Juggling motherhood, working from home, and running a household is a lot for anyone to handle! If we aren’t intentional, the urgent things of life can take over and we won’t make time for the things that are important to us. Pursuing your goals and keeping things that are priorities to you from falling through the cracks requires a little bit of planning and scheduling.
The good news is that it is doable – even as a busy mom! Let’s talk about the practical steps you can take (starting today) to move your goals from dreams to done.
THE BIG PICTURE
I always try to keep the big picture in mind as I plan my schedule. I don’t want to stop working towards accomplishing my goals simply because I have not made a plan for including them in my daily life.
To Keep the Big Picture In Mind:
- Keep a running list of all the things you’d like to accomplish in the next few months. (I organize my list by category i.e. marriage, motherhood, work, household, etc.)
- Be sure to include things like planning for family vacations or signing up for activities for you to do with your kids. These relational opportunities are often the first to slip through the cracks in the busyness of life.
- Keep your list updated and add tasks as they come up. It’s so easy to forget items you need or want to do if you don’t write them down.
YOUR MONTHLY PLANNING
Personally, I use half-page monthly calendar pages to do my monthly planning. Having my monthly projects and goals on the same page as my calendar helps me be realistic when I plan. On especially busy months I write down fewer goals and just do what REALLY needs to be done that month so I don’t feel totally overwhelmed.
To Plan Your Month:
- Fill in appointments and other scheduled items on the calendar.
- On the blank half of the page, write out the different “categories” of your life.
- Under each category, write any steps you want to take that month towards accomplishing your goals or moving forward with your projects in that area of your life. (Make sure to check your big picture list to see what you need to add to your monthly goals and projects.)
YOUR WEEKLY PLANNING
Once a week, I get out my monthly calendar and create my weekly list for the following week. Taking my monthly projects and goals and assigning them to a specific week and day makes a huge difference in going from planned to accomplished!
To Plan Your Week:
- List all the tasks you want or need to do during the following week. (Check your monthly planning page so you don’t miss anything.)
- In addition to projects from your monthly planning page, write down any weekly or bi-weekly tasks you need to do – things like grocery shopping and filling up the car with gas.
- You can have a separate column for your work-at-home projects (or you can just write down the number of hours you are planning to work at your home business).
- Write the day (or days) you’re planning to do each task next to the item. Be sure to take into account appointments, activities or anything else you have on the calendar.
- Try to be VERY realistic about how much you plan to do each day. Once you’ve assigned each item to a day, look over the entire list and check that the load is balanced over the week and seems doable.
- If anything else comes up during the week, add it to your list and assign it to a day.
CREATING YOUR DAILY LIST
Being a busy mom means I only have so much brain space available. Having a written to-do list for each day (either on paper or electronically) helps me stay focused and not forget any important tasks. I also enjoy checking things off the list so it motivates me to finish more!
To Plan Your Day:
- Every night, write out a simple to do list for the following day based on your weekly list and the normal tasks you do daily. ( I even write down my water intake and taking my vitamins!)
- Keep your list handy throughout the day and work towards checking items off one-by-one.
- If you haven’t completed your daily list at the end of the day, just reevaluate and add the unfinished tasks to the next day or another day in the week. Things can get crazy quickly with kids, so try to have grace for yourself during those days when NOTHING gets done!
HOW TO GET STARTED
When you do the work ahead of time to plan how you will include your goals in each month, week, and day, it makes it simple for you to be sure you’re working toward your goals consistently. You can know that slowly but surely you are chipping away at those big goals you’ve set for your personal life and your work-at-home business.
Take these steps:
- Take some time today to sit down and make a list of projects that are important to you and will move you towards accomplishing your goals.
- Once you have that list, pick a few things from your list that you will work on this month. Make sure you don’t get too ambitious – keep your monthly to do list reasonable with your current schedule.
- Finally, sit down each week and plan for taking steps on your goals each week. It’s important to be specific about when you will do each task so that it actually gets done.
Remember, the best way to start is to start! I encourage you to begin planning your life and schedule on a regular basis so you can be more productive and stay focused on what matters for you and your family!
Chelsea is a mama, wife, administrative assistant, blogger, and a host of other things! She knows what it’s like to be a busy mom trying to keep life running smoothly while building a business from home.
Some of Chelsea’s passions include: organizing everything, empowering busy moms to make an income from home, and making the most of the beautiful moments of mom life in the midst of the chaos.
Chelsea blogs about time management and working from home at www.mrsmariano.com. You can find her planning printables at www.mrsmariano.com/planning-printables-library-landing-page/