I’m dropping time management advice from some of my single mom friends below.
Fun fact: I had to remind most of these ladies to text me back two or three times. I guess you can take that as a lesson itself: Prioritize what actually matters 😉
Also, something I’ve learned about time management is to acknowledge where you thrive. Don’t get bogged down by not waking up way before your kids, not keeping an Insta-worthy planner, not meditating, or anything else you’ve seen in an infographic online. I tried to keep a perfect planner book and workout before the sun came up all through college. I learned that I strived better with a calendar on my phone that I could change easily and didn’t want to puke my guts up if I exercised after being up for a while.
- If it takes less than two minutes, do it now.
- Declutter while you talk on the phone.
- Set a hard stopping point to cut things off. At my house, I aim to cut the tv, phones, and iPad off and stop rushing around the house from 6-7:30 pm, so my daughter and I can both get off the day’s treadmill. We eat together, she takes a bubble bath, we do puzzles, read at bedtime, etc. The whole point of time management is to make the most of your time, right? I see this quality time with my daughter as the most important part of why I work on time management.
- If you’re about to take a phone call or do something else that needs your focus, spend one-on-one time with your child beforehand and then set them up with an activity: a puzzle, blocks, art activity, etc.
- Learn to live off your calendar. Whether it be iCalendar, an app, or a physical calendar at home, learn to keep track of everything. For me, it isn’t necessarily to not forget an appointment. It’s so I clearly see what I’ve committed to. It helps me say no and helps me see if my priorities are getting out of whack.
- I have things like “order groceries” on repeat every Thursday on my calendar. Even if it doesn’t get done that day, it’s a reminder to start thinking about it so I don’t get in a bind.
- Start all your phone calls with “my phone is about to die” … just kidding… sort of.
- I use time riding in the car as my mealtime, which is terrible, but when my toddler acts like a teenager and won’t get out of bed in the morning, breakfast has to be moved to the car.
- Naptime is basically when I get the most things done, of course. I never thought I would be able to meal prep two meals, do laundry, and speed clean in a short, two-hour window.
- I always leave the family’s house early when we visit because I say he needs to be in bed by 8, but really, it’s so I can finish folding all the loads of laundry.
From my friend Jimi:
- Stick to an early bedtime because it’s so much easier to get things done without kids in the way.
From my friend Beth:
- Set routines.
- Prep beforehand: Meals, outfits, etc.
- Allow room for disappointment, errors, and mistakes.
From my Healing Place Single Moms Bible Study
- I have about 45 minutes from the time the kids get on the bus until I have to leave for work. I try to use the time for myself: schoolwork, finances, anything that may take away from time with them later.
- Also: crockpot liners! Game changer!
- I’m a single mom of three and I run a multi-million-dollar online business! Wake up at least an hour before your children. If you wake up to a child in your face, you’ve already lost the day.
- Delegate, delete, or do: Make a list for each category and assign roles accordingly.
- Put your maids to work first: Maids are the crockpot, the dishwasher, the Roomba. Automate as much as you can.
- Hire help BEFORE it’s needed, not after you’re in a pinch.
- Invest time, don’t spend it. It’s your greatest asset.
- Stop trying to manage time and manage your energy instead. Be real about how much emotional energy a task (or person) takes and decide where to put your effort according to your priorities.
- Order anything you can online and have anything you can auto shipped, so there is no thinking involved. Shop for your groceries online the night before and always take advantage of the grocery pickup, such a time saver! Basically, it all comes down to planning.
- Set out clothes the night before including socks and shoes! Keep to a solid morning and evening routine.
- Anything I need to do at a specific time- no matter how small – goes on my calendar on my phone. If it’s not time-specific, I set it as a reminder, and it moves from day to day, until I complete the task.
- I’ve set calendar events and reminders for things like submitting a grocery order, paying bills, giving my son his medicine, calling to make a doctor appointment, texting my family, etc.
- I know that if I don’t set a reminder when I think of it, I’ll forget later.