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A Heart For Home: Tri-Moms: Time Management for Busy Moms

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tri-Moms: Time Management for Busy Moms

Disclaimer: This is a topic I struggle with a lot, so I'm writing this post as much for myself as anyone else.

Today, the Tri-Moms are discussing Time Management for Busy Moms. After the busyness of the past month and with resolutions in the forefront of our thoughts, I'm sure many of us are ready to be whipped into shape in the area of time management.

Since we're talking about time management, I'm going to do my best to make this short and sweet. 

I have found that time management is all about priorities. If something is a priority to me I typically find a way to get it done. So, making sure I have my priorities in the right order is absolutely essential. I can want to be organized with my time all want, but until I allow Christ to transform my priorities to his own, I will continue to struggle with time management and having time for the things that are most important.

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God,to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."        ~Romans 12:1-2 (emphasis added)
My biggest struggle with managing my time as the keeper of our home is with cleaning. I There, I said it. I love to purge and organize, but the daily cleaning is very low on my list of things I like. Not that our house is a complete pig sty, but I'd much rather bake, or sew, or read books to the kids, or (I might as well be completely honest) read blogs, or wade through Pinterest. 

Somehow I began my journey of being a keeper of our home with the gross misconception that I would always have time for the creative aspects of taking care of a home and being a mom and that there would actually be very little that I didn't enjoy.

However, with four little ones at home all day, the time for my creative ventures is next to nothing and the time I'm left cleaning and tidying, and teaching the kiddos to do the same is a huge chunk of my waking hours.

So how do I do it?

Again, I'm still working through this, but I know that my mind needs to be transformed so that I see this part of my job as important, because if I see it as important I'll use my creativity do finish this job as well. If I know it's important I'll take pride in a home well organized and clean, just as I would take pride in a scarf finely knitted or a batch of bread finely baked, or a blog post finely written.

When something is important we want to do it well!

Because, what good I'm a doing my children if they can paint a beautiful painting but struggle with keeping their clothes off the floor and their bathroom clean. Let's just face it, no one wants to live in a dirty, disorganized home. They may say they don't care, but no one wants to search through the dirty clothes to find the shirt they need for work or eat dinner off of a table that is covered in week old crumbs. 

Do you want some practical advice? Well, I could tell you how making lists in the evening help me be prepared to make good choices the following day. And how breaking my day into tasks to be completed before each meal helps me stay on track. I could also tell you how reflecting on the day with my husband helps to make sure that my priorities are in line. 

But the most important thing I am finding in order to manage my time well is to make sure I make at least 15 minutes to spend in God's word everyday.

That's right, my time management strategies is to add in something else that takes time. My mom always says that when you spend time with God he seems to increase the amount of hours in the day, and I think she's right. When I spend time with God, I allow him to slowly transform my thoughts and make them more like his own. This means that my days will focus more on what is important to God and I won't even miss the other things because God's priorities will be my priorities as well.

Want some more practical help with time management? I've found these resources to be very helpful. (Disclosure: The following two ebooks are affiliate links, so we receive a percentage of each sale made, at no cost to you, of course.)

One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler. A great way to downsize what you actually need to spend time doing. Written to be completed in small easy to do tasks, in any order, and at your own pace, this ebook is very easy to customize to your life. You can also enter to win a copy here.

Tell Your TimeTell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Fulfilled. This e-book walks you through setting priorities and developing a time budget. Much like a money budget, a time budget will help you know where your time is going and will even allow you to create margin time for the unexpected things that happen daily in a home with young children.

And if you're a blogger I would highly recommend Blogger Behave: Make your blog benefit your life so you can love both! This is a wonderful resource to help you keep your blogging life in check and keep it from taking over your real life. I'm half way through reading it I absolutely love everything I've read so far! 

Do you struggle with time management, too? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Please visit my fellow Tri-Moms, Kristin @ Bits & Pieces from my Life and Christy @ A Living Homeschool for more ideas on managing your time as a wife and mom.

Up next: January 17: The Winter Blahs

Winter Schedule of Topics
February 7: Frugal Date Ideas
February 21: Romancing Your Husband

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