4 Steps to Organizing Your Days to Manage Your Time

by Ferly Tangonan

Have you ever met a mom that wasn’t busy? Me neither. I’m Ferly, a wife, mom, blogger and now I’m also an Intern here at 5 Minutes for Mom.

It isn’t easy to manage your time when balancing the needs of kids, work, home, family and friends. If only there were a formula to help us moms gain some control of our days…

4 Steps to Organizing Your Days

Ah, but there is. Organizing your day as a mom is important because your family is depending on you.

The key steps to managing your time and organizing your days are straightening priorities, setting boundaries, being flexible and getting support.

Straightening Priorities

Because there is so much moms have to do for herself and her family, priorities must be in order. Put first things first. But how does it relate to your time? I’ve learned to straighten my priorities by using a priority pyramid. In the pyramid model, the most important things are the foundation of the pyramid and take up the most time, everything else is layered on top taking up less and less time.

Priority Pyramid | Gifts We Use

If you find the amount of time you are spending on each priority is skewing your pyramid, that’s okay. Awareness is the first step to change.

Setting Boundaries

Once your priorities are straight, it will be much easier to set boundaries around your time. If you have a hard time saying “no”, this could be the perfect opportunity to start. Saying “no” doesn’t mean it’s not important to you, it just means that it doesn’t fit within the scheme of your life and family right now. Boundaries are a healthy way to keep your day uncluttered, leaving room for you and your family.

Being Flexible

Moms are nothing if not flexible, it’s what makes or breaks our days. Time management and organization is not about keeping our schedule tied up in a box, it’s about creating an ideal flow for us in all the seasons of life.

Life happens, kids get sick, and moms need a break. Having your day organized will only help you to be flexible enough to know which slots of time can be switched out to fit the craziness of any given day. If you’ve done the first two things above, the craziness should be manageable.

Getting Support

This is one that moms need to do more, myself included. If your day is looking hectic before it even starts, ask for help from your family and/or friends. Getting the support you need will take pressure off of you and still get everything done. Imagine that.

How I organize my days

Now that you know my strategy for organizing my days as a mom, I thought I’d give you all a preview of how I go about doing it for myself. With my priorities straight, boundaries set and flexibility in mind, I lay everything out that needs to get done in a one week span of time. Here is a sample of how my days make up my week.

Ferly's organized week
With time for myself {mind, body and soul}, my family, my home and others, there is more than enough room for flexibility. There are also intentional gaps of unstructured time during the week and unscheduled weekends for quality time with family and friends. If days get hectic I know where things can be moved around or made up the next day.

You can do it too

Your days may be more or less hectic than mine, but the ideas behind getting our days organized are the same. I hope this has empowered you to take control of your days and weeks, making you more effective for your family.

Are you ready to take control of your days? Which of the steps mentioned gives you the most trouble? Share in the comments below so you can be encouraged by other moms.

 

Ferly - Intern TeamWritten by Ferly Tangonan.

Ferly is a wife, mom and blogger on a journey to a clutter free house and life. With her passion for keeping families organized, be inspired to use your gifts to grow, love and serve others.



Email Author    |    Website About Ferly Tangonan

Ferly Tangonan is a wife, mom and blogger on a journey to a clutter free house and life. With a passion for organizing, technology, family and blogging, be inspired to use your gifts to grow, love and serve your loved ones.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt Stringham June 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm

For me, I have a really hard time managing priorities. While I am home I try very hard to disconnect from work but find it hard at times. I am actually quite glad I found this blog post as it is very helpful both in my personal and professional life. Family is very important to me and being a father and the bread winner can at times be hard to juggle. :)

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2 Ferly June 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

Kudos to you Matt for your desire to be present for your kids. One way I recommend putting boundaries on your time at home, if you do have to work, is give yourself “home office hours”. Make them consistent and respect the boundary. When it’s time to work from home, be focused and set that boundary with your kids. When office hours are over, close up shop and focus on your kids. You may even save your office hours until after the kids go to bed. Thanks for your comment.

~ Ferly

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3 Jen N June 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm

I would agree with managing priorities. I make lists, but it is easy to get caught up in one activity that takes extra time. Or a little extra time online when I should accomplish a task first. Also easy to procrastinate- need to write it down and work to accompish it that day.
Thanks for the helpful post!

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4 Ferly June 15, 2013 at 11:41 am

I agree Jen. I can get so distracted sometimes, and I’ll confess that I’ve had to be pulled away from my phone on more than one occasion. Once you get your days organized and know that you will get some of that downtime eventually, it will be easier to stay on task. I have many lists that I work off of and sometimes things still remain undone. It’s in those times that I have decided to play with my son and leave the dishes for a while. Hope your days get more organized from here on.

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5 Laura June 14, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Being flexible is what’s toughest for me. With three kids age 4 and under I am constantly having to adapt to what they throw my way. I am Type-A to a fault so this is REALLY difficult for me but I’m working on it!

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6 Ferly June 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

Three kids under 4? Wow Laura, that is incredible. I want to challenge you to let your Type-A side take over for a while and create a routine for you and your kids. It’s a known fact that young kids thrive on routine, but remember to balance it with plenty of unstructured time for the toddlers. You may be surprised at how well your little ones will respond to you ordering their day. If kids know what’s coming, they are more able to adapt and transition. May the Type-A Mom force be with you!

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7 LaVonne June 15, 2013 at 10:33 am

It is important to make soul time for church, Bible Study, personal devotion and prayer time. With two young kids, there isn’t much good planning here right now. But this fall my daughter starts kindergarten homeschool. I will be sticking to a more organized day for sure!

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8 Ferly June 15, 2013 at 11:56 am

Totally agree with you LaVonne. If I don’t take time to fill my cup with prayer and bible reading, I cannot successfully fill the cup of my hubby and son on an empty tank. I understand your struggle to plan with little ones. Start small and do a morning routine. Then as the kids begin to get into a groove, add a naptime routine and so on. I applaud you for homeschooling! This summer would be a great opportunity to start working your routines in to prepare for homeschool in the fall. Best of luck to you.

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9 Jennifer June 15, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I have trouble keeping any kind of cleaning/organizing schedule when my kids are home for the summer.

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10 Susan June 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Summer is the toughest for scheduling for me too.

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11 Ferly June 17, 2013 at 1:18 am

I hear that. Maybe signing kids up for summer classes and local activities could help get the ball rolling. Also, having the kids help out with “summer projects” around the house may be “fun”. {wink}

~ Ferly

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12 deanna June 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm

I like being flexible! I need help to manage my time…thanks for this post
xo

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13 Madonna June 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

I find it easier if I have a plan of what I want to get done for the day. I feel so much more accomplished if I get to mark something off so I always put a couple of easy items on there :).

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14 vickie couturier June 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

good tips i need to get a organizer ,i have 6 grown kids an 11 grandchildren

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15 Dan June 25, 2013 at 2:28 am

If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

Gtdagenda

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

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