If you are a parent then you are aware that it’s a nonstop job. This week alone, the princess was at a dance camp, planning classes for the summer, she had an orthodontist appointment, started back to school shopping, Mommy had to save her from one sleepover at midnight, and she managed to make it through another one over the weekend with my guidance over the phone.
As a working mom in supervising role of a helping organization, I am always “parenting”. I keep track and monitor emotions and feelings of not only the princess but my staff and clients included. Over time, I have learned the importance of time management as a working parent is the only way to effectively get things done. So I have identified three simple steps to do so.
1) Identify what it is you want to do and plan ahead.
I am a planner. I love organization and setting goals and objectives. This is a must for me. I am a strong believer of in order to be good at something, you must identify how you plan to do this and how will you measure success.
Every week, I look at what needs to be done and I set a plan in motion. I break down my tasks. I prioritize and set objectives for each day to make sure I am able to do all I set out for the week.
The first thing I review is the previous week to see what didn’t get accomplished so that it can be reprioritized for the current week.
Next, I look at what the princess has scheduled. I need to make sure I haven’t confirmed any play dates or RSVPs to birthday parties. Because if Mommy has to transport or buy any gifts, I need to add that to my to-dos or it will not get done.
Then I look at the following week to make sure there is nothing that I need to prepare for in advance. After you know the things you would like to get done then step two will help break down the list.
2) Know what you need and can do, identify what you is unnecessary or what you can’t do.
Now that you have started the process and identified what needs to be done you must prioritize your list. If you know that there isn’t any food for lunch this upcoming week, then you must grocery shop. But if doing laundry may just push you over the edge, choose to skip it and have a glass of wine instead; that’s what I am doing this week. 😉
There are some things you may have to say no to! For me, my no’s this week were
- not being able to write updates for our agency website while in the middle of an offsite program
- not being able to make dinner with one set of friends after already having one hangout scheduled
- not being able to put my daughter’s fake nails on or film her video for her YouTube channel after a late night of school shopping
- telling someone that I am not able to speak at two events for the upcoming week.
Saying no can be difficult, especially if you are a people pleaser like me. Which is a perfect Segway to number three.
3) Remember you are only one person and you can only do so much.
One of the hardest things for me is delegating to others. I can be a control freak and I am anal about how I like things done. It took me a while to realize this but it is all connected with my trust issues, which that’s another story. When you are trying to find a life balance you must learn to become an effective delegator.
There are things on your list that you will not be able to complete but they need to be done so you must pass the task to someone else. I am not currently married so for me, I have learned that part of co-parenting is allowing the other parent to do things. Parenting is hard work so break up the tasks. Utilize your spouse, family/friends or even sitters if necessary. At work, if you are overwhelmed then ask for help from your supervisor or peers. You cannot do everything yourself.
This past week, I was nearly brought to tears at home and at work. I am the type of person that gives 100% in anything I do. Recently I have learned the importance of rest, self-care and balance so there are times that I just say no without any explanation. I have learned to be okay with that even when those around me are not. People are used to be doing whatever I am asked to do. But I will not allow them to run me to the ground. I will work hard but I will also say no and take time for me and you should do the same!