Time Management Tips for Busy Moms

ByABC News via logo
January 17, 2002, 7:15 PM

A T L A N T A, Jan. 18, 2001 -- For some mothers, the constant pressure to be wife, mommy, chef, and chauffeur takes over every minute of the day.

Tammi Wecksler, a busy mom who joined an Atlanta roundtable discussion for women, held by ABCNEWS' Lara Spencer, wanted desperately to find more time for herself.

"My life is like one big stress ball because I'm a totally type A person, have a list of tasks to do," Wecksler said. She has at least four to-do lists scattered all over the house, but very little gets checked off. When she is able to get something checked off, something new often gets added.

At midnight, Wecksler wonders where the day went and why she doesn't seem to have any time for herself. Her idea of a perfect day would be to go to the gym in the morning, go shopping and take a hip-hop dancing class.

Spencer, Wecksler and other busy moms talked about time solutions.

"Is everything really a priority, or are you just doing everything," Spencer asked. "I'm exhausted hearing about it."

At Good Morning America's request time management expert Molly Gold spent an average day with Wecksler and came up with some advice. One of the troubles was that even hobbies that Wecksler used to love, like gardening, had become a burden.

Here are Gold's tips, which can hold true for any busy mother.

Start a New Calendar System. Wecksler now has post-it notes all over the house and she plans to purchase a new calendar for her notes too.

Find Lost Time. How to work more time into the day? Figure out where you might be spending too much time. Wecksler logs on to the Web site eBay six or seven times a day to shop for her children, and often spends about three hours surfing the Web. She does it to save money, but she is actually losing time, Gold said. If she only logs on four days a week, she will save 12 hours a week.

Put Tasks in Order of Real Importance. For Wecksler that means starting with what makes her happiest as mom. Her second responsibility is household tasks. After that, simply look at the weekly calendar and pick times out, so that you are not over-running every day. In other words, playtime with the kids might be more important than the laundry on a given day, Gold said.

Make Time for Yourself.

Remember that the best gift you can give your children is time to restore yourself. After following the timesaving tips, Wecksler found time to go to hip-hop dance class.

Going forward, it's important for Wecksler, and other busy mothers, to remember the following three tips to live by.

Combine Several Activities: While showering, make a mental list of things that you need to do that day. If you are watching a sitcom, you can pay your bills at the same time.

Learn to Say No: If someone asks you to do something, and you want to do it, but truly do not have time, learn how to politely say no. That will free up time for what is most important.

Don't Attempt to Do Too Much: Many people feel that they have to accomplish everything yesterday and don't give themselves enough time to do things properly. This leads only to half-finished projects and no feeling of achievement.

To find more time management tips, you can log onto www.gomominc.com.