I had several people tell me that once you have a baby, you become the most efficient version of yourself – so much so that you wonder what you did with all your time before kids. I can 100% say this has been true for me! Ever since having George, I’ve noticed just how little time I have to get work done (or things in general, you know, like showering). It’s been a struggle for sure, but I’m finding my groove when it comes to time management. Whether you have a new baby or are simply trying to make better use of limited time, here are some things to try…
I’ve talked about this before, but batching is such a lifesaver. Essentially it’s just a fancy phrase for doing similar tasks at the same time. For example, instead of having the option to shoot 7 days a week like I used to, I now condense shooting into 1-2 days a week. This means I only have to get fully ready on those days and I only need to style clothes on those days, too. Same goes for chores in the house, errands outside of the house, responding to emails and even conference calls.
If you designate certain times/days to certain tasks, you’re allowing your brain to get into the groove for one thing at a time. You’re also making more efficient use of your time (instead of switching gears and task to task).
If you haven’t been utilizing Airplane Mode on your phone, now is the time to start. I used to be that girl who responded to texts or notifications as they came in, but I realized how much time that wastes. Instead of having your notifications serve as a distraction all day, use Airplane Mode when you need to focus. Airplane Mode essentially turns off notifications until you choose to turn them back on. This way, you’re in control of when you’re responding to IG comments, texts, emails, whatever. I like to use it when I’m doing computer work or even spending time with George so that I’m fully present. I’ve also heard of people keeping it on until you’re ready to start your day (so your mornings are free from distraction).
I’m pretty sure most of us struggle with letting go of control while delegating, right? I totally do. The thing is though, once you start giving up that control, you realize how amazing delegating can be. Whether it’s hiring someone to help with your taxes or something in your business you’re not great at – or someone to assist with household chores that build up (cleaning, the lawn, delivering groceries), it’s all super helpful. Obviously, this usually comes with a cost and needs to be budgeted for, but I’m amazed at how much I can get done when my list is shorter. Or when I’m only in charge of tasks that I enjoy doing.
This might sound obvious but it’s such an important tip that I want to mention. On top of having a running to-do list, I find that scheduling in tasks to my digital calendar is a must. It’s also super helpful to schedule recurring tasks so that you don’t have to create those new tasks each week. Calls with my team, writing blog posts, shooting – all of those things happen weekly so they are set in my calendar weeks in advance. I even schedule time to get ready before shoots or to take care of household tasks like grocery shopping, etc. I find that color coordinating tasks based on their topic helps, too.
By having a scheduled calendar, you’re able to plug in your to-do list to a physical time. You’re also able to look at your week or day at a glance and know what’s coming up.
Ask for help
This is another struggle point for me and I know a lot of women feel me here. It became very clear after having George that I needed help more than ever. We eventually found a wonderful nanny to help us a couple of days a week, but I’ve definitely relied on family, friends, and Austin a ton lately. I found that asking for help eliminated so much stress from my life and most of the time, people are glad to help! It’s also freed up time in my day.
Finally, I want to mention single-tasking. We live in a multi-tasking culture and I’m definitely guilty of it. It seems like it’s more efficient, but it’s actually not. Similar to batching tasks, focusing on one thing at a time (single-tasking) usually makes for less stress, better work, and better use of time. Next time you find yourself doing 10 things at once, slow down and just do one thing at a time. See if it helps!
How do you make the most of your limited time?
Images by Mary Hafner