How many moms do you know with too much time on their hands? They can get it all done and then some. Even the most efficiently time-managed moms I know still struggle with “not enough time in the day” issues.
A recent informal survey of moms who completed a 24-hour time audit identified some common ways moms throw time away. Let’s take a look at those time vacuums and figure out how to add more minutes to our days.
Email and Facebook.
No one wants to admit it, but the time audit shows it loud and clear. We spend a lot of time on Facebook and checking email. When we get into our cars after grocery shopping or dropping off the kids, what do we do? We check to see who has called, emailed, or posted something on Facebook. Soon, we realize that thirty minutes have passed. Think of what we could have done with that time and how those segments of time add up (because we all know this “pause” occurs several times throughout the day).
It is a modern-day addiction, and moms fall prey to it quite easily. Motherhood can be isolating and connecting to other adults can be essential for maintaining mom’s sanity. It’s important, however, to set aside a specific time and a specific amount of time for email, Facebook, and other social media.
Talking on the Phone
Some moms put their feet up and intentionally take a time out when catching up with friends. Most moms, however, do not like to use phone time as their personal time and see it as a ‘time suck’. If this is your designated mom time, carry on. If it’s not, use phone conversation time to conquer tedious household chores. Do the dishes. Fold the laundry. Sweep the floor. And, chat with your friends at the same time.
Do you have a list of your favorite shows that you watch each week? Do you use TV time to unwind? If you’re not up for changing your unwinding habits (reading a book and drinking a cup of tea is much more relaxing), then try to make some adjustments to your TV habits. Cut down on the amount of time you spend watching TV. Watch your shows during the day, while folding laundry, and do something else at night. Make sure you stick to the amount of time you have designated for TV watching. Watching television is another area where we can easily get lost in the “relaxation” and waste away several hours.
Our mom audit trends show that moms try to wake up early but, because they stay up later than they wanted, they hit the snooze button a few times before they actually roll out of bed. It is really important to make sure you get to bed on time – whatever time you have decided is right for you. If you find yourself pushing snooze too many times in the morning, you may want to consider setting your alarm for a later time (you’re getting up later anyway). Plan your day according to realistic hours.
One of the disappointments in the audit was how much time moms spend in the cars. We know carpool and errands run our lives, but when we see the actual minutes spent driving, it can be downright depressing. Many moms like to use this time to multi-task, but texting and talking on the phone are not habits we want to pass along to our soon-to-be-driving tweens. Make sure to model what you want your children to learn.
Plan your driving so you can do less of it. For example, run your errands right before you have to pick your children up from school. Make sure you group your errands according to location. If you’re really anxious about all that time you spend in your car, use driving time to listen to audio books and learn something new.
For some moms, the carpool lane waiting time might be the best time of day for responding to email and checking Facebook. Others can benefit from making that MomMe time and prefer to read, look at magazines, or write in their journals.
There is no need to give up hope. When taking an honest look at our day, we are all able to squeeze in more minutes that matter and minimize those that don’t.