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5 Time Management Skills That I Learned from a Stay-At-Home Mom

My wife amazes me. Each day, I watch in awe as she conquers the required tasks to keep our household running efficiently. On a typical day she must: get the kids ready for school, care for the dog, run errands, clean the house, prepare meals, reply to e-mails and phone calls, and spend quality time with family.

Keep in mind that most days aren’t typical – crises occur, kids get sick, things break around the house, and the cable guy never shows up when he’s supposed to. I would fail miserably if I had to do all of the things that she does, but my wife handles them with aplomb. She inspires me to be more deliberate with how I spend my time.

After observing my wife for the past 15 years, I’ve picked up a few of her productivity techniques. Instead of wishing for more hours in the day, I’ve decided to maximize the time I have by doing these 5 things:

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  • Get Focused 1 of 5
    Get Focused
    My wife wakes up an hour before the kids do so she can have a few moments to get focused. She uses this time to read devotional materials, meditate and reflect on her day. This quiet period allows her to mentally prepare for the day's tasks and helps to keep her centered when things don't go as planned.
  • Make Lists 2 of 5
    Make Lists
    My wife is a huge list maker. There are lists on the refrigerator, on her computer, in the car. Sometimes I think she needs a list to keep up with all of her lists. But the act of writing down things in an orderly manner helps my wife to remain productive.
  • Leverage Technology 3 of 5
    Leverage Technology
    My wife's smart phone has improved her productivity. She uses it to record notes, set reminders, sync our calendars, send e-mails and text messages, research items, and download recipes. She is also a big advocate of online shopping. Buying items on her mobile devices eliminates time spent in stores.
  • Take Breaks, But Set Limits 4 of 5
    Take Breaks, But Set Limits
    Being a mom and wife can be overwhelming at times. That's why it's important to take breaks. My wife likes to unwind by playing games on her iPad, visiting Facebook and Twitter, and chatting with her friends on the phone. To avoid being sucked into a time vortex by these activities, she sets a timer. When the buzzer sounds, she resumes her duties.
  • Ask for Help 5 of 5
    Ask for Help
    When my wife reaches the point when she can no longer do everything by herself, she enlists the help of friends and family. Some people are reluctant to ask for help because they see it as a sign of weakness, but my wife knows that she can be more effective if she uses all of the resources available to her.

Read more of Fred’s writing at Mocha Dad and Frederick J. Goodall

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