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Time Management – Single Moms’ Tools for Systematic Planning

There are planning tools that can be applied to time management, especially for single moms, as they are one of the most time-pressed and stress-inclined people of all. Time management sometimes leaves single moms dumbfounded.

Torn between the roles of parenthood and breadwinning, single moms sometimes need a hand to help them in their quest to make the most out of their days. If you think it’s tough being a mom, try being a working mom. If you think it’s tough being a working mom, try being a single mom.

One of these tools below, Steven Covey’s Quadrants, has gained exposure through the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. It has since been adopted in management trainings, leadership seminars, and team building activities, to teach people how to dedicate their time. The other tool is a simple ranking system to prioritize time, and the last is a simple time allotment strategy.

So, all set to learn time management tricks, single moms? Read on!

Time Management for Single Moms Tool #1: Steven Covey’s Quadrants.

According to Steven Covey, we can classify our priorities into four:

Important and Urgent
–This is composed of situations like crisis and pressing problems, and activities like projects that have deadlines.
Important but Not Urgent
–Things like spending time with family and building relationships, self-improvement and skills acquisition, planning, and considering new opportunities. These are salient to your life, but do not have to be done now.
Not Important but Urgent
–Anything that seems pressing but doesn’t have an overall big impact or consequence to your life, like some meetings or calls that you have to attend to right now, or at least as soon as possible.
Not Important and Not Urgent
–Things that you can really do without, like playing solitaire on the computer for an hour, etc.

Covey believes that a person should not allow himself/herself to get caught up in Quadrants I and III. It’s easy to get swept away by the current of urgency. He believes, however, that due focus should be given to Quadrant II. These activities build up the person, and in the long run, attending to Quadrant II would enrich the person’s life.

Single moms must have the discipline to admit that something, though it may be urgent, is not important, and thus may trim those from their lives if need be. More so should discipline be applied to things that are neither important nor urgent. An objective and firm decision must be made in classifying your activities.
Time Management for Single Moms Tool #2: Ranking Your Tasks.

We do lists every day, right? And being a single mom, you are only too familiar with the jotting down of groceries and what-not. Well, this should be no different. Just list down everything you need to do, and then rank them up by urgency. Limit yourself to ten per day, and tick off these tasks as you finish them. Simple, right?
Time Management for Single Moms Tool #3: Allotting Your Time.

Plan your day, giving out an amount of time per activity. Say, walking your dog is an hour, bathing and feeding the kids another hour, work has three hours in the morning, followed by thirty minutes of lunch break, etcetera. The most important is not the time allotment itself, but more of sticking to the allotment. Discipline is needed; but if you’re determined, nothing’s impossible.

Time management is a skill that single moms must learn and learn well. With the dual role you have (and who knows what other things you’ll be able to do), being able to allocate time, prioritize, and accomplish your tasks are important for you. I hope you learned something and can apply these tools in your daily hurdles. Good luck!

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