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Mastering Time Management: Strategies for Busy Moms

If you have ever uttered the words “I wish I had more time in the day”, then today’s podcast is for you.  When I became a Mom, time management was suddenly a topic of interest because it was something that felt so scarce.

 

Suddenly I had this little human dependent on me for her every need.  I felt like how does one find the time to do anything else when they’ve got an infant to take care of?  I couldn’t understand how other moms did it, how they made their life work, and how they even had more children. 

 

Fast forward to today and I have 3 kids ages 5,3, and 1 and you better believe I have made time management something that I study and I’m always looking to improve.  

 

Today I will share some things that I’ve learned so you can start making time work for you.  I talk about how taking control of your thoughts and managing your mind can play a huge role in maximizing your time.  In this episode you will get 5 strategies you can implement this week to help get the ball rolling.

 

5 strategies to Creating More Time:
  • Awareness: become aware of your thoughts about time and start deciding consciously how you WANT to think about time in order to start making the most of it.

  • Get Intentional about what you use your time for.  Imagine if you could create an ideal day what would it look like?  This will help you figure out what is important to you. 

  •  Have a clear objective going into your day.  Know ahead of time what the mission is.  This will help you say “no” to things that would side track you.

  •  Plan ahead of time.  Transfer your to do list onto a calendar.  Assign timeframes to each task.  You could either use a planner and manually write down your tasks, or you could use a digital calendar, like Google calendar.

  •  Remove distractions.  Turn off your phone, put it away, or at the very least turn off notifications and avoid social media when you are following what’s scheduled on your calendar.  

If you would like to take what you’ve learned today and create a plan that will help put you in the drivers seat of your time, I created a free PDF to help get you started.  Click here to access your free worksheet designed to go hand and hand with today’s episode.

Resources Mentioned In Show

TRANSCRIPT

00:00.35

You are listening to the momentum podcast episode 2 using the power of thought to create more time welcome to the momentum podcast friends if you have ever uttered the words I wish I had more time in the day than today's podcast is for you when I became a mom time management was suddenly a topic of interest because it was something that felt so scarce suddenly I had this little human dependent on me for her every need and I just felt like how does 1 find the time to do anything else. When they've got an infant to take care of I couldn't understand how other moms did it how they made their life work and how they even had more children. Fast forward to today and I have 3 kids ages 5 3 and 1 and you better believe I have made time management something that I study. And I'm always looking to improve today. My intention is to share with you. What I've learned so that you can take this information and start making time work for you I took a poll recently and asked a group of moms to share what they struggle with and the overwhelming response was. That they all wanted more time who doesn't do you believe time is your most valuable asset What do you value more time or money have you ever given this thought.

 

01:27.48

Recently Coached a woman who shared she felt like she was missing out with her family because she had taken a weekend job when I asked her which was more important the time with her kids or the money she said the money because she believed the money was a necessity because the money. Was helping to provide for her kids and pay their school tuition. She believed the time she gave up with her. Kids was an exchange for the money that would ultimately benefit them in a meaningful way because it pays for their education and this education will mean they will have a better future. They will live a better and easier life because of it one with more opportunity This question allowed her to see the weekend job in a different light. It allowed her to slow down and examine why she was doing it when presented with this question she was able to then te-decide whether or not she wanted to keep the weekend job when met with the question. Why am I doing this. She was able to recognize she had a choice she could change the circumstance leave the job or she could change her attitude about it. Either decision is not right or wrong I explained to her you just have to ask yourself. Why am I choosing this and make sure you like your reasons why in the midst of making choices about her circumstances. She discovered a fundamental truth.

 

02:59.81

 

Just as in managing time or anything else in life. The outcomes we achieve are closely tied to our thoughts because you see she is going to have a very different experience of this weekend job when she thinks I'm missing out versus I'm doing this. To give my kids a better future. Also when she takes the time to reflect on this in question it opens her mind to other possibilities of achieving this same result the result of providing a better future for her kids. But ultimately she is going to feel better about her choice. And she will perform better once she can bring the underlying problem into awareness and clean up her thoughts about it then she will better then she will be better positioned to make a decision she feels good about and move forward rather than feel stuck in this land of confusion. Definitely want to get into the tactical ways you can better manage your time. But first I think it's important to understand that with time or anything in life. The result that you are currently getting and the result that you want are all created by your thoughts The important takeaway. I Want you to get from this episode is to understand your thoughts create feelings Many of us are walking around so disconnected from our feelings and our bodies but feelings are there to deliver a message and feelings are the driving force behind it.

