Working Moms Need To Master Time Management!
Working mothers are important category of USA economy. Among all groups they are probably the most versatile workers. apart from doing regular jobs, they are also in majority of cases in charge of their households too. Like all mothers they have to balance among common tasks like:
* helping kids at school work (homework, projects, activities)
* taking work home
and of course
* waiting for stitches in the emergency room
* being a fashion consultant to teenagers
* fishing bubble gum out of kids’ hair
* secretly eating sweets in the bathroom
* discovering leftovers of yesterday’s lunch in schoolbags
but they had to show their max at job too.
Where majority of working mothers work?
The official stats show top fields are:
- administration (for instance secretaries)
- education (for instance teachers)
- health (for instance nurses)
57 percent of women older than 16 years are part of so called labor force. 74 percent of them work full time and 26 are part time employed.
70 percent of women with underage children participate in labor force.
Government studies show that despite some fluctuations working mothers are on the rise. While only 30 percent of mothers with a youngest kid under six years worked full time in 1970, in 2010 about 60 percent of mothers with youngest child under six work full time. In the group of mothers with youngest child between six and eighteen numbers are even higher: from 49 raised to 74 percent.
In 2014 almost 10 millions of single mother families (with kids under 18 years) were registered in USA. Half of these mothers were never married, others were divorced, widowed or separated.
And here is official comparison of women’s earnings against average men’s earnings in 2014:
As you can see, average man’s wage is set on 100 and a single woman without children really doesn’t earn so much less (about 4 percent). Although a gender based wage is still obvious, it really becomes a huge problem when women become mothers.
This can be explained by several major factors, but we’ll not go in details.
Tips for working mothers are similar to other time management tips, but like every group with specific characteristics, they have some specificities. Here is a quick list of tips:
– plan (when you see your day, week or month on a sheet of paper, you’ll more realistically asses what is feasible and what is not);
– set priorities (the secret of happy and successful people is not their efficiency, they in general don’t do more in less time, they just do more important things before less important ones, so in long term they make progress in their lives according to their personal values);
– be realistic (don’t try to squeeze too much obligations into your time table, it’s much better to have achievable goals and occasionally surpass them);
– wake up early (if you wake up before other family members, you’ll get a chance to do something for them or for you without disturbance);
– use evenings (many obligations, like preparing a school bag, can be done in advance, before the morning fever starts, some can be done by others and some by yourself);
– develop routines (if everybody in the family knows who, when, where and how to do what is has to be done, the day will instantly start running smoothly or at least smoother);
– delegate and outsource (certain chores can be done by others, try to assign them to other family members, just keep control of their performance, so you can constantly improve their efficiency and outsource even more);
– divide (have time and place for each of your duties, don’t do multitasking, because it is scientifically proven it is less effective);
– allot (all bigger problems tend to become even bigger if not done fast enough, but can also be split into smaller, easier and less time consuming pieces);
– be picky (only one or two activities per kid in entire year, be present only at certain number of games, parties, celebrations);
– trade (for instance alternate driving kids with a friend, so each one of you can have some extra time for other stuff);
– predict (in time you’ll learn to anticipate most of the unpredictable problems in family and work, so you can think in advance how these can be solved by you, your relatives or your friends, it is also smart to have a backup for each backup);
– have a plan for time pockets (there will always be times when you’ll just wait, so it’s smart to have a list of not so urgent things, like checking the weather forecast, calling a friend, reading an article, answering an email, sort bills, etc. which can be done then, but can also wait for less busy evening, if for some reason there will be no waiting);
– do less (some activities, like checking emails or cleaning the kitchen are repetitive, and really can’t be 100 percent done, so it’s best to do them only few times per day or stop doing at when are already done good enough);
– turn things off (television, computer and phone are among biggest time stealers, what doesn’t mean you have to stop using them, just learn when you want to watch them and when it’s best to shut them down;
– just say no (be aware even super moms are only mere mortals, they all need to sleep, have fun or simply do nothing, so always have empty spaces especially in the beginnings and ends of the days, but also at least on non-busy day in the week);
– analyze (you can’t evaluate your life without clear goals and occasional assessment of your progress, so it’s obligatory to check what you had done, how you could do the same better and what should be done instead, experts on time management recommend to spend at least five to ten minutes on this once per week and suggest Fridays as best day).
If you have some real life tips about time management for working moms, please let me know in comment section!