How many times have you come to the end of your day and feel as though you got nothing done? Somehow you feel absolutely exhausted. Where did the time go? Find out with these 4 steps to find balance as a SAHM (stay-at-home mom).
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This problem is not exclusive to SAHM’s but it is uniquely more difficult to overcome. Why? It is because you don’t have any of the external forces determining structure for you. You don’t have a desk dictating when your day starts and ends. There is no incentive to shower each morning. Every day is a blank canvas waiting for you to structure it. That’s hard!
Don’t be discouraged during this process. You might find out you’re spending hours binging on Netflix each day like I did. It’s sobering to see what you really spend your time on. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. I’m now more productive than ever and can take a break guilt-free.
Step 1: Get an Hourly Tracking System
The first step to finding balance is to know where your time is being spent. Before you can do that, you need a system to track your time. Luckily, there are multiple ways to do this. You can create a note on your phone to do this digitally. Grab a piece of paper and use it to track your time. My favorite option (and the one that I personally used) is an hourly planner sheet for my Happy Planner. The reason this is my favorite is because it can also be used later when planning your day.
Step 2: Track Your Time
This step is done in one week, Monday through Friday. Set an hourly timer on your phone. Each time it goes off, reset it and write what you are currently doing in the corresponding time slot of your tracker.
The key here is not to change your current habits. If you are scrolling through Facebook, keep on scrolling after you take a moment to note it. At the end of the week you will have a typical week mapped out.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Results
Now it is time to evaluate you results. Grab a set of highlighters and follow the steps below:
- Create a color-code key with the highlighters. (See the photo above for reference.)
- Next, use your key as a guide and highlight each hour on your tracker according to what category it falls into.
- Use the colors as a visual guide to where you are wasting time and what needs more of your time.
Step 4: Restructure Your Day
Once you’ve evaluated how you spend your hours, it is time to restructure your day. Think of this like a budget. Just as you have to tell your money what to do with a budget the same goes for your time.
If you don’t tell your time where to go you will find it gone with nothing to show for it. Lay out activities on your hourly planner for each day of the week. Color code those activities as well to ensure that you are balancing your time.
Don’t fall prey to believing that every day has to look the same or equally balanced. Some days involve more homemaking tasks and others will be heavy with family time. That’s okay. Instead of trying to balance all of your responsibilities each day, strive for a weekly balance.
These 4 steps to find balance as a SAHM are a lifestyle change. You can write down your restructured day then not follow the plan. That is like creating a budget but not spending your money according to it. Planning is only the first step. Action is what makes it a reality.
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