Time management for busy mums

Why is it that some days fly by, and others drag, sometimes you work your socks off and seem to get nothing done, and then on other days you get one task after another completed? Do you also have those days or even weeks when you don’t seem to be able to find the time yourself and everything just piles up, and then you look at the piles and the lists you have created and you shuffle a few things round, and you tell yourself I’ll deal with this tomorrow, at the weekend, soon……?

So what has this to do with managing my time, I hear you ask? Traditional time management will tell you that managing your time is about effective goal setting and knowing what is urgent, important and urgent and what is important. Following this simple and pragmatic theory should get you through the day. To some extent this is true, it is important to set yourself goals to motivate you, and knowing what needs to be done first always helps. But then there is the human factor: YOU! And everyone else who needs your support, plus the dog, and the hamster that is currently making a bid for freedom with the cat close behind!

It has to be said that the state that you are in and the state you wish to stay in, has a lot to do with how you are and what you achieve. If you decide to have a good day and that nothing is going to bother you and you keep yourself in that frame of mind, then the chances are you will have a good day and nothing will bother you, give or take the odd emergency. But if you start the day with the world on your shoulders, then sure enough you will feel as if the world really is sat on your shoulder.

At work

Everyone has a list of things to do, but what if the content of that list was put there by someone else? At work we are set tasks that are part of our routine, policies and procedures and actions from meetings we attend. Some tasks we will enjoy, we may have even volunteered to do, but for many of us there will be a number of items we are simply not looking forward to doing. We procrastinate, shuffle papers, do unnecessary emails, file and make endless cups of tea, anything to save us from the task. Yet, when the deadline looms and we eventually bite the bullet how often do we find that it wasn’t that bad after all, that actually we just needed to get on and do it? In our personal life it can be the same.

At home

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) teaches us to focus on our dreams, set goals and visualise the future, doing this motivates us and provides lots of positive energy. Now I know that clearing the piles of paperwork on your desk, the ironing, the cleaning and most definitely getting to grips with the hoover and the insides of your car, all things that were recently on my list of things to do, are not the things that you would usually set as your dream goal, but it is often the little things that hold you back from the bigger things in life, and it is certainly true that your mind set for the day affects the small things in your life just as much as the big.

So when I visualised my tidy house, clean car, and ordered paperwork. Mmm bliss! I also visualise the hot bubble bath for my aching muscles when I have finished as extra insurance for getting everything done. I get started, I break big tasks down into smaller ones, so I feel like I am crossing more off my list of things. I tell myself I can do this and in no time at all it is done because all the time in my mind I am visualising the successful completion of what I set out to achieve.

*Judith Marples is a Life Coach & Author of Quick Start Guides to success. Voucher (worth £4.99) at the checkout of you enter code workingmums.

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