Do you find yourself exhausted at the end of each day, wondering where they time went and wishing you had just another hour to get anything knocked off your to-do list? If you feel like your day runs you instead of you running your day, then let me introduce you to the essential time management tip for moms that will instantly energize your life and focus your time.
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you’re a mom who keeps some sort of to-do list, whether a check list, an electronic calendar, or an endless stream of sticky notes; and when you get a new to-do you simply add it to your list. Then, you find yourself going down your list checking off items as they are completed.
News flash, mom: Not all of the to-dos on your list are created equal.
If you want to create more time in your day, you have to prioritize those to-dos. Prioritizing means you get done those things that are actually important, rather than just treating all the things that landed on your list as equally important.
The truth is that prioritizing your to-do list (and your life as a result) is essential to being an insanely happy mom.
So, just how do you keep a running list that prioritizes your most important to-dos? You use a Quadrant list.
What is a Quadrant list?
A quadrant list organizes your to-dos into four different squares; each one defined by how important and urgent the task is.
- Quadrant 1 (upper left) is for tasks that are important and urgent.
- Quadrant 2 (upper right) is for tasks that are important but not urgent.
- Quadrant 3 (lower left) is for tasks that are not important but urgent.
- Quadrant 4 (lower right) is for tasks that are not important and not urgent.
Here’s an example of what a quadrant list looks like. And, here’s a link to download a version you can print and reuse everyday!
How do I use the Quadrant list?
You will manage your time effectively by placing your to-dos on the quadrant list, instead of using your usual write down method. As a new to-do comes up, the quadrant forces you to consider how important a task really is and also how urgently it must be completed. That means, every time you add a to-do to your life, you inherently prioritize your time.
Where should I spend most of my time?
You should live in quadrant 2 – important but not urgent. Spending your time working on tasks found in quadrant 2 means that you are focusing your life around what is most important, but a steady and planned out pace that will not create enormous stress. Start everyday in quadrant 2.
But, here’s the real truth about us as moms: most of us are living in quadrants 1 and 3. We spend our days putting out fires. We focus our attention on what needs immediate attention, whether or not it is even important. When we live in quadrants 1 and 3, we end up exhausted at the end of the day not knowing where our time went.
The Complete Low Down.
Quadrant 1 – Emergencies. These are important, time-sensitive tasks. If your task lands here it’s because you procrastinated or something was sprung on you. While you want to generally avoid being here, if you end up in this quadrant, it is okay because life happens. Just try to avoid having too many tasks here by being as proactive as possible.
Quadrant 2 – A Great Life. These are important, non-urgent tasks. If your tasks are here then you’re on top of the things that are important to your life goals and mom happiness, and getting them done at a reasoned pace.
Quadrant 3 – Interrupters. These tasks are not important, but urgent. These are life’s little interruptions. As moms, we can spend are whole day here if we don’t refocus ourselves. Phone calls from school that Emma forgot her homework, or a forgotten item from the grocery store needed for dinner end up here. Often, outsiders spring these interrupters on us as urgent. You can avoid them by learning to say no more effectively (for more on that click here!).
Quadrant 4 – Time Wasters. These things are neither important nor urgent – aka they are giant time sucks. Things like Facebook live here. You shouldn’t.
Are you ready to make a change and start getting your time back? Start with this essential time management tip for moms. Then, click here to snag all the free resources from my digital library, including my complete Time Management Methods To Rock Your Mom World.