Your time is valuable and limited and here are the 3 ways to protect and manage it today.
1. First things first, the best way to manage your time is to not waste your time with users and/or negative people. We all have people in our lives that are there only when they want to be and when it’s convenient for them. When you need them, they are nowhere to be found or they are too busy. Being a mother adds another dimension to your need to protect your time. Chapter 2 in “Live Your True Life” discusses the elimination of negativity and energy-suckers from your life. If you were single without children I would stress this issue, and I’m stressing it even more because you are married with child and/or children. Because you have children, with more people who need your time, you should work (practice) this daily. When we work to clean our metaphorical house of friends and acquaintances, we are cleaning the house of all people who don’t have your best interest at heart, always let you down, and/or are always too busy or aren’t carrying their weight in the relationship.
Real world example: You were able to get a sitter or your husband agreed to watch the child. It’s your first time in a while to go anywhere without the child, and you use it to meet up with your friend, Tara. Tara and you are old friends and you are looking forward to a fun and stress free girls night out. Instead, Tara is preoccupied with something, or she arrives hours late, or at the last minute cancels as you are leaving the house. After not being able to go out in so long…your one night out is no night out. It’s bad enough if you are swinging single without a care in the world and this person does this. It is much worse when you have been planning on the evening and made all the arrangements to make it happen. These actions by others show you they aren’t your real and true friends. Rather than dealing with these types of situations, it is wonderful to know you have one night a month to go out and it’s going to be stress free, fun, and worth the ordeal to make it happen.
Besides just going out on the town, real genuine friends understand you and want to understand you. Sometimes it behooves you to spend time with people that have same life situations as you. Life experiences are just that, life experiences and with experience comes understanding and then wisdom. When someone has never experienced something, they can’t begin to understand much less have wisdom and compassion. If you are married, you realize that you still have single unmarried friends but not as much as you did when you were first married. Usually the reason for this is that some of your single friends didn’t respect your marriage, your ‘curfew’, your life, and/or your spouse. Others may have gotten bored with you or not happy about being regulated to one night every other week to go out. And others weren’t truly your friend and secretly wanted you all for themselves. With marriage comes understanding, just like with childbirth and children come understanding.
Most people without children have no idea what it is like to have children. They don’t know the time, love, and dedication that are necessary with children. They don’t understand how a person’s schedule drastically changes and how you, the mother have little time for outside stimulus. I’m sure many of you have friends that don’t have children, and those friends are understanding and have a life. Without understanding and having a life of their own, they wouldn’t understand your schedule and how valuable your time is. Others with children will understand your time and value it, but it may be difficult to do something with them because you both have children. It works relatively better when you both have children around the same age.
Chapter 2 will tell you exactly how to identify the people in your life that need to change. It will help you identify your physical symptoms that you have around negative people and energy-suckers. It will show and explain how to change the situation, work through it, or how to eliminate these needless relationships.
2. You want to schedule your time and use a calendar. Write down obligations the second you know them, before they can be forgotten. Use a year calendar and carry it everywhere you go. If you fail to take it with you, you will resort to writing down commitments and meetings on random pieces of paper and you will end up forgetting them. This helps you to not overbook. It will prevent you from having to call people and cancel because you didn’t have your calendar.
3. Before taking on any new obligation, know exactly what is needed of you! When a friend, co-worker, fellow mother, family member, or your children’s school asks you to do something, know the responsibility and what is needed of you before you say yes. Our word is our word, and when we don’t live by our word others lose respect for us, and we are seen as flakes. Before you agree to something get the specifics. What to ask: when, where, time commitment, etc.
Real world example: A bake sale for the school band. The band teacher asks you and a few other moms to bake some cakes and cookies for the bake sale. You need to ask particular questions to understand the requirement needed from you. Otherwise, you could be thinking this is going to be easy breezy, but instead your kitchen turns into an assembly line and you become angry about your involvement. When you commit your time to something, the last thing you want to do is to be upset and angry that you did. When you do something, you should want to do it with love and joy not resentment and anger and in haste. Remember you are an example to others and your children. Saying no is not bad; sometimes it is the right thing to do. Say NO to things you can’t do and YES to the things you can and want to do!
Time management helps you to be the best you can be, take care of your responsibilities, and take care of your household. The other perk from following the 3 ways to better time management is having some time for yourself.
Yes…time for yourself! For many moms, time for one’s self is a rarity, unheard of but the old saying rings true: When mom is unhappy…No one is happy. I’m not stating that you aren’t happy taking care of your family, but I am stating that your own time is good and necessary. Without some personal time daily, you can’t recharge your batteries. You must have some time, whether it’s 30 minutes a day to do what you want to do. If you want to read a magazine, shop online, read a book, surf the net, workout, bike, jog, update your Facebook/Linkedin site, etc…whatever it is that you like, do it!
By managing your time, you will be able to figure out where you can put ‘your’ time in daily. This will help lower you stress and allow you to feel more yourself and at ease. When you can keep both identities, the mom and the woman, you have figured out one of life’s mysteries and others will look up to you, and ask you how you do it.
A few tricks of the MOM trade:
Other ways to be at ease is to: get up a little earlier than everyone else. This allows you to get a shower with no interruptions and/or have coffee and read the latest news on your Ipad without interruption. Inspire teamwork with your family and allow them the role of helping out and putting in their fair share. You will know each person’s strengths and you will play to those strengths and give responsibilities that work toward their strengths. You might have a lot on your plate but you don’t have to do everything. Realizing that you need some downtime or personal time is half the battle. Many moms feel bad if they take a few minutes or hours for themselves…the happy ones realize how important it truly is!
I want you to have it all and you can.