 

04:31.91

 

Any Action. So It's important to get to know them understand what feelings are feelings are different than sensations and that feelings start in our brain with a thought and then travel to the rest of our body. So For example, imagine your child is having a temper tantrum in the store you have a thought Oh my God everybody is looking at me make this stop this thought which by the way you may or may not even be aware of ah may cause a feeling of stress the stress then quickly shows up in your body. Possibly as a generalized feeling of being flushed or hot. Maybe you're sweating your heart is racing Your chest is tight your shoulders feel like they're up in your ears Some examples of feelings are sad Angry Frustrated annoyed joy excitement. And Enthusiasm now sensations on the other hand start in our body and then go to our brain. So For example, you touch a hot pot on the stove the pain originates in your hand which then quickly delivers the message to your brain that you've just. Touch something hot and you must quickly pull your hand off of it. Examples of sensations are hunger physical pain itching and Numbness. So That's the difference between feelings and sensations I will move on now I Want you to understand that feelings fuel.

 

06:03.84

 

Actions and the reason we do or don't do anything in life is because how we imagine it will make us feel I mean think about it. We're all just trying to feel better aren't we the reason why we buy something or do anything is because we are hoping. That it will make us feel Better. So Maybe we eat a brownie because you imagine it will taste good and you want to experience the pleasure or sometimes we even turn to food to dull a negative emotion. We don't want to feel like overwhelm stress or worry or maybe you say no. To volunteering at your kid's school because you have social anxiety and you want to avoid that uncomfortable feeling. Okay, so now we understand feelings are what drive all of our actions. Our actions are in actions which are things we are not doing then give us a result which is essentially our life. To summarize thoughts create feelings feelings, drive action or inaction actions are what give you your results also known as your life. An example of how this can relate to time is this imagine you want to start a regular consistent. Exercise routine and you have a thought about it I Just don't have enough time in the day that thought I don't have time in the day may create a feeling for you of hopeless now think of what you do or don't do when you are feeling Hopeless. You essentially give up.

 

07:40.10

 

You don't even try you don't brainstorm a way to make it work in your day or week because you probably think this would be a complete waste of time you don't ask for help and ultimately you don't create a regular consistent workout routine and the results you end up creating is. That you don't make the time in the day for the thing that you want to do. But what if you were to think and believe I create time in my life for the things that are important to me Now, you're feeling empowered from this feeling of Empowered. You decide if making time for a consistent exercise routine is important to you you define for yourself. Why it is important to you. You look for ways that will make it easy for you to incorporate a regular exercise routine into your life. You commit you ask for help. You create a plan you execute a consistent exercise routine that works for you then the result is you just created time for this thing that is important to you. Do you see how your results are direct reflections of your thoughts. And the first scenario the thought was I don't have enough time and the result created is you don't make the time for what you want to do in the second scenario the thought was I create time in my life for the things that are important to me and the end result of that is.

 

09:13.14

 

You create time for what's important to you you figure out a way because where there is will. There is always a way so how can you apply this in your life here are 5 tips number one I would say first start with awareness. Begin to become aware of your thoughts. Your thoughts are just sentences in your brain thoughts are not facts and this is an important distinction to make understand the connection between your thoughts and your feelings if it's difficult for you to bring the thought into awareness. Then simply practice becoming aware of what you are feeling at any given moment knowing that you're feeling is not coming from a circumstance outside of you rather the feeling is coming from your thought about said circumstance. Take the circumstance of waiting in a car line to pick up your child from school. You could think this is a total waste of time which might have you feeling frustrated or you could think this is an opportunity for me to listen to a podcast or an audiobook or call a friend and catch up. Which might have you feeling excited or optimistic see how your perception of the circumstance totally changes your experience of it. What I want to offer is that it's the way you are thinking about time that is giving you the experience of it. Take a moment to consider.

