Time management can be a sore subject for many homeschool moms. Because we either feel like we’re failing at it, or we don’t even know where to start. Is it even possible to homeschool and feel productive and successful at managing our time well? Most of our frustrations with productivity are because we’re constantly putting out fires at the surface level instead of looking at root causes. So, if you want to improve your time management skills as a homeschool mom, here are 7 things you should know.
Clutter costs you time.
Experts say that the average person will spend one whole year of his life looking for lost items.
Can you relate to this issue? Then you have to admit that keeping the clutter is costing you precious minutes.
If you want a “fun” project to do with your kids, then consider making a family declutter project and sell the worthwhile items online to make money. Use the proceeds to fund a fun family trip!
You can download a declutter cheatsheet HERE.
You need to do a time audit.
Until I actually did a time audit, I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting! And as I complained that I didn’t have enough time in my day, the audit made me see how I had plenty of time, but I just wasn’t using it well.
Here are action steps for this point: read Laura Vanderkam’s book 168 Hours and download this block schedule weekly planner to do your time audit.
Make a mindset shift to the magic of 168 hours.
Once you figure out where your time is going, you are ready to think of your time in 168 hour segments rather than little 24 hour days.
Because when you think of your time in 24 hour chunks, you can feel very self-defeated when you have one unproductive day.
Have you been there?
But if you go through some quick mental math, you will find that in one week (168 hours), you will have more than enough time to fit in nearly everything you need. Check out what I mean about the magic of 168 hours.
Bullet Journals are perfect for homeschool moms.
Your productivity might be suffering if you’re trying to manage your time with a system that just doesn’t fit your life.
Because – let’s face it – homeschool moms wear dozens of hats. And you might have dozens of schedules and lists to manage for each of your responsibilities.
So why try to use a mass-produced calendar or planner when it isn’t flexible and customizable to your life?
That’s where bullet journals really shine.
See my post about bullet journals and take a sneak peek into mine.
Set up routines for everything.
Do you know the routines for your day?
Do your kids know the routines?
Or are they constantly asking you for direction for homeschool, chores, and free time?
When you don’t have a predictable flow to your day, you waste time deciding what to do next or transitioning from task to task. This is especially true for homeschool families.
Batching tasks is more productive than multitasking.
I used to be a proud multitasker. Until I learned that brain research shows that mental juggling can cost you up to 40% of your productive time.
And then I started to notice that I really lost efficiency when I tried to switch too much between mental tasks.
So, when you’re in the homeschool groove, be all there and give it your attention.
When you’re working on your side business or hobby, be all there.
Instead of multitasking, consider batching tasks. You can see what my batching looks like HERE.
Deep work is the most efficient kind of work.
And to take it one step further, if you want to truly make the most of your time, then use your batching to pursue deep work.
Deep work is the ability to focus and produce better results in less time.
In fact, modeling deep work for our kids and teaching them how to do it is a fantastic life skill.
Consider reading Cal Newport’s book on the topic if you want to learn more.
If you want to learn more about Time Management for Homeschool Moms, check out this series of posts.
Best wishes for a productive homeschool year!
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.