Thursday, January 18, 2018

Moms and Time: how to fit everything (worth it) in your schedule


The greatest fear I had before becoming a working mother was that I was not going to have time to accomplish anything of worth. As the weeks went by, I realized that I have always been the master of my time. Here are a few ways I manage my time in order to I accomplish my goals: 

I Command my time • Commanding one’s time means giving it direction and order. I command my weeks and my days when I add different items to my schedule. If I want to accomplish anything outside of work, I add it to my schedule because it helps to make it happen. Whether in digital form or paper, planning the week’s events through your schedule will give you the visual assurance that your time will be well spent. Every week I write down my schedule in a highly visible place (my refrigerator). Everything goes there: kids activities, workouts, volunteer commitments. I find it difficult to forget anything if I see it often. 

I don’t spend time, I invest it • I would say that most people know how to waste time. I choose to invest the precious 24 hours I have by focusing on my priorities. Priorities give us boundaries. Many moons ago my priority was to graduate from college with honors. I invested time studying, doing homework and investing in my career. Daytime soap would be a waste of time. I invested my time in academics and at the end of those 4 years, that investment paid off. Knowing what your priorities are is the key to know where to invest your precious time. My priority is to take care of my family. Every activity, from self-care to decluttering adds to this priority. 

I analyze my Activities • I scrutinize my every activity: if it doesn’t move me closer to my goals, it’s gotta go. A few years ago I realized that every organization out there was trying to recruit me as a volunteer. I also know that volunteering is great but it requires precious time. I decided to analyze those volunteering opportunities through 5 questions I ask before agreeing to volunteer. http://www.simplycintia.com/2014/09/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-volunteer.html I also decided to practice what I call “focused volunteering” http://www.simplycintia.com/2014/09/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-volunteer.html When it comes to kids’ activities, it is wise to decide as a family what works for everyone. I quickly realized that we need some boundaries around the number of activities our kids join. There’s no way I can do everything out there multiplied by three. Analyzing my activities has helped me keep a peaceful rhythm for our family. 

I can’t do everything • but what I can do, I do well. There is big fear in not doing everything the community of parents around us is doing. I remember feeling quite a bit of pressure to sign up my kids to a certain sport in our area. I told myself out loud “we don’t have an olympian. If we did, we would find a way to get out there and invest in that sport.” I have found peace in staying in my lane and enjoying the activities we do have. Contentment brings peace, calm and rest. I also believe that I am teaching my kids that they can’t do everything. Contentment is key. 

Most moms feel they can’t ask for help. I am here to tell you that is a lie. I am not saying ask for help for you to further stretch yourself thin but help to reach your goals. We don’t have family nearby so we sometimes ask friends to help us with them. Two years ago when I was trying to get organized, a sweet friend came by and helped with the kids and with the organization project. We don’t have because we don’t ask. 

I was not born to be self-sufficient. I learned that there are many people who are called to be part of my life and who are eager to help me. If I maintain a self-sufficient mindset, those folks will not find me and vice-versa. I believe that when we pray for help, God hears us and He often answers us through people. Remember, you are the master of your time and you can ask for help. How are you going to improve your time-management to meet your goals this week?

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