multi-tasking." There's no need to do just laundry, you can squeeze it in while you're cleaning the bathroom, or making a casserole, or helping with homework -- or all of the above! Lexi and I read every night from 8:30-9 p.m. With few exceptions, that's our non-negotiable time and I actually really look forward to it!
Breathe. Being a single mom is the hardest job
ever. Every day you wake up is a great day, regardless of whether
everything gets done or not. Make sure the kids (and you) are clean, fed, and
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