Ever since becoming a mom I’ve had to manage my time very closely. I work in the precious few hours while my daughter naps. No longer are my days my own to create my own schedule, I am on her schedule for eating and sleeping. Keeping a detailed list of what I need to accomplish during the day is essential to staying on top of it all.
Prioritize your To Do list: not everything on your list needs to be done at once. Put a star by the important, essential items on your To Do list. Anything with a highly negative consequence if not done is a priority. When you write out your To Do list, see what you can eliminate as unnecessary. Separate your list into Must Do and Nice To Do. I bet a lot of things on the Nice To Do are time stealers and can be crossed off.
Schedule your To Do list: knowing when you’re going to do something takes the pressure off. No more wondering “How am I ever going to get that done?” it’s already scheduled. Because i’m on the baby’s schedule I keep a flexible timeline by only listing what I need to do in a day, not the time I’m going to do it. It may work best for you to schedule the time you’re going to accomplish your tasks. Remember to work within your own time strengths (ex. if you’re a morning person or you know you have a few uninterrupted hours while your children are at school) when scheduling.
Limit distractions and procrastination: you may have to mute your phone or hide away in another room without the TV to limit distractions. If you stay focused on your task I promise that you will be more productive with the time you have. When I need to work online I have to resist the urge to open a browser window and check out my favorite blog http://www.aliluvs.com/. When you get distracted you lose focus and lose precious time. In addition to distractions, procrastination also sucks time from your schedule. When you fritter away your task-scheduled time you’re not accomplishing what you told yourself you needed to do. You’re not being true to yourself by procrastinating and distracting yourself from your tasks.
Try these tips and see how you feel about your To Do list. I know I feel more productive when I write things down. Just the thought of crossing something off my list makes me happy. I’ve even been known to complete a task I hadn’t written down and then write it down just to cross it off! Now I can check “write blog post” off my list.