The responsibility of raising a family while maintaining a career is never easy. Working moms often wish there were more time in the day to spend with their families or get more done at the office. While there’s no way women can add a 25th hour to their days, there are ways to manage your time more effectively so you can get around to doing those things you never seem to have the time to do.
* Get a head start. Perhaps no time of day is more hectic for a working mother than the morning, when she must get ready for work while getting the kids ready for school and ensuring they have a good breakfast. Some moms even drop their youngsters off at school. That’s a lot of tasks to tackle before you even sit down in your office to answer the first e-mail or listen to the morning’s first voicemail. To make mornings less frantic, get a head start the night before by laying out the next day’s clothes for you and encouraging your kids to do the same. Preparing lunches, packing a gym bag and even setting the coffee maker can all be done the night before to save you time and make mornings more relaxing.
* Take public transportation to work. Public transportation may not be available to all working mothers, but those with access to a train, subway or bus might want to take advantage of that opportunity. If you do, you can spend your daily commute catching up with work instead of sitting in traffic behind the wheel of your car. Even if public transportation takes a little more time to get you to work than driving yourself, that extra time can be spent preparing for the day ahead.
* Catch up on work over the weekend. The weekends are a time when many working mothers look to unwind, but spending an hour or two catching up on work on a Saturday or Sunday morning is a great way to make the week a little less hectic. As the week progresses toward the weekend, set aside certain tasks that aren’t urgent but can be easily addressed in an hour or so over the weekend. This frees up time during the week to tackle larger projects and might even allow you to leave your office earlier on weekdays.
* Prepare or even cook meals in advance. The days of yore when mom cooked all the meals are largely a thing of the past, as nowadays both parents tend to share cooking duties. Moms can cut down on the time it takes to serve up family meals on weeknights by cooking meals in advance. Think of dishes you can prepare on the weekends and then freeze until you’re ready to serve. Or purchase a slow cooker that slowly cooks your meal all day while you’re out and about. By the time you and your family arrive home at night, dinner will be ready and you will have more time to relax after a long day.
* Share the work. Sharing your workload pertains to both home and the office. At home, don’t feel like you have to be a superhero capable of handling all of the household tasks like cooking, cleaning and walking the dog on your own. Share these responsibilities with your spouse and even your children when they’re old enough. At the office, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to your coworkers or ask for favors from coworkers who might be able to help.
Managing time effectively is of paramount importance for working mothers. Learning to do so effectively can make for a better personal as well as professional life.
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