When you’re a working mother having a clear work-life balance can be extremely difficult to maintain. It can sometimes feel like all of your time is eaten up by chores that never fully get completed giving you very little time to spend with your children and yourself.
Living in an unstable work-life balance can have serious consequences on your health and affect those around you.
However, there are methods and strategies that can help you ensure your daily tasks, work-life and personal life don’t overwhelm you. Here, we will discuss some of the best ways to manage and organize your time to ensure you get all of your tasks done, stay on top of work and get some relaxation with your family.
1) Plan your day out in advance
It’s not uncommon to feel scattered and overwhelmed by your daily responsibilities, especially as you advance through your career and have more things to do. When you leave tasks for the last minute, it just adds stress on top of what is already there.
Therefore, it’s crucial to plan ahead so that you can effectively take into consideration the tasks you’ll be completing throughout the day.
Create a list of tasks you need to do for the day through bullet journaling or with your phone’s note app. If the tasks repeat on certain days, have them set up every week in your digital planner. This way, you’ll not have to manually take time off each day to add a task to your to-do list.
2) Chunk your personal tasks based on priority
It is extremely beneficial to prioritize your tasks in order of importance if you’re juggling work, chores and your family. There is no point in organizing your pantry when laundry needs to be done or your car needs to be looked after by a local mechanic for a service or inspection.
If possible, plan a list based on priority: what needs to be done the soonest? What can be done later? Can I work flexible hours to get an important task done?
Once you’ve gauged a task’s priority, it will be easier to plan your day according to what needs to be done first.
If possible, try tackling the tasks with higher priority first. By the time noon comes around, you can slow down a bit without worrying about being unable to complete a major task.
3) Create a clean environment for work and home
Seeing piles of rubbish or paperwork, especially if you work from home, is a surefire way to lose motivation when working. Procrastination will begin to set in and bleed into your already thinly stretched productivity and work time.
Take some time to clean up your workstation every day, whether it’s during your downtime or on the weekends. Having surrounding environments like your kitchen or bedroom clear will also help you keep on top of other tasks and keep focused when you’re under the pump.
Having a clean environment allows your brain to stay concentrated and focus on the tasks you have set out for yourself.
4) Checking in with your manager
If you’re a working mom you already have a lot on your plate, all that needs to go wrong is one of your children feeling sick! As a mom, you are usually responsible for caring for your child when they are sick, which means staying at home or picking them up from school.
While this might seem like the end of the world at the time it doesn’t need to be. Having a consistent and clear line of communication with your workplace or boss about flexibility in your schedule is an absolute must. Usually, a workplace will be accommodating as long as you clarify your needs and how you will continue to do your job well.
Having a good relationship with your manager is also a must when it comes to having a work-life balance. Just be transparent with them!
5) Ensure meaningful family time
Staying focused on work and completing your daily chores is one thing but ensuring that your relationships are not deteriorating because of your drive to work and be a mother is another.
Spending time with your family really does count even if it isn’t every moment of every day. Every child looks forward to playing, talking, or even just hanging out with their parents. It could be a great idea to plan activities that your children and/or partner will enjoy. Long walks, beach days, and even board game nights are great ways to be active, get involved, and have great conversations. If your children are a bit older, it may even be a good idea to get their input in deciding what to do or where to go!
Of course, if you have a partner, they cannot be forgotten either. Make sure you set some time aside for them to remind them how important they are.
6) Time-block effectively
Time-blocking is an excellent way to organize your day.
It works by setting aside specific time slots for certain tasks based on priority level, rather than having them scattered around the entire day. This allows you to get more done in less time and also saves you from interruptions or distractions that come up throughout a workday.
One technique you can consider is the Pomodoro technique. This strategy entails working without distractions in 25-minute intervals and taking shorter breaks between sessions to keep yourself focused. During these breaks, you could even get some tasks done like putting some clothes in the washing machine or cleaning your workspace.
You’ll be able to finish things a lot faster since it keeps you focused on your task, whether it’s writing, coding, or studying, without getting burnt out from going at it for too long.
7) It is okay to say no and lower daily expectations
No one is perfect and sometimes the pressure of having to be a mother, cook, worker, laundromat and caregiver can have a serious impact on your mental and physical health.
These expectations of being perfect are really unachievable. You don’t always need to maintain a perfectly organised or clean home, be the perfect all-knowing parent, catch up with your friends every weekend and have healthy warm homemade meals every night. The demands that you put onto yourself are usually more pressure than what those around you expect.
When you lower your expectations in every aspect of your life can help you strive towards other, more meaningful goals. Hiring a cleaner to help with your chores, buying cookies from a bakery instead of making them yourself or having a nanny does not make you a bad mother.
It’s great to strive for perfection but it can definitely turn into a toxic expectation when you run yourself thin. By asking for help from others, you can be at your optimal level for your family and your job.
8) Self-care above all else
While a mother’s work never seems to end, caring for yourself and balancing a hectic schedule with relaxation will give you the energy to be the best mom you can be. A mom’s weakness is caring for those around them and putting themselves at the end of the list of what needs to be taken care of.
Finding time for yourself and doing an activity that allows you to relax and recharge is a great way to give yourself a moment of tranquility. Engaging in activities like meditation, yoga, writing, journaling, coffee with friends, massages, facials can give you the ‘me time’ at the end of the week that you deserve and will put things in perspective that did not have clarity before.