 

10:44.88

 

What makes time go fast. Go by fast I know when I was working at the hospital time flew by this was because there was so much that in my mind needed to get done and I only had a limited time to do it. There was no time to waste ruminating about conversations I had. Or worrying about what was going to happen in the future people were counting on me I was responsible for these patients and looking out for them keeping them alive I had a mission a purpose Also think about your wedding day and how fast that went by all those months spent. Planning and years spent dreaming about this day and it felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. Alternatively, let's think about what makes time go by slow waiting for your food to be ready holding a squat position sitting through a boring lecture so waiting for something we are looking forward to. Wanting something to be over and being bored are all things that can make time seem like it's going by slow considering situations when time seems to go by fast or slow just illustrates that your experience of time is created by your thoughts. So if you keep thinking you don't have enough time that is what you will create in your life and by thinking and believing this. You are as a result blocking creativity from coming in and being creative helps us find solutions. So That's number one I want you to become more aware.

 

12:20.47

 

Of your thoughts about time moving on to number 2 get intentional, get intentional about how you want to use time take a moment to consider if you had more time. What would you do with it. Have you ever asked yourself this question like really ask yourself this question if you took the time to sit down and reflect upon what you would want to do with your time if you had more of it and if you wrote these things down. What would you come up with would you play with your kids. Organize the closet go for a walk call or visit a friend or family member. How about plan an adventure go to the spa relax like actually relax and not worry about all the things you think need to be done I challenge you to take 5 minutes of your time and write down what a perfect day would look like in your mind write all the things you would do this can include relaxing or even taking a nap on your ideal day now write down all the things that you did yesterday compare the 2 how different are these two days what I want to offer is that ideal day is available to you. It is up to you to create all that is required of you is to get intentional decide ahead of time. What your days will look like.

 

13:51.36

 

Moving on to number 3 this brings me to the next topic I want to discuss which is the importance of clarity a mission and objective I recently read the book time warrior by Steve Chandler which I highly recommend by the way but 1 of the things he says is that. People who think they have a time management problem have it twisted. They don't have a time management problem what they are lacking is a clear objective. He gives an example of catching a flight if you were running late to catch a flight to New York and somebody stopped you to ask for a favor. You would have no problem saying no because you are on a mission to get to the airport on time to make that flight. However, when we start our days without a clear mission. We end up getting distracted. We say yes to things that take us further away from our goals. We get lost in checking social media or emails reacting to the seemingly never ending demands of our children mom can I have a snack mom. Can you get the paints out for me. Mom could you wipe my butt right? But if we had a. Clear direction of what we were doing that day a mission of what it is. We want to accomplish a plan to follow. We would not be letting these distractions get in the way and we would be able to create the life we wanted and we certainly wouldn't have a time management problem. So.

 

15:19.24

 

Quick review step 1 is to become aware of our thinking step 2 is get intentional about how you want to use your time. Step 3 is get clear on your mission now. Step 4 is to plan planning. The next thing that is going to help you tremendously is planning. It was Dale Carnegie that said an hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing so many of us believe that we don't have time to sit down and plan what we need to be doing is getting to work. But. Action without proper planning has the potential to cost you time. Mistakes may be made when we don't think through our actions ahead of time we might miss that there is a more efficient and effective way of doing something have you ever looked back and thought. Oh yeah, it would have made more sense if I did it this way or it would have saved me so much time if I had waited for my husband to come home to do the grocery shopping so I could go without the kids or better yet. Do the grocery shopping on instacart. Not only that but plans give us direction. It's that mission I was talking about earlier and when we have direction we know where we are going and we are less likely to get sidetracked by the distractions. We are then able to say no to things that would stop us slow us down.

 

16:47.60

 

And prevent us from completing a project. It also prevents us from being controlled by our monkey mind that randomly thinks it would be a good idea to make chocolate chip cookies and then before you know it you spent the past 2 hours in the kitchen completely of course trust me I've been there the way. I like to do my planning is by writing out my to do list at least a day ahead of time assigning a timeframe to each task and then plugging each task into a time block into a time block on google calendar. It helps me clear. It helps keep me clear and focused and less thrown around by the demands of the day when everything is out of my mind and onto paper or on my google calendar I have more space in there to think to focus and it frees up my energy for other things. It's like. Declutter your closet. So let's say Tuesday from 12 to 1 I have on my calendar to record this podcast. So that means if a phone call comes in I'm not going to answer. Well actually I put my phone on do not disturb mode and I remove all distractions but I will talk more about that later, but you get the gist or maybe you put on your calendar between the hours of 9 and 10 you are going to go through all the baby clothes and get rid of the things that no longer fit so when your son.

