If you ask any mom what the biggest barrier to taking care of themselves is, I bet 95% or more would say “I don’t have enough time”. Between bottles, loads of laundry, daycare drop offs, meal making, and finances, (or whatever things are on your plate) the feeling is without a doubt real. Moms are busy. But we can do something about it if we get intentional. My time has never freed up on accident so I’ve had to work on these two areas.
So how do we solve the time barrier?
1. Reduce the amount of time you spend on self-care to fit it into your life
First, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on self-care. This is a big one for me. I am all for the weekend long girl’s trip and days at the spa, but more often than not, I’m practicing self-care in 5 minute increments throughout the day. Most self-care isn’t beautiful. It’s deep breathing instead of yelling at your kids. It’s taking a time out for a
2. Reduce time spent on other things during the day to make time for self-care
Second, you can reduce the amount of time spend on other things throughout the day so you have time to take care of yourself while still finishing all of the things you need to for mom life.
5 strategies to free up time for self care
Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? It’s real hot in the business world, but it can be applied to any area of your life. Parkinson’s Law “is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted.” Basically, if you have an hour to clean the bathrooms, you’ll take an hour to clean the bathrooms. But if you have 20 minutes to clean the bathrooms it will take you 20 minutes to clean the bathrooms.
So. Look at the tasks you have for the day and set a time limit for each one. Hint: time box it for less time than you think it will take you and set a literal timer on your phone to put the competitive pressure on.
You’ll be shocked at what you can do in a short period of time. Parkinson’s Law is a real thing! I do this often with household chores and I call it a “power clean”. It seriously works so well to reduce time spent on cleaning.
Batching, or grouping like things together to complete all at once, save major time. I do this with blogging (write three self-care challenge emails at a time), with meal prep, and with errands around town (making returns to UPS for your Amazon packages? Grab the stuff for Old Navy as well!).
Before you go to complete a task, ask yourself, is there anything else I can do at the same time that’s similar? What like things can you do all at once to save time?
Make a schedule of all of the things you have to do. Including chores, kid planning stuff, and self-care. Schedules help you reduce wasted time trying to figure out what else has to get done and when to do it.
I schedule my household chores this way. Each chore has a day of the week that I complete it (so I’m not loading all of the my chores to one day and making it hard to find time for myself) and I don’t even have to think about when it get it done because it’s kind of on autopilot.
Automate + outsource
Thanks to technology, there are so many automated and outsource systems that we can take advantage of — free and paid. Use them for things you don’t want to do or for things you don’t have the time to do. Here are a few that we use:
Grocery shopping – we use Walmart pickup when we go out of town on the weekend and can’t do our normal Sunday grocery shopping run.
Automated payments – any and everything we can pay automated online we do! Monthly bill payments for water, internet, etc.
Cleaning person – it’s one of my goals for 2021 to get a cleaning person to help with deep cleaning our house once a month. If you can afford it, this is a great way to free up time.
What are some things that you do that you really don’t need to do? I started asking myself this one day when I was freaking out that I didn’t vacuum for the second time that week. I asked myself – “do I need to vacuum twice a week?”. Maybe you find it gross that we only vacuum once a week. But. We only vacuum once a week now. And guess what? Nothing fell apart. In fact, it got better. We vacuum once a week and get to reallocate that time to other things now.