We live in a great time! Just imagine that less than twenty years ago, a mother had to forget about education after childbirth. Nowadays, there are many colleges friendly to mom-students which offer a wide variety of online courses. It’s great that you have decided to continue your education, but we know that it’s a heroic deed. With this article, we want to share with you some time management tips that will help you organize your time more efficiently to keep up with college, family, and personal life.
- Make a plan for the day/week/month.
The first step to organizing your life is planning. Try to get used to planning the next day and smoothly move to plan a week and a month. The best time to plan the next day is the evening when children are asleep. At first, you may need more time to come up with tasks, but in general, it takes 10-15 minutes to set the goals for the day and set the time and priorities. Planning your budget, menu, purchases, and cleaning schedule will help you control your life.
Before starting a new list, cross out completed tasks from the current date and move unfinished work for the next day. You can use a mobile application, notebook, or planner to mark tasks.
Tip: Use color to highlight critically important tasks, preferable tasks, and those that are not urgent (bonus tasks).
Divide your tasks into several categories:
Set the right priorities and choose the optimal schedule depending on your situation. Create a test timetable for a whole week, including your homework assignments and visits to college. Change your plans depending on the circumstance.
- Give your child the highest number in your priority list.
Many perfectionist mothers try to do everything well. Who do you think is more likely to get into burnout: a lazy mother or a workaholic? Sometimes dirty dishes, laundry, and spaghetti for dinner is the most rational way to stay a healthy mom.
Also, always be prepared that your child can easily change a carefully planned day. Just get used to the thought that everything may go unplanned. The babysitter may ask for an extra day off, your child may get sick and ask for more attention, or the dishwasher may malfunction. You should just relax and take it easy. Your child has all the power to make changes to your timetable. If for some reason you can’t do homework assignments on time, you can ask someone for help without harming your child’s well-being. More information you can find here.
- Spend more time with your child.
It may sound weird, as you are searching for more free time for yourself. While children are small, it is essential for them to be in contact with their mother. The more quality time you spend with your children, the more confident and calm they become. If you are preparing for an exam or need to write an essay, take 15-minute breaks each hour to give all your love and attention to your children and you will see that they stop asking for attention each second.
If it’s appropriate to take children to class, why not? Some colleges even offer childcare and playgrounds for students who have children. If you are only looking to get a degree, we advise you to look through this list of colleges friendly to students with children.
- Organize a daily routine.
If you have more than one child, a timetable with plans for the week will be your savior. You can print it out or draw by hand on a big piece of paper and hang it in the most visible place. Here you need to mention important things like a doctor’s appointment, training, extra-curricular activities, and the time for when it all takes place. Also, you will need to add this plan to your online calendar.
Also, this method will work well with one child. Every family member will know what to do, and information can be easily accessible.
- Eliminate useless activities.
What does it mean? Useless activities are something that doesn’t make sense or give joy. For example, how much time do you spend on Facebook? Give yourself an honest answer about whether this activity gives you pleasure, and whether you can spend it more purposefully. We are sure that some rest is always a great idea, but internet surfing cannot give you refreshment. Remember, a real rest should give you the feeling of relaxation and recuperation without any sign of guilt. Spending time without a purpose may be the same as eating doughnuts to get skinnier.
- Find a source of energy and inspiration.
Mothers are more prone to depression and nervous burnout. Adding studying to your daily activities will only increase the pressure. To find a source of energy, try to make the list of actions that bring you joy. It may be regular exercises, a warm bath, manicure, or an hour of sleep. Each time you feel that your energy is going to discharge, look at the list and try to find some time to take care of yourself. The is like an emergency situation in an airplane: put on your own oxygen mask before you put one on the kid.
Mistakes to Avoid
Mothers who have started using time management frequently make the following mistakes:
- Doing everything on your own. Even if you don’t have parents or relatives to help you look after your children, and your partner works a lot to earn a living, don’t try to do everything by yourself. Try to involve your children and partner in the daily routine.
- Sacrificing your interests and sleep. Many of us are familiar with the image of the tired mother: a shabby shirt, messy hair, and bad temper. It’s not about time management when you dedicate each second to your child. There’s always a chance to ask your partner, friends, or someone else to take care of your child when you do other important things.
- Creating to-do lists only in mind. The brain is not a computer, and it’s normal that you will forget about something. If you want to be efficient, always dedicate some time to write a brief to-do list for tomorrow.
- Excessive planning. Even if you used to be a wonder woman that successfully juggled your work responsibilities, studying courses, and your personal life, you need to get used to the fact that a child will change your life. So, be realistic and don’t plan too much if you don’t want to be disappointed.
- Getting upset about failures. Don’t panic about force majeures that break your plans. Time management should ease your life, and not serve as a source of disappointment.
It may be hard for you to follow our tips if you are only starting to get used to the role of being a mother. However, the more your baby grows up, the more possibilities you will have. You can start implementing our tips starting from the first month of your baby’s life, and you will quickly feel the positive effects of proper time management.
In conclusion, maternity is a marathon, not a sprint. Your aim is to keep the distance and avoid burnout. Finding the balance between rest, studying, and motherhood is not a myth! We believe that you can do it!
Nicky Quinton is a professional writer and blogger. With more than 7 years of experience, she has collaborated on different educational projects. Nicky is writing a book that is going to see the light of day by the end of 2019.