How Busy Moms Can Master Time Management

The MomCo Staff

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. However, it also comes with a huge responsibility and many demands on your time. Between work, school drop-offs and pick-ups, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, and trying to care for your own needs, days can quickly fill up and leave busy moms feeling overwhelming and like there’s never enough time.  

It’s so important as a busy mom to feel in control of your schedule. When you manage your time effectively, you’ll feel less stressed, more focused, and have more energy to cherish time with your kids. Mastering mom time management takes effort, but is absolutely achievable. This guide will walk through practical strategies to take control of your days as a busy mother. With a few adjustments to your daily habits and routines, you’ll be able to juggle all your responsibilities with much less stress. You’ll also open up more space to take care of your own needs, so you can be the calm, energized and present mom you want to be. 

Assess Your Schedule  

The first step to mastering mom time management is taking a close look at how you currently spend your time. Grab a pen and paper or open up your calendar app. Review your typical weekly schedule, taking note of your regular commitments like kids’ school and activity schedules, work hours, household responsibilities, errands, social obligations, personal habits, etc. Make sure to include time estimates for each item.  

Getting a bird’s-eye view of your current routine will reveal where your time goes each day and week. You may notice certain days are jam-packed while others have more flexibility. You may see that you have long stretches without commitments broken up by brief bursts of back-to-back activities.  

As you assess your schedule, consider: 

– What are your non-negotiable commitments? Kids’ needs, work hours, etc. 

– What tends to vary day-to-day or week-to-week? Errands, social plans, etc.  

– When do you have “pockets” of free time? Morning, afternoon, evening? 

– How much time do you spend on daily habits like getting ready, commuting, etc.? 

– Are there any time drains you can immediately eliminate or reduce? 

This schedule overview will provide the foundation for optimizing your time management. You’ll be able to identify where to preserve needed structure as well as opportunities to build in greater efficiency and flexibility. 

Identify Time Wasters 

We all have activities during the day that end up wasting our time without us realizing it. For busy moms, time is precious, so identifying and reducing time-wasting activities is key to better time management. Here are some common time wasters to look out for: 

Social Media 

It’s easy to get sucked into mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds even when you only meant to take a quick break. Set limits on how much time you spend on social media each day, and try to designate specific times when you will check it instead of aimlessly browsing throughout the day. Avoid getting distracted by social notifications on your phone.  

TV Habits  

TV can be a great way to unwind, but it’s important not to let it become a major time sink. Pay attention to how much time you actually spend watching TV each day, and look for opportunities to reduce it. Set a limit on TV time, record shows to watch later, and opt for other relaxing activities in the evening like reading or taking a bath. 


Procrastination is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to time management. It’s easy to put off tasks like paying bills, cleaning or running errands. But while it feels like you’re gaining time in the moment, procrastination actually robs you of time in the long run. Make a conscious effort to avoid procrastination by giving yourself set times to tackle tasks you tend to put off. 

Identifying activities that tend to waste your time is an important step in improving your time management as a busy mom. Reduce or set limits on them wherever possible to free up more time for what matters most. 

Prioritize Your Tasks  

As a busy mom, it’s crucial to prioritize your tasks effectively. The urgent vs important matrix is a useful tool to determine which tasks deserve your attention first. 

The Urgent vs Important Matrix 

This matrix has 4 quadrants: 

– Urgent and important: Tasks that are time-sensitive and aligned with your goals. These must get done immediately. Examples – tending to a sick child, paying bills.  

– Important, but not urgent: Tasks that are significant but have no looming deadline. Schedule time for these. Examples – planning quality time with your kids, self-care. 

– Urgent, but not important: Tasks with pressing deadlines, but are not central to your goals. Learn to say no or delegate these. Examples – random household chores, unnecessary social engagements.  

– Neither urgent nor important: Tasks that can be eliminated or outsourced. Examples – browsing social media, watching TV.  

