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We moms are a busy and blessed group of people. We spend our days and much of our nights caring for little people, nurturing relationships, and doing our best to keep the house running smoothly. The to-do list is never ending and, sadly (or perhaps mercifully) there are only 24 hours in a day. So, how can busy moms practice intentional time management so that we are getting everything done that needs to be done?
Well, the reality is that time marches on without management from anybody but the Lord. What IS in our court is managing what WE are doing during the precious hours we are given. I know too well how challenging this can be, so I’ve put together a 2-part mini-course for you on how to manage your time intentionally!
As a busy homeschooling mom of 6, I understand what it means to have more tasks than hours in the day. So today I’m sharing with you 7 aspects of how I tackle my own time management in an intentional way, along with action steps you can use right now to put them into practice! Work through these just as you would any course. (Then dig deeper with our homemaking and/or homeschooling system planners and courses!)
Intentional Time Management for Busy Moms
1 – Be Realistic About Time
First, I think it’s most important that you take an honest look at what season of life you are in and be realistic about it. There are only 24 hours in the day, and you’re sleeping during a lot of them (in theory, anyway).
Once you take out the other necessary things like preparing food and caring for children, the hours you have left are all you have to work with. You simply cannot get “everything” done in that time. All you can do is manage what YOU do during those hours.
Action Step: Write out a simple schedule that represents what you do right now with the hours in your day. Include when you sleep, mealtime and meal prep, chores, homeschool, errands, etc. Take a look at the time you have left. Now cut down by at least a third (maybe even half) if you have small children. Trust me, you need that margin. What you end up with is the amount of time you have to work with when you tackle everything else on your list.
2 – Be Realistic About You
Part of intentional time management is also to be realistic about your own strengths and weaknesses. While it’s important to give ourselves grace when the day is hard or when we have an infant, grace doesn’t fold the laundry. Unless, of course, you actually have a helper named Grace, and then hats off to you!
I believe we are called to continue to grow and improve in diligence, and that we are equipped by the Lord with all the time and resources we need to accomplish what HE calls us to (which, incidentally, does not always match up with our own to-do list).
Action Step: Think about what God is calling you to do as wife, mom, homemaker, and homeschooler. Consider the habits and attitudes you struggle with that might be getting in the way of doing these things well. Write them down, and pray each day for the next two weeks (put that on your calendar!) for guidance and wisdom in addressing them with grace and truth.
3 – Do Not Be a Martyr
We moms tend to do this, don’t we? We sigh under the heavy load of all we have to do and serve others ultimately to the detriment of ourselves and our family. We allow ourselves to get overwhelmed and then we implode.
Here’s the thing: You need to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually in order to care for your home and family. Consider it a top priority! That means put it on the calendar and make it a part of your job.
Action Step: Write down the things that you need to do to take care of yourself. Adequate sleep, exercise, eating healthy, time in the Word, tending to your marriage, time for play and rest, etc. Choose three things and put them on your calendar, in your iPhone, etc.
4 – You Are Not an Island
Along those same lines, you are not an island! If you are doing ALL the work, that means you aren’t teaching and training your children to do the work, and you are doing them a great disservice. Granted, the teaching and training is more work temporarily, but it will reap great rewards not only for you but for your child. They will be a contributing member of the family and learn a proper work ethic.
Action Step: Write down what responsibilities each of your children can do to help each day. Choose one chore per child and spend this coming week focusing on teaching it to them until they can do it as thoroughly as they are able. Loop scheduling can work well to accomplish this and other daily tasks on your plate.
Put This Into Action!
If you are a mom who struggles with intentional time management, you would do well to read through that one more time and actually do those action items! Stay tuned for part 2, where we’ll chat about 3 more essential points, including how to actually adjust our schedules to make room for the most important things.
Click here for all the rest of the posts in the Intentional Life Series.
Tauna is a Jesus follower, wife, mom, [domestically challenged] homemaker, homeschooler, and writer. Her passion is to help women pursue God’s call on their lives (no matter the learning curve) and rely on Him to equip us for the task! You’ll find her at ProverbialHomemaker.com, bringing you encouragement and tools for your journey.