 

18:18.82

 

Asks you to Play. You can say not right now. Honey I know this may seem a little harsh I mean we want to be able to drop what we are doing to play with our kids. But if we do this all the time we don't pursue the things that we really want to do and a lot gets left. Incomplete and when things are incomplete. It can completely drain you of your energy. Not only that. But as nice as it would be to play with our kids all day long. That's just not realistic if what you want is to provide a good life for your Children. We have to make money. Things cost money. Food clothes, school activities toys so we are going to have to be away from them to be able to go out and earn money to provide for them I think we all know this but it's easy to forget and feel guilty. And if you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at home. Even then I don't believe it's realistic and I don't even really like the word realistic because I don't like being realistic I think it stifles you and blocks Creativity. So Maybe I'll use another word. How About. Conducive. Yeah I like that better thinking you have to spend every waking moment with your children is probably not conducive to the life. You want to provide for them or yourself you want them to live in a clean house. Don't you you want them to have clean clothes to wear.

 

19:49.68

 

Or how about making meals for them and cleaning up the kitchen afterwards you want things to be organized so that they are able to find things easily. You don't want them to be frantically looking for that stuffed Animal. They simply can't sleep without when you're exhausted and trying to get them to Bed. You've got to be able to go through things from time to time and declutter unless you want your home to look like an episode of hoarders and doing things like this takes time what I have found helpful is scheduling time on my calendar for playtime with my kids. That way I know it will happen and I don't end up looking back on my day feeling guilty that I did not spend any time with them when the time is scheduled to play with them then I'm more present when I play with them I'm not worried about what else I should be doing because I already decided ahead of time. That this is what I should be doing playing with my kids and then when I have something else scheduled on my calendar like exercise for instance, then I don't feel guilty because I know I have reserved time with them and it will happen as long as I Follow the Calendar. You might think that this is too structured or rigid for you, you might say but I like to be spontaneous and have freedom. But what I would argue is there is freedom when you structure your day because you decide ahead of time. What's important to you and.

 

21:17.67

 

What you want your day to look like instead of just reacting to things as they come up and you ensure you're living the day the way you want to by simply following your calendar the act of planning your day ahead of time. Gets you out of your primitive brain which is designed for survival your primitive brain sometimes referred to as the lower brain wants that instant gratification you want your primitive brain activated if you are ever in a dangerous situation say if you are running from a lion. However. When it comes to doing the things necessary to ultimately get what we want out of life like losing weight becoming more organized planning a family Vacation. We don't want our primitive brain running the show. Our primitive brain will have us seeking pleasure by eating chocolate when we're not even hungry. It will have us wasting time scrolling on social media and avoiding the things necessary to achieve our goals. Our primitive brain is designed to conserve energy so it will make things seem more difficult than they actually are but by planning we are using our prefrontal cortex. Which is our more evolved brain also known as the higher brain The prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functions like planning and decision making and it has our long-term goals in mind the more you practice and get good at using your prefrontal cortex.

 

22:51.18

 

The closer you will get to living your life on purpose the closer you will get to getting whatever it is you want in life. The basic synopsis is to take time to make time take time the day before to sit down and plan for tomorrow think of top. Think of 3 top things you want to accomplish and then schedule those things in a time block on a calendar then when tomorrow comes all you have to do is follow through on what's scheduled. So. Number 5 tip number 5 the last thing I want to talk about today is the distractions you might say well what if I have something scheduled on the calendar and something comes up that is out of my control like okay, get sick or I get a flat tire. My answer is yes things like this happen. But how often do things like this happen flat tire. Hopefully not that often a kid getting sick. Well if you're like me maybe this happens more frequently than we like. But then we come up with a backup plan. You create some white space on your schedule in case, this situation should occur so you make sure that you don't have your schedule packed back to back with activities leaving no room for things you know will inevitably come up plan for the unexpected.

