Enjoy Your Time: Some Thoughts on Time Management

Moms these days expect not only to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, but also to simultaneously help the kids with their homework while folding laundry and watching the 6 o’clock news.

We moms are experts in multi-tasking.

One such mom recently visited my family. She is a trained facilitator who makes monthly visits into local homes to help families understand the needs of children at particular developmental stages.

When the facilitator inquired about my occupation, I shared with her the idea behind Momscape: We are more effective as moms, wives, lovers, friends, and professionals when we take time out to nurture our own spirits. Soul snacks, I explained, remind moms to take 15 minutes each day to nurture themselves.
 
“Fifteen minutes!” she exclaimed, in mock horror. “Cut it down to two or three minutes and we’ll talk.”

Whenever I hear this reaction--and it happens quite a lot--I’m immediately surprised and saddened. This week, I shared the story with a friend who pointed out that, for many of us, it’s not an issue of time. It’s an issue of guilt.

She’s right. The average American spends four hours per day watching TV, yet the average mom initially balks at the idea of spending 15 minutes on herself.

The more time we spend on the minutiae of life, the less time we have to spend with our children. And no matter which side is currently winning the quality time versus quantity debate, we moms know in our hearts that all kids need a great deal of both.

But time is in short supply, so instead of delegating tasks to others, or just saying no in the first place, we take it all on.

We multi-task. We clean the fridge while talking on the phone while baking cookies while toting a toddler. We check e-mail while nursing the baby while eating a sandwich.

We open the mail while sautéing mushrooms while listening to our husbands. We insist that we did, indeed, hear what he said when he questions it, and we spout off his last four words to prove it.

Through it all, we diaper. We cook. We clean.

Days and weeks like these slip by without us noticing.

How much better it would be to slow down, to get lost in the moment, to appreciate every one of our God-given, miraculous moments by creating an environment of serenity, peace, and pure productivity. A place where there is no frantic, frenzied rushing. No washing our pantyhose in the shower while we brush our teeth and shampoo our hair. But only a singular focus that guides us to the next task and the next, throughout the day.

It just might be that when we try to do too much, we accomplish less. And I’m fairly certain we don’t enjoy ourselves the way we might.
This week, I challenge you to see if this is true. You might not be able to accomplish the same number of tasks, but you might be more productive and effective at the things you choose to do. 

We all can manage our time. The trick is to enjoy our time.