January 24, 2017

6 time management skills you can learn from your mother

If you know someone who is capable of managing 48 hours’ worth of work in a 24-hour day, it’s probably none other than your mother! Moms (and many dads, of course) take care of their families and children and the huge amounts of work and responsibly that come with it.

Thanks to familial responsibilities combined with the unpredictability of life with kids, mothers often develop certain intelligent time management skills to keep things under control. Here is a list of few ‘everyday’ time hacks you can adopt to get the most out of your day.

1. Spare a few minutes to get focused

Lots of us have asked, ‘Mom, how do you do it all?’ Our mothers are experts when it comes to listing and prioritizing tasks. Waking up an hour or two earlier than everyone else in the house is usual. This may be in order to have some ‘personal’ time to get the most important tasks of the day out of her way. It may be reading inspirational material, exercise or meditation so she is focused throughout the day. This quiet period of reflection and silence allows her to prepare for the day’s agenda and helps her regroup when things don’t go as planned.

You can effectively prioritize your tasks, too. When you feel overwhelmed with work, things tend to get out of hand. Take a step back and reflect on your priorities by making a list and focusing on a single assignment at a time. If the situation gets too overwhelming, ‘take five’. Go for a short walk and take 10 deep breaths of fresh air. When you return to work, you will have a renewed sense of vigour and energy. Maintaining focus while working is key to saving time, after all.

2. Pick outfits for the week

Just as synchronization is essential for a phenomenal dance performance, organizing tasks provides the base for productivity and effective time management throughout the day. For years, I have seen my mother pick seven outfits for the week on a Sunday and tuck them neatly with each day labelled on top. As a young adult, I now understood that this organizing aspect helps me avoid the mental battle of having to choose the right clothes for work each day. So, instead of wasting time deciding the right-outfit-pick for work every morning, just do what my mom did. Pick 7 outfits on the weekend and save yourself the hassle, time and anxiety in the morning. Moms, most certainly, have a hack for everything!

3. Leverage smartphones and the ‘Techno stuff’

A mother with a complete know-how of technological apparatus will always use it to the best of her potential. Whether it is buying grocery items online, downloading recipes, setting clean-up reminders or getting in touch with a friend, she will make sure it is done as quickly and as precisely as possible. Using a smartphone as an assistant can help you save time if you learn to manage its properties efficiently. Having quick access to a virtual task-list can make your life so much easier. Desktop timers such as the Minterapp feature of the basecamp time tracking tools, Toggl and My Hours put laptops to good use by helping you stay focused on the task at hand while monitoring time on your assignments.

4. Too long a break is procrastination

Being an all-round player tends to exhaust our mental reserves. It is, thus, crucial for moms to take frequent breaks from work and unwind by listening to music on an iPad or chatting with a friend over the phone. However, too long a break can break the rhythm of work; the one thing that mothers cannot afford to do. To avoid getting sucked into a time vortex by these activities, mothers prefer setting work timers.

These timers may not be as technologically advanced as the basecamp time tracking tool and other desktop apps for example, but are effective enough to ring a buzz and help our moms resume their duties once playtime is up.

5. Don’t waste time looking for things!

One of the biggest time wasters is looking for lost items around the house. Place a basket in every room to store all the frequently-grabbed essentials such as backpacks, books, pens and whatever else goes out with a person every morning.

Baskets are mom’s best friends so don’t hold back from investing in some to save time and keep your place organized!

6. Ask for help

When my mother reaches a point when she can no longer do everything by herself, she reaches out to her family and friends for help. Being a perpetual hard worker, a mom knows that she can be more productive if she uses all of the resources available to her. Help is never limited to asking technical questions. Talk to your family, friends and co-workers if you have issues with time management or anxiety. Ask your mother how she manages to divide her work amongst friends. Her expertise and wealth of knowledge, albeit in a different area, might give you some perspective to make things work.

Learning time management and basic hacks from your mother (or mine!) is equivalent to gaining essential insight on cost-effective living. Put these tips to good use!

AUTHOR BIO | ABOUT Evie Harrison

Evie harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison

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