 

24:18.90

 

When you plan your day give some thought as to what your day will look like what normally happens is your kid typically hungry and asking for a snack at 9 a m then plan then plan on giving them a snack at 9 a m so they are not coming to you and interrupting. Whatever activity you are working on plan for the distractions remove distractions if and whenever possible don't allow yourself to go on social media to improve your focus if possible shut your phone off put it somewhere out of sight and out of mind. Or at the very least turn off those notifications. Our biggest distraction nowadays is our phones every time you hear a ding your focus is being shifted from the task you're working on to that noise. Even if you don't answer the notification every time you hear that ding your attention gets diverted. And is still calling for your attention and stealing it away from the activity in front of you turn off the tv turn off the music. Although I have heard that some people work better with music in the background and if that's you great. But for me I need quiet in order to focus. So just do whatever works for you. The thing to take away from this is if you want to maximize time the way to do this is to cultivate as much focus as you can and the way to do this is by removing distractions. So there you have it.

 

25:50.18

 

Those are my 5 tips to maximize your time and by way of review. Tip 1 is awareness become aware of your thoughts around time notice. How often you say or think I don't have enough time or I wish I had more time in the day. Notice how you feel and behave as a result of those thoughts remember whatever you are thinking you will create see if you can shift that thought to I have plenty of time for the things that matter to me or even just I make time for the things that matter. Tip two is get intentional about what you use your time for imagine if you could create an ideal day. What would it look like this will help you figure out what is important to you. Tip 3 is have a clear objective going into your day. Know ahead of time what the mission is this will help you say no to things that would sidetrack you that would sidetrack you tip 4 is to plan ahead of time now that you have outlined how you want to use your time and you have a clear objective. Of what you want to accomplish transfer your to do list onto your calendar assign timeframes to each task and plug it into your calendar. You could either use a planner where you manually write down your tasks or you could use a digital calendar like google calendar which I highly recommend.

 

27:23.60

 

This way you always have access to your calendar that is as long as you have your phone on you which I'm assuming you do then? tip 5 is removing distractions turn off your phone put it away or at the very least turn off notifications and avoid social media when you are following what's scheduled on the calendar. You can schedule time for social for social media if you like or you could always choose to use the white space which is the time you left open on your calendar for free time activities such as scrolling social media or watching Tv. Well I'm sure you've learned some things listening to this podcast today or maybe you will say I already knew this stuff and if that's true, great, but just know that repetition is the mother of skill and the more times you hear or do something. The more it will become embedded in your memory the next and probably most important step though is implementation the key to making a change is taking action but worry not my friend no need to get overwhelmed I've got you covered. I diluted what you learned today into a free one-p page Pdf complete with action items that you can do today that repeats these tips I gave you and translates them into a step-by-step action plan that you can use to help you create more time.

 

28:52.76

 

Pdf can be accessed by simply scrolling down to the show description where you will find a link to the show notes click on this link and you will be redirected to my website and it is here where you will be able to access this pdf I created to go hand in hand with this show. I understand your lives are busy. Moms trust me I get it but hear this quote by Albert Einstein by Albert Einstein that I have learned to live by the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over the takeaway from this. If you want a different result, you've got to do something different. Remember it takes time to make time. So I suggest taking as little as 10 minutes if you're worried it will take longer then I suggest you set a tiber for 10 minutes and just get to work. And then just promise yourself you will finish the moment that the timer goes off 10 minutes is not a lot of time and it could make the world of a difference. So go ahead, get to work my friends and if you do I'd love to hear what you come up with post it on social and tag at tiny valentine coaching. That's coaching or better yet join the momentum podcast private Facebook community where you can share your action plan and or your takeaways from the show. Also.

 

30:28.41

 

Feel free to ask a question provide feedback or suggest any topics you might want covered in a future podcast episode. Thank you all so much for listening I really do appreciate you spending your time your most valuable asset with me today if you found this show valuable will you do me a favor and take. 2 minutes to rate and review the show this helps more people find the show so I can reach and help more moms just like you and I would be forever grateful. My friend life will always present us with challenges. But within those challenges. There's an opportunity to discover beauty and tap into your inner strength take back the reins from that scattered mind lead with love from your heart and know that you have the power to handle any challenge life throws your way until next time stay strong stay focused stay committed. Goodbye my friends.

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