“I don’t have time for that.”
That’s how so many of us feel – especially if you’re a busy, ambitious mom. But we’re crushing that idea today in the Mama Work It Podcast! In this episode, I chat with Marisa Lonic about the biggest time management mistakes moms make, why they actually do have time to achieve their goals (and where to start), and the time management strategy I use every single week.
Check out the episode here, or read on for a summary.
The Biggest Time Management Mistake
After years of being a time management coach, the biggest mistake I’ve seen people make when trying to improve their time management is starting in the pages of their calendar.
When we want to fix our work/life balance, so often we either buy a new planner or we try to rearrange the events on our Google Calendar. Then, we try to learn productivity hacks and copy-and-paste them into our lives.
You can try that, but here’s the thing: it won’t change the way you feel when you walk into a meeting that you dread. It won’t shorten the length of an overflowing to-do list. Productivity hacks and planners are just tools, and they won’t get to the root of your time management struggles.
So what is the root of your time management problem?
Time management doesn’t start on the pages of our planner; it starts with getting crystal clear on your vision for your life.
The HEART of time management starts with getting clear on what matters most to you… and that means taking time to think about your values and what you want your life to look like.
If you’re thinking, “Anna, there’s no way I have time to sit around and think,” then I get it! Even if you don’t have much on your calendar, your day is filled with laundry, carpools, lunches, and more. As a society, we’re rewarded for doing; not feeling, reflecting, or thinking… so we tend to become uncomfortable with sitting still, thinking, and not doing.
But if you’re going to get to the root of your time management problem, you have to make time to think about your vision.
My Non-Negotiable Time Management Strategy
Once you’ve gotten clear on your vision for your life, then you can start to implement some time management strategies. And one of my favorites is the weekly planning session.
A weekly planning session is just what it sounds like: you sit down before the week begins, get a bird’s eye view of what’s coming up, and plan how you’ll handle problems before they occur.
If you don’t have this, you tend to have a hamster-wheel feeling where you’re mindlessly moving through your day-to-day life. But for our family, a weekly planning session helps us function as a family without losing our minds.
We do this at some point on Sunday and it takes maybe 30 minutes max. Sunday is our most flexible day of the week, so we wait until the girls are quiet and occupied and we’ll do it then. But you can choose any quiet day and time that works for you!
If you’re just getting started with a weekly planning session and feel overwhelmed by the thought of it, here’s a simple process to get started:
- Look at the week ahead and determine the vibe and events. Will it feel rushed, or relaxed? What things will you need to plan to help it feel more relaxed?
- Identify any tough spots:
- Where do you usually experience friction in your week? Do you often forget to wash soccer jerseys after practice? Do you forget to put the dance bags in the car?
- How can you incorporate these things into your weekly planning session so you know they’ll get done?
The more you do this, the more it’ll become second nature!
Want more? Listen to the full episode here.