As the long summer holiday approaches for those of us in Europe, working mums start to have conversations about how much we have to get done before the holidays land on us and how on earth we will balance work/business with childcare and time with our kids.
At this time of year, working mums’ time at work becomes even more precious and pressured as we struggle to get it all done before working weeks get drastically slashed.. again!
With this in mind, I thought that this would be a good time to look at some effective ways to find more time at work for working mums.
7 Ways to Find More Time at Work For Working Mums Hurtling Towards Summer Holidays
1. Plan Your Working Day
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Spend the first 10-15 minutes of your day planning the day ahead. Working mums need to be firm on the meetings and activities you have for the day ahead. If you can get up earlier, meditate or do some yoga for 10 minutes and then do 15 minutes planning, you’re setting yourself up for an easier, calmer and more organized day.
BTW, by attending our Virtual Pyjama Party on Tuesday 26th June, you might just learn how to do this and you might just get held accountable!
2. Build Contingency into Your Working Day
As part of your daily planning time, schedule “Interruption Time”. This is an hour (no more!) each day when you will deal with unscheduled interruptions. So if you get an unsolicited phone call that you need to return or an unexpected issue lands on your desk, put it to one side if you can and deal with it in the “Interruption Time” that you have set aside for the day.
3. Be a Killer of Multiple Birds (Using Just One Stone)
Whilst I believe that my inhuman ability to multi-task keeps everything just about running in my work and life, I also believe it’s responsible for my chronically abysmal long-term memory.
So much brain juice is used in getting through each day that there’s none left for remembering what I did last weekend, let alone 10 years ago.
(Disclaimer – brain juice is not, to my knowledge, a medical term, in case you were wondering.)
That aside, multi-tasking has its place, especially for working mums with short working days.
Get creative about multi-tasking and look for activities that can serve multiple purposes.
If, like me, you need exercise to keep you sane, you could plan sporting activities with your kids during the school holidays. Then you could use that hour later in the evening when you might have headed off for a run or to the gym to get an hour’s work done.
Use your imagination to create your own “kill two birds with one stone” time savers.
4. Use This Simple System to Prioritise Each Day
Prioritise using the A, B, C method. It’s simple and it works. Go through your “to do” list and note down a category for each task:
A = Bad things happen if you don’t / Mission Critical
B = Good things happen if you do / Not Essential Right Now
C = That’d be nice / If I have Time
5. Use Small Pockets of Time for Large Projects
Often, my working mum clients delay large projects because they feel they need a chunk of at least 2 hours to work on a large project. This is a surefire way of never finishing anything. That pure, uninterrupted chunk of 2 hours may be elusive at this time of year!
In project management, large projects are always broken down into small, discrete work packages. Do the same for your work: If you have a large project and you only have 15 minutes, then that’s 15 minutes nearer to project completion.
6. Batch Schedule Emails and Social Media and All That Jazz
I DARE YOU not to open your email until mid-morning, unless it is absolutely mission critical for your job to react rather than respond to emails.
Batch schedule email management and social media management – i.e. when doing your morning planning, schedule a block of time to deal with emails. Then close your email application.
If, like me, social media is a key part of your business or job, use tools like www.hootsuite.com and www.bufferapp.com to schedule messages and again, batch your “live” presence to one or two slots per day.
This can take some willpower – get a friend to keep an eye on you and commit to daily reporting your progress.
7. Get a Coach Who Keeps You Motivated and Focused
Yes really! ☺ One of the biggest reasons successful working mums work with a professional coach is because they want to get from A to B more quickly and efficiently than they would without the support, structure and accountability a good coach can give.
It’s particularly beneficial to have a coach during times of major transition or change in your life to minimise lost time through demotivation or procrastination.
You can learn how I work with working mums to get them from A to B more quickly that they would alone and schedule a Complimentary One Hour Chemistry Call directly via my online calendar. Get the details here >
You’ll find more tips for maximising your working time on the Coaching Mums Facebook Page . Please share your own top tip for finding time at work and help other working mums who are also hurtling at a rapid rate towards the summer holidays! www.facebook.com/coachingmums