Working Mom Special
Getting more from your day
There’s nothing more exhausting than a mother’s day especially when she’s also working. There are always far too many things to do and never enough time. All of us must be familiar with the ‘where did the time go’ syndrome. So here are a few tips to help you make a more optimum use of your time, enabling you to not only finish your work of the day but also provide you with some precious family time.
- Plan your day in advance – Block out a period each day for thinking, planning and organizing your thoughts. Get the results down on paper in the form of lists, where they are more crystallized and harder to ignore. If you are working use your traveling time to plan the rest of your day. Otherwise the toilet or the shower works just as well!
- Set priorities – There will never be time for doing everything. Figure out your priorities for the day, the week and the month. Once you’ve given some thought to what you really want to do, you can find the time to fit it in. More importantly, getting it down on paper in the form of long-term plans helps you decide what you really want to do and also helps you to find the time for it.
- Stop wasting time – When you plan ahead, think about how you normally spend a day. Does a phone call take up most of your morning? Do you spend more time reading a magazine or the paper than you intended? Do you find that you start a task and before you know it, it has expanded into several related tasks? Here’s where planning and setting your priorities helps. Be strict with yourself in refusing to waste time on things that are not on your priority list.
- Do several things at once – If you are on the phone, try to do your ironing or your cooking at the same time. Try and finish off the cooking for the day, at one go, in the morning. Don’t try to do more things or more elaborate things unless you are sure you can keep it up indefinitely.
- Get help – Don’t be shy of asking for help from your family, friends and neighbours. If you have older children, have them help you around the house. Explain to your family members that the only way you can have time to do special things with them, or for them, is if they help you with the routine stuff. Delegate as much as possible. Better still, do the chores together as a family. Let your children help you with the cooking, laying of the table, watering plants, making the beds and anything else you can think of. Spend this time together talking or playing games such as word games or quizzes.
- Don’t make perfection into a God – There are too many things to be done and no time to do them as well as you or your mother-in-law would like. At best, you can keep one day of the week free to do all those things as perfectly as you think they should be done.
- Take shortcuts – There are always shorter ways of doing a thing- that’s why God gave us microwaves! Make convenience a part of your lifestyle in everything from home delivery shopping to fresh from the package cooking. Use time savers like bottle sterilizers, solar cookers, rice cooker as well as prepackages pastes, purees and frozen food if possible.
- Organize yourself- and your workspaces so that you don’t waste precious time looking for things. Spend time putting everything into its proper place once a week so that you can find it immediately.
- Schedule the unexpected – Life rarely goes according to plan and neither will your day. There will be lots of unexpected time consumers. Schedule time for them. If every thing goes as per plan- that time is a bonus for you, to be spent as you wish
- Always make time for yourself – a happy fulfilled woman is a happy fulfilled wife and mother. Don’t feel guilty about grabbing some time for yourself and pampering yourself or pursuing a hobby. Apart from easing your frustrations, it teaches your children to learn to value themselves.
- Explore Flexi-time, part-time or work-at-home options.
- Grab any opportunity to cuddle with your children – on drives, while you work at the computer, or while you watch TV.
Most of these tips are obvious, yet it is surprising how often they are ignored or overlooked. Getting more from your day is an art that most of us have to learn. And if you happen to be a working mother – it becomes even more essential to incorporate these tips into your life. Finally, remember – ultimately it’s the people in your life who matter, not how clean your house is or how elaborate the meals are. Schedule regular periods in your week when you can let your all your work go hang as you go on a family picnic or bowling or simply spend fun time together.