Time Management for Busy Moms

I’ll cut right to the chase- this post isn’t about delegating (life-saver), meal planning (don’t know how you live without it), or hiring help (ahh, someday…). Though all of those are useful tactics in getting it ALL done, they’re not what I’m hear to share with you today.

Today, I want to talk to you about managing your energy.

Now, if you’re a busy lady like me, you might want to listen rather than read so I invite you to go ahead and click that link which will take you to my mini-episode (that until now, has only been available to my subscribers!).

Ok, where were we? Energy…

I’ve read so much in the last year and half about the mental load that moms take on and no matter how I try to slice it with my husband, it seems that I always end up with more on my mental plate. I honestly think it’s biological but if a scientist would like to prove me wrong, I’m open to hear the reasoning behind why it’s not.

I think as women we’re hardwired to have running, mental to do lists all day, every day. I can’t just walk upstairs to use the rest room- I know that there’s something that needs to go up there- so I take it with me. By default, I tend to be the one who makes most of the decisions for my son’s life as well. When I first returned to work, I used to lay out an outfit every morning for him so that my husband’s morning might be a little bit easier (or was it so that I wasn’t embarrassed at pickup when I saw what he dressed him in??). That was a decision I learned to let go of early on!

But then it comes to making doctors appointments. I strategically make them so that they fit on days when I’m off from work for a school holiday or when I know it won’t be a problem to leave early. Sometimes I even try and coordinate the time so that we can pick my husband up at the end of day from work (the doc’s office and his workplace are near one another).

This mental gymnastics is always going on in my head. Sound familiar? I was feeling like every day I was losing steam earlier and earlier. By the afternoon, my decision maker was spent. Thank god that I really do meal plan each week or there’s no way anything besides cereal would make it on to the table. This is when some sage advice finally made it’s way across my screen —

Manage your energy, not your time.

This made infinite sense to me but I still needed to read some more to truly understand. You see, we can only make so many decisions a day. And as moms this is almost a laughable truth. But there are major favors we can do ourselves by managing our energy and relieving our decision makers of major thought processes ahead of time.

First, think about the time of day when you’re most energetic, tuned-in, or creative. You may know right away or it may take a few days of reflection to figure it out. But once you do,

save big decisions for that time of day.

Second, leave menial decisions for the end of the day and even spend that time making decisions for tomorrow. Before bed, I pack my son’s lunch and diaper bag for the sitter’s. The last thing I do before bed is check the weather for tomorrow. Then as I’m drifting off to sleep I let my mind wander to my closet. I think about what I feel like wearing - which gives my brain something to do rather than harping on something that will keep me awake AND I’ve just taken one decision off my plate for tomorrow already.

Take one thing off your plate for tomorrow, tonight.

Sometimes at the end of the day the last thing you feel like doing is preparing for tomorrow. But I promise, once you get in the habit of managing your energy you’ll feel more effective, less crazed, and have just enough stored up to make those end of the day decisions.