A recent survey of 2,000 mothers showed some very shocking statistics about how working moms spend their time.
- 51% of working moms regularly go whole weeks without a single minute of relaxing on their own
- Three quarters felt they lived their lives entirely for other people
- More than half don’t have time for their own hobbies or interests
- Moms take on 78 percent of the home chores
- And the average mother gets only 17 minutes of “me time” to themselves each day.
The fact is – we are always in motion. But after reading the above statistics, I decided to do a little research of my own. What I discovered is that we, as working moms, entrepreneurs and business professionals, find it hard to do one thing… LET GO. Because we can’t let go, working moms spend a lot of our time doing things that could probably be delegated or eliminated all together.
I started to look at my daily routine, taking note of all the tasks within my day. After seeing my routine on paper, I asked myself, “Do I really need to be doing ALL of this or am I just assuming I should?”
Here’s one example I’d like to share:
My children are 10 and 14 years old. Each night, I pack lunches for school. It takes me about 20 minutes to complete this task, between fixing the lunches and cleaning up after I finish. Well… after tracking my time, things have changed and my children are now packing their own lunches each night. As a touch point, I place a personal note of encouragement in each lunch box before they leave for school in the morning. The transition was great for me because I gained time to myself while they’re in the kitchen. I thought I would gain a lot of opposition, but the kids actually ENJOY making their own lunches each night. After a few weeks, my older boy confessed that he’d rather have the hot lunch offered at school vs. the cold sack lunch he brings. He never wanted to hurt my feelings so he continued to bring the lunch I made each day. Who knew? This is only one of several ways I’ve taken back my time to gain two hours each day.
Here’s how working moms can take their time back
1. Jot down everything you do – all tasks that are not related to work. I want you to do this for 4-7 days straight and keep track of the time you spend on each task.
2. At the end of the week, place each task in one of 5 categories:
KEEP (Things you enjoy doing and only you can do them)
DELEGATE (Things you enjoy but you know that other people are capable of doing).
TEMPORARILY KEEP (Things you don’t enjoy doing but other people are not capable of doing right now. Your goal should be to train them to do these tasks.)
DELEGATE (Things you don’t enjoy doing but others can do and may even enjoy)
STOP DOING (Things you are doing that wouldn’t be a big deal if you discontinued doing them all together)
You’ll soon realize there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. Use this free gift to help you even more. I ran across this slick Delegation Matrix by Bryan Miles and I’ve added my own touch of modifications. I find it to be very useful. Download it for free below, then visit me on Twitter @kimsbuchanan to let me know that you think.