What are the top 10 time management skills for you? Well, if you are a mompreneur, it matters! Time management is one of the critical skills you need for success! To get out of the weeds and finally feel more in control, try these top 10 time management skills on for size. When you do, you’ll see how you measure up!
Time Management Skill 1. Analyze today’s reality
When you begin to examine your time management skills you must start by analyzing today’s reality. Accurate time tracking will help you figure out what you are doing well and where your gaps exist. A simple practice is to track your time spent on tasks daily. Then split those tasks up into the categories that most of us must manage will help you see where you are running into trouble. This is what I ask private clients to help them track their time for a week. You’ll notice that it’s split into the most common mom-areas of focus: Me, My Family, My Work, My Home & ‘Other’ which includes EVERYTHING ELSE. Download it and print it out so that you can analyze your own time reality for one week.
Time Management Skill 2. Plug your time drains
Once you figure out where you’re actually spending your time you can assess whether or not that time is well spent. You can replace pastimes and time-wasting habits with more effective work activities, such as planning, routine maintenance, and scheduling time for the things you are missing out on now. Knowing where you’re wasting time can help you line up support to help you get things done in an easier way. This is easier to say than it is to do. It’s essential to get a handle on time wasters so you can STOP them as soon as possible.
Time Management Skill 3. Create SMART goals
It is important to set your goals for both business and personal accomplishments. When you set a goal remember to keep the SMART acronym in mind:
- S is for Specific: Make sure both your business and personal goals are very specific.
- M is for Measurable: Your goals must also have a measuring point by which you will know whether or not you have met your goal successfully. One of the surest ways to failure against your goals is to never set a measurable outcome.
- A is for Achievable: There is a big difference between a dream and a goal. Dreams can be lofty and future-focused but successful goals must be achievable. You can have the biggest goals in the world but if they are not realistic and achievable you will likely not meet them.
- R is for Results-Oriented: Be sure to create the result you desire written within your goal. A result is different than a measure. You can create measures for performance, efficiency, and effectiveness but results are what you get when you complete the goal.
- T is for Time-Based: Successful goals must be related to the period of time in which you will apply your plan. This is one of the missing pieces for most people and why their goals fail. Without a time limit, you tend to lose focus, become scattered, and risk dropping your goal from your priority set.
Time Management Skill 4. Prioritize what is most important
In order for mompreneurs to be successful, they have to start prioritizing from the inside. Doing internal work means you need to know what you value and what is most important. This will help you prioritize your tasks. Internal work begins with your core values. Each person’s core values are different. You may value achievement where another may value love. By identifying your core values and then defining them according to you and what you need, you will have a clearer picture when you prioritize the many tasks and activities you need to juggle as a busy mompreneur.
Time Management Skill 5. Plan it all out
Never underestimate the value of a great plan! And, don’t be afraid to plan. Anything can be a project if you plan it out. And, with a plan, you always have the opportunity to change direction if your plan is not working out to your advantage. Planning can be done in many ways but it’s been proven that planning is a separate brain function than scheduling and indeed separate than implementation. It is important to take time apart to plan first. And if you need help with project management skills, they are learnable!
Time Management Skill 6. Manage how to do it
Managing how you do it has to do with the systems and workflows you implement in your life. Often we think about workflows when it comes to business but there are many workflows when it comes to managing your home and children effectively as well. Thinking about the best way to do things can sometimes save you a great deal of time. Asking for input from friends and other small business owners and entrepreneurs, can save you loads of time and mistakes.
Time Management Skill 7. Schedule effectively
Just like planning, scheduling is a separate activity and deserves some focus for busy mompreneurs. Before you can schedule effectively you have to understand how much time you actually have in any given day. The best way to figure out your average discretionary time daily is to start with an average of 24 hours,
- subtract your average hours spent sleeping
- then take away the amount of time you spend commuting or in transit
- next, subtract the average time you spend working daily
- also delete the time spent on maintenance tasks for yourself and your family
- and finally, subtract any additional hobbies or volunteer time spent daily
Using these general calculations, you’ll be able to figure out your average discretionary time per day. Here is a typical example of how much Conscious or Discretionary Time a working mom who runs her own business has:
[Tweet “We all have 24 hours a day, how are you living your time?”]
We all start with 24 Hours in A Day:
- 7 Hours Sleeping = An Average of 17 waking hours daily
- 3 Commuting & Local Travel = 14 waking hours remain
- 8 For Work Hours = 6 waking hours remain
- 3 For Self and Family Maintenance Tasks = 3 waking hours remain
- 2 For Other Stuff: Volunteering, Staff Development etc. = 1 waking hour remains
- 1 hour Discretionary (Conscious) Time Remains/Daily – to do EVERYTHING ELSE
Most mom entrepreneurs are surprised at how little they actually have left daily. Scheduling effectively has to do with chunking tasks in categorical functions and then blocking time to complete them. Just as you would schedule a time to go to the grocery store you must schedule a time for business development, social media, blog posting, newsletter writing, and networking events.
Time Management Skill 8. Create maintenance routines
Probably one of the most overlooked time management skills for mompreneurs is creating maintenance routines. Maintenance routines encompass everything that goes behind managing your household, running your family, and keeping things at a sense of homeostasis. Some best practices include assigning certain maintenance routines to days of the week. This ensures things get done effectively and helps manage your stress level by knowing when and where things will be accomplished at home.
Time Management Skill 9. React, respond and reprioritize
Most noteworthy is your ability to be flexible when working more effectively within the time you have. One of the most crucial time management skills for success is the ability to be flexible and go with the flow. You must be able to react, respond and reprioritize as things change in your life. One of the critical skills that make entrepreneurs successful is their ability to make decisions quickly with the information that they have available to them at that time. Your ability to be flexible stands in opposition to one of the qualities that sometimes gets in the way: perfectionism. Allowing yourself to let go of perfectionism frees up an entire reality and supports your ability to be successful.
Time Management Skill 10. Systematize sanity strategies
One person’s approach to systematizing their sanity strategies is not equal, nor the same as another’s. Look deeper into the sanity dimensions of:
- your space
- the systems you use
- the habits and rituals you sustain that are focused on self-care
- and the level of support you receive daily.
In what dimensions could you use a little boost? When you analyze your current sanity dimensions, you can uncover those underlying trouble areas that would be better if you had routines and systems in place to support you.
For instance, routine and ritual can be the critical success factors when implementing your health and wellness self-care practices. Signing up for a fitness class, paying for a gym membership, or setting up an accountability partner can be the strategies that help systematize your self-care opportunities. Something happens when we commit to another person, or put money on the table to pay for a class. Suddenly we have some skin in the game and there is a cost to not completing.
Want some help managing your time more effectively? You can download this free weekly planning set: The Sunday Planning Tool: Sunday Sanity Summit, and the Week-at-a-Glance Planner. Or, for more in-depth support, you can check out my Time Management Program: AWAKE! Manage Your Time To Love Your Life and see if it’s time to get your life in alignment!
What Do You Do To Manage Time?
Which of these Top 10 areas are most difficult for you? Please let us know in the comments below. If you have tips that work for you, please share them below in comments.