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Learning to Manage my Time

I am a single mother.
I work part time.
On one of my days off, I work in a second job that also takes up a fair amount of time in the evenings.
I am studying for a degree through Open University.
I’m learning to crochet so that I can make S a minion hat for Christmas. 
I maintain this, and another blog.
I spend an offensive amount of time on social media.
Every now and then, I consider the prospect of housework.
Just lately, it’s become increasingly clear to me that if I wish to continue with all the frivolities I do outside of motherhood, I’m going to need to be more organised with my time.
I am a champion procrastinator. If there was an award for time wasting, that baby would be mine – but I would put off going to pick it up for a few weeks. Many’s the evening I’ve come downstairs after putting S to bed, just sat down quickly “to check my emails” – and ended up hurriedly doing the washing up at 9pm.
On Saturday morning I was talking to a friend on the phone, and she said, 

you strike me as the sort of person who needs a list each morning in order to achieve what needs to be done…

She was right, and I decided I should probably start doing that. I started right then:

Single Mother Ahoy To Do List
S ended up having a three-hour nap on Saturday morning, and I managed to sort all my washing, and clear everything off the green sofa. I was on a roll! I started clearing other over-crowded surfaces in my living room, and made a to-do list for Sunday:
Single Mother Ahoy To Do List
I was a little more optimistic with this list but I told myself there would be no sitting about faffing on Facebook until I’d completed my list. 
Guess what? S and I went for a long walk in the morning, and spent the afternoon wandering around the Cathedral with my sisters. But by 7pm I had ticked off everything on the list. Well, sort of. What I actually did was clear the dining table and decide to move it across the room to swap places with a different table, throw a load of stuff out, clean the floor under both tables, rearrange a lot of the larger items of S’s toys… as well as everything else on the list. 
It turns out, I’m approximately 100% more productive when I actually physically write a list of what I need to do. 
And I feel happier, more relaxed and more… like I’ve done something with my day – instead of sitting here, surrounded by crap and thinking “tomorrow I really should get on and do this… and this, and this and that…”
From now on, I will be making lists. Lots and lots of lists.
What do you do in order to maintain productivity? How do you keep on top of everything you’re aiming to get done by the end of the day? Do you have any clever tips you’d like to pass on?

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

2 Comments
  • Elaine Livingstone

      REPLY

    I have to tackle what I want done first thing in the morning, cos if I sit down to my PC then it never gets done. Will happily plod away and what needs doing until lunch time, but if I sit down first thing, then nothing gets achieved. I dont do lists they just freak me out.

  • Kriss MacDonald

      REPLY

    I'm obsessive about lists because when I don't do them I'm all over the place!

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