Are you one of those people who’s always running late and find it almost impossible to be on time? Are you one of the moms that is known as the “late” mom? Do your friends have to lie to you about the actual start time for events or activities, just so they trick you into arriving early? Maybe you even arrive places on time but kick yourself because you always forget something important. Maybe you get out of the house on time but then realize you don’t have any fuel in the tank, so you end up late?
This was me for many, many years. I always felt like a real failure because it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get where I wanted to be on time. Deep down inside it kinda bothers us. We wonder why we can’t be more punctual. We wonder why we just can’t get our stuff together. But the beauty is that I finally figured out what my issue was. It’s about brain wiring.
My brain has trouble processing how much time actually need to accomplish things. Since I know this is my issue and I accept it- now I can change it. If you struggle with the same time management issues, I can help you overcome your chronic tardiness to! You can be that woman who punctual each day! You just have to know what your time management Kryptonite is and overcome it!
1. Accurately plan how long it actually takes you to get places.
First and foremost most of your time management issue come down to that fact that you literally don’t take into account how much time it takes you to get from point A to point B and include all the variables like loading the car, car seat buckles, driving, traffic, parking, walking to building. That’s okay! All you need to do is brainstorm these things. I’ve got a super simple worksheet and 5 minute lesson on how to correct this in my 5 Day Complete Life Management Course and Workbook.
2. Stop Overcommitting because 1) You struggle with people pleasing. 2) You deep down like to feel busy.
Part of our time management issues come from the fact that our schedules are overloaded with more things that we need to do than we have actual time in the day for. We have so many things we want to do or accomplish in a day. We are confident we can do it all.
What actually happens is that we get so many plates spinning that when we start dropping them and when they break we feel down and out. We feel depressed that we don’t have the capacity for all the things we want to do to be a good mom, wife, employee, cook or homemaker.
We feel stretched thin and don’t understand how people can have kids and maintain a clean home. We are constantly pulled inside between what we want to do and what is urgent. In my free course I have several hands on activities to help you figure out what is actually urgent, what things you need to say yes to and what things you need to say no to so you feel fulfilled rather than emptied.
3. Prepare to get out the door as quickly as possible.
Another source of time management pain is just getting out the door with everything we need. Therefore on days when the morning doesn’t go down as planned we are scrambling, yelling at our kids and spouse trying to pack sports bags, lunch boxes, clean bottles or find something as simple as matching socks. These tiny time bumps can add up to set us for stress and ultimately tardiness.
Solution- I personally have found that if I’ll just take the time the night before to prep everyone’s everything- we get out the door ahead of schedule! I have printable checklists that you can use to make a list of all the important stuff you need to manage the night before. These can help you always know what goes in everyone’s bag and you can check it each morning. This saves you trips back home and helps you not forget anything important you need to get ready on a daily basis.
4. Fuel Up Your Vehicle On a Set Schedule.
One of the worst issues I have run into is not realizing that my gas gauge is on empty. My car is running on fumes. This is one of the most stressful aspects of time management for me because I can’t get us where we need to be without the gas. If I’m running behind this becomes one more stressor stacked on everything else that I can’t solve unless I just go fill it up.
This may seem like a no-brainer to some people but when you are mom who struggles everyday with focus, having a fuel gauge on E comes up pretty often because you just don’t think about it!
Solution- Have a set point where you go get gas. If you see the needle get to a quarter tank- just go fill up. Depending on how much you drive, you might also just set a specific day of the week where you just go fill up. So Tuesday is Fuel day and every Tuesday at 2:00 you fill up your car no matter how full the car is already. You may need to set up a digital phone reminder to ring while you are in car pool to remind you to fill up on the way home! Do what works!
5. Set Your Clocks For Daily Wins.
If you want to trick yourself into being on time on a daily basis, I dare you to set all the clocks in your house ahead by 5 minutes. So if your clock says 2:30 right now, you set it to say 2:35. If you’ll get your brain to accept that that is the real time and use that number as the real time to base for all your appointments and schedules, you’ll be getting out of the house 5 minutes earlier than you would otherwise. It might be just enough to trick your brain into a simple time management system that works immediately!
As you may have noticed, I mentioned my 5 Day Complete Life Management Course several times in this post. That’s because it’s a 30 page labor of love that I created with awesome printables to help overwhelmed moms stress less, remember more and feel in control. I genuinely believe that if you will take 5 days to go through the very simple to follow course, do the activities and use the printables- you will find that you can master many of the areas of your life that you struggle to feel in control of.
I hope you found some great food for thought in the post. Please feel free to share your own time management struggles or strategies in the comments section below.
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!