My Top 10 Time Management Tips for Working Homeschool Moms
Today’s topic is one I really love! I want to share some of my time management tips because taming my schedule is my jam! And from what I’ve seen in my Facebook group, lots of working homeschool moms find it difficult to juggle all the things. If this is you, then I really hope that this post will give you some ideas.
1. Do a Time Audit
A time audit is an amazing way to get a really good sense of where your time goes. And trust me that you’ll probably be surprised, if not shocked by what you discover. Mindless scrolling on Instagram is a real time thief! Trust me, I know!
When you do a time audit, you take note of how you spend your time over a period of 3 to 5 days. I have a free printable that you can use to do this, or you can simply do it with a notebook and a pen. And once you’re done, you tally up all the time you’ve spent. This is a great starting point for managing your schedule better. You can see what needs to go and what you want more of.
2. Prioritize Properly
I always thought I was good at prioritizing. But looking back, I would write to-do lists with 30 or 40 items to do in a day. As you can imagine, I very rarely ticked everything off. And I always felt rushed for time.
I have since cut my to-do list down to about 5 or 6 items per day. But at least I know that I will do them! And there’s also the success factor, which makes me feel like I’m in control of my time. So how do you actually prioritize? You need to…
- be really honest with yourself about what’s important. Is a spotless house necessary for a happy life? Or is it because it’s expected by a partner or family member? Or do your kids really need to do all those extramurals?
- think carefully about deadlines. I know that we’re told that people with good time management get things done way ahead of time. Sure, this is true in some cases. But can you do some tasks closer to their deadline? You might actually find that with a bit of pressure, you actually get them done quicker.
- realize that priorities will change. Each season of life is going to bring another priority. Each day might even have a different priority. But that’s ok! As long as you’re clear about your overarching goals, you’ll be able to change and flow. And I also recommend checking in with yourself every few months to see what’s changed
3. Time Management is Easy When You’re Having Fun!
You need to do things in your day that bring you joy. I don’t think it’s a luxury but a necessity! Because if you’re only working, homeschooling, parenting, cleaning and cooking, life is going to feel colourless and stressful.
This takes me back to prioritizing again. As moms who work and homeschool, we need to do things that bring us joy every single day. And in order to do them, we have to:
- and do!
I know that mom guilt is a big issue, but trust me when I say your kids are going to be much happier when you’re happy and fulfilled. It’s a joy knock-on effect!
4. Schedule with Creative Flair for Optimal Time Management
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling, is the flexibility. You can homeschool when and where you want. And as I’ve said before, you don’t actually need to teach your kids for 8 hours a day. So with these two things in mind, doesn’t it feel a bit easier to homeschool your kids?
It might take some trial and error, but if you make the effort to find a good schedule, possibly while deschooling, then it will be worth it in the long run. You’ll be able to find a balance between what you need to do and what your kids need to do.
For example, we homeschool very early in the morning. So my kids finish their learning before I start with work. You may consider weekend or evenings. My advice is to not get caught up with what you think are the correct times to homeschool, Rather find what works for you.
5. Be Kind to Yourself!
Just be kind to yourself in general. Because self-loathing and negative self-talk do not make for a happy life. But in terms of time management, just accept that it’s not always going to be easy and perfect. There are going to be periods and seasons where you do feel out of control and stressed. But don’t think that this is your life.
I believe that if you have a clear goal, you’ll achieve it. Even though the road to reaching the goal may be rocky, it’s still your guiding light during stormy times. So if your goal is to have more time, then write it down and make it happen. And when it feels really hard, just remember that you will get there in the end, even if you have to walk a winding path!
6. There’s Always an Easier Way
Do you follow Denise Duffield-Thomas? She’s a money mindset mentor who says that there’s always an easier way to do something. This really struck a chord because I’m someone who can easily fall into perfectionism. I sometimes feel a burning need for the perfect font, image and word, which of course I can never find! But you know what? It’s not that important!
The beauty of doing things in an easy way, is that they’re often also quicker! So you’re going to save time! Yay! So if you’re dealing with a child who doesn’t want to learn, can you make this easier on you and them? What about taking some time off until they’re more receptive? Or you could even outsource teaching entirely! My friend Kelly has some awesome classes on OutSchool, so you could start there. Both of these options will give you more time!
7. Batch and Block Your Tasks
Batching and blocking are awesome ways to save time. And they have to be two of my favourite time management tools. As someone who was a chronic multi-tasker, finding the world of batching and blocking really set me free! You save loads and loads of time if you do the same kinds of things together and it blocks. It’s science!
I do a lot of stuff because I’m basically working two jobs at the same time. I’m an online English teacher and a homeschool coach. I guess you could say that both are in the education sector, but what I do for each is very different. So I have days when I teach and days when I do things related to coaching. And the two generally don’t meet.
But what does this have to do with batching and blocking? My brain is just better able to function and work effectively when I know what I’m going to have to do on a certain day and during a certain time of the day. I save time because I don’t have to reset, move somewhere else or jump from one very different task to another.
8. What’s Your Energy Sweetspot?
When you feel full of energy, you do things quicker. It’s logic, right? And this is another integral part of successful time management. Because it’s going to help you to do the difficult tasks when you feel up to them.
You’ll probably already know if you’re an early bird or a night owl. So you could think about scheduling in tasks that require a lot of brain work during these times. And what about your kids? My kids are early risers but I know a lot of homeschoolers who homeschool in the afternoon. It just depends on when everyone is going to be the most receptive and energetic.
The same goes for rest. You need to prioritize sleep and get enough of it. This is something I do struggle with because I have kids and pets who don’t sleep well. And I also tend to wake up during the night anyway. But it’s a priority for me so I go to bed early.
9. Get Organized
I know you’re probably not going to want to hear this, but being organized saves time. Now I don’t believe in impossible grand organization goals because you’re setting yourself up for failure. But I do think doing something simple like using a planner or a calendar, is going to help you feel more organized.
There are also other quick organization wins that you can do to save time…
- Have a place for all your passwords. I use LastPass so that I never have to spend any time looking for that pesky password.
- I only use online homeschool programmes so that I never have to print anything out or even really prepare anything. Such a time saver!
- If you’re someone who creates content, there are loads of app and programmes you can use. Canva Pro is such a huge time saver for me!
I believe it’s worth it to invest in things that make life simpler. Because the time and stress you save, is worth every penny!
10. Get Time Management Help!
Things are easier when you don’t feel alone. I know this for myself and from other working homeschool moms I’ve spoken to. My podcast guests also often speak about the need to find a community. So with this in mind, I’ve got something so exciting bubbling away!
It will be a place where you can:
- find a community of working homeschool moms,
- get ideas for successful time management and scheduling,
- mindset work,
- get tips on how to reach your goals,
- learn about systems and processes to make life easier,
- learn how to have more time for the things you love,
- and get resources to help you manage your time better.
I’ll share more about this in my newsletters, so be sure to sign up to stay in the loop.