I have never really thought of a well-functioning life to have any thing to do with Time Management, but lately it the word has been popping up everywhere. A number of blogs have taken to writing about it, there are whole books on time management for stay at home moms even, and I, as a Working-at-Home-Mom (or WAHM for short), realised that the key to success might actually be through time management.
Well, at least of some sort or another.
I dislike structure. I’m not a huge fan of rules (they’re meant to be broken) or schedules (I’m a control freak by my own means, but I will still break my own schedule, go figure!). Something always pops up unexpectedly, or I get distracted by something else. Okay, I usually get distracted.
But I realised time management does exist in my life, and once I started thinking more about how to manage my time, my life has become a lot less chaotic.
My schedule Mine and Princess’ schedule goes like this, generally:
- J wakes up for work around 5:30 am, wakes me up, leaves.
- Princess wakes up anywhere from 6:30 am to 8:00 am. Go figure.
- Lunch at noon.
- Naptime sometimes exists around 2:00 pm.
- Dinner anywhere from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.
- Bedtime goes from 8:00 pm (ideally) to 9:30 pm (unexpectedly)
In between Princess’ eating and sleeping schedule, there is random time for cleaning, laundry, blog-related and internet-wasted time, and, of course, Work. J owns a construction company, which I manage and do all paperwork and some banking for – there are days when he needs me all day to do random things (fax, email, get papers together, make proposals/invoices, go to the bank) and days where he needs me to do nothing but tell him the weather. These things I do are very random, and could spring up at any moment, so I would often get stressed because I would put off doing the bed, or cleaning up, and then I’m called to work duty, and I’d get frustrated at myself and at J, and only because I thought I’d have the time to do said chores later.
Phew, do you get my hectic life now?
The worst part of this was when J would come home to a messy home, no food on the table, and no clean clothes for tomorrow – and I would be pissed at him for wrecking my day. Oh yeah.
So I started by categorizing my life:
- Life’s necessities and chores (showering, cooking, cleaning)
- Things *I* Want to Do (blogging, reading, excercising)
- One-on-One Time with Princess (reading, playing, going to the park)
- Work (randomized phone calls throughout the day with instructions)
And I kind of segmented myself to do each activity for anywhere from fifteen to thirty-odd minutes, or until I got bored/distracted/called to do something else. And it kind of works, for me, that is.
I’ll allow myself to do computer things for thirty minutes, then I did my bed. I spent forty minutes playing with Princess. Made a snack. Had to do some emails and print off some papers for work. Princess went off to play outside with J’s mother, and I showered, excercised, vacuumed, and did more work things.
It seems this way all my bases are covered without wearing myself out. Because I hate chores. I hate dishes, putting laundry away, cleaning Princess’ room up after she’s already done it – I hate it all. I used to try to tackle it all at once and I would get fed up halfway through and nothing would get done.
This way I do little spurts of stuff I don’t care to do, stuff I have to do, and stuff I want to do.
And do you know what that adds up to?
A well-balanced life. (cue cheesy music now)
And how did I get there?
I managed my time. Time Management.
And what does this all lead to?
A happy mum. A happy Princess. A some-what happier J (who doesn’t have to deal with stressed-out mum syndrome at the end of an already stressful day). Yay!
Let’s hope I can continue this to lead a slightly more blissful life!
How do you deal with all the chores of life, plus work and/or kids and/or significant other? How do you manage your time?