Mommyhood Musings, Week 10: Time Management Tips

Time management – and completing our ever growing ‘To-Do’ list – is something we all grapple with. No matter if we’re single, married, have kids or not. But since becoming a mom, I’ve learned – very quickly – just how efficient I need to be with my time.  As I type, I am rushing to finish this blog post before my babysitter leaves for the day (I work from home, so that’s a perk). A spare 10 minutes on any day means, WOAH! I *might* be able to squeeze in a shower…but only when my husband or babysitter is home. With an extra 15 minutes I might even be able to blow dry my hair straight. (This doesn’t happen often. I’ve mastered the art of the hair bun since Evan was born.)

Truthfully, I think I’ve taken on more work, assignments and meet-ups than I can reasonably handle this month. I’m also traveling a great deal. So, to accomplish my tasks and make sure I don’t compromise time with my family, I’ve decided to commit to the following to improve upon my time management:

1. Begin working as soon as the babysitter arrives at 8am. This will be challenging. Maybe make that 8:15, since I like to catch up with her and give her the latest regarding Evan…like how the boy slept a straight 7 hours last night! Huzzah!

2. Do the creative stuff first, technical last. Tending to technical tasks like responding to emails, scheduling meetings and calling the IRS (which I did all morning) are easy ways to check things off my list and feel accomplished…but it takes away from the more important, more meaningful assignments that actually yield income.  I have several writing assignments to write and keynote speeches to prepare for this month. Rather than deal with these creative, heavier responsibilities last, I will dedicate myself to them earlier in the day.

3. Break for lunch.  A cool 20 minutes is enough to make myself a quick lunch and kiss my baby a thousand times. And it’s integral to my happiness and health. I’ll have to set an alarm for this, since it’s easy to breeze through lunch if working on an engrossing project.

4. Skype more. I live in Brooklyn and when colleagues or publicists want to meet in person for a meeting in Manhattan, the back and forth travel can easily take a couple hours. While I think the face-to-face is important (as is getting out of the house!) I’ll be suggesting more Skype or phone meetings if I feel it’s appropriate.

5. Ditch Facebook during work hours. It does not help my goal to get more done in less time. I love seeing everyone’s photos, but it’s a distraction that can wait until I’m done with work. Twitter, on the other hand, feels more like a work-related tool and resource. I’ll keep an eye on that feed, but only a few times per day. Maybe I should really start scheduling tweets via Tweet Deck.

6. Pretend I’m in high school. When I was 16, I was obsessed with creating a minute-by-minute To-Do list that not only included study time and activities. I also scheduled my showers, eating and calling people. It was not uncommon for me to write such things as, “3:10 Eat Snack” or “4:05 Begin SAT prep.” I may have been over micro-managing myself, but it was the only way I got through Junior Year. Back then I had more time in the world than I do now…So, back to the micro list I go.

7. Work when baby sleeps. The saying is actually, “Sleep when baby sleeps.” Fortunately, Evan sleeps pretty well during the night so I no longer feel tired during the day. It’s just the two of us in the early evenings before Dad comes home. I ought to squeeze in an extra hour or so of work when Evan goes down.

8. Eat less. I’ve been trying to shed the last of the baby weight. Working out is important, but it takes a LOT of time that I just can’t afford to give up this month. Rather than squeeze in a daily workout which absorbs a lot of my time, I’ll have to be content with just hitting the gym a few times per week for now. Mainly, I’ll need to focus on healthier eating and cutting calories to help with the weight loss. I learned this from Jillian Michaels last year when i met her at the Get Radical conference. After having her baby she literally had no time to workout. This, coming from a physical trainer! Instead, she trimmed the excess calories from her diet and was back in her skinny jeans 4 months later. Sigh. Egg whites and plain, non-fat Greek yogurt, here I come.

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