Tips for Prioritizing 

– Each morning, categorize your daily tasks using the matrix. Tackle quadrant 1 and 2 tasks first.    

– Schedule time for important quadrant 2 tasks before getting swept up in urgent tasks. 

– Delegate or outsource quadrant 3 and 4 tasks that eat up your time, but don’t further your goals. 

– Periodically review your obligations and cut out activities that are neither urgent nor important. 

– Learn to say no – don’t let non-essential tasks crowd out what’s important. 

Effectively prioritizing your tasks is key to feeling in control as a busy mom. The urgent vs important matrix is a simple, but powerful tool to help focus your time and energy. 

Delegate and Outsource 

As a busy mom, it’s impossible to do everything yourself. Seeking help from others allows you to focus on your highest priorities.     

**Get Support From Family** 

Sit down with your partner or older kids and divide up chores and responsibilities. Make a list of tasks you can hand off, like laundry, dishes, driving kids to activities, etc. Schedule regular times for family members to complete their assignments.  

**Hire Help**  

Consider hiring a babysitter, nanny or mother’s helper a few hours a week to play with kids, do light housework, run errands, or drive to appointments. Services like grocery delivery can also save time. Even once a month cleaners can take a chore off your plate.  

**Outsource Tasks** 

Look into meal kits, laundry services, lawn care, virtual assistants for scheduling, and more. While added expenses might be a concern, calculate the time savings to determine if it’s worthwhile. Even occasional services like meal prep kits on busy weeks could help.   

**Leverage Community** 

Organize a babysitting co-op with other parents and swap nights. Trade skills like tutoring kids in different subjects. Share school drop-offs and pick-ups. Reach out on social media for help with specific tasks or needs. Building community support makes a huge difference. 

Batch Similar Tasks 

One of the best ways to save time and stay organized as a busy mom is to batch similar tasks together throughout the week. This allows you to take advantage of efficiency by avoiding constant switching between different tasks.   

**Cooking:** Try to cook large meals or double batches on the weekend, then freeze or refrigerate portions to reheat during the week. This avoids having to cook every night after a long day. Meal prep key ingredients too – wash and cut veggies in advance, measure spices, etc.  

**Errands:** Run errands all in one trip or on the same day. Hit the bank, post office, dry cleaning, pharmacy, grocery store, etc. in an efficient loop or route close by each other. Plan ahead to combine trips. 

**Kid Activities:** Sign your kids up for activities that are in the same location back-to-back on a specific day. For example, soccer practice followed by dance class. Schedule play dates or park meetups with friends to align on the same day. Offer to carpool with other parents to reduce driving. 

Batching similar tasks allows you to minimize transition time between activities. The key is being strategic with planning and preparation to group efficient blocks of time. This consolidates your mental load as well, so you’re not constantly context switching. 

Schedule Planning   

An effective schedule is crucial for busy moms to stay organized and on top of everything. When creating your schedule, use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and apps to maximize productivity. 

**Use Calendars Wisely** 

– Maintain a master family calendar that contains everyone’s activities, appointments and events. This provides an at-a-glance overview of the whole family’s schedule. 

– Have individual calendars for each family member. These can provide more detail specific to each person. 

– Use color-coding on your calendar to differentiate types of activities. For example, use red for mandatory events, blue for appointments, and green for kid activities. 

– Block out fixed blocks of time for your priorities first before filling in other activities. For example, schedule time for meal planning and preparation, then add in other tasks. 

**To-Do Lists Are Your Friend**   

– Break bigger tasks down into smaller action steps on your daily to-do list. This prevents you from getting overwhelmed. 

– List your daily to-do’s by priority. Focus on mission-critical items first.   

– Include both time-specific and general tasks on your to-do list. Checking off completed items gives a sense of progress. 

– Use to-do list apps that allow you to categorize tasks, set reminders, and share lists with family members. Popular options are Trello, Wunderlist and 

**Leverage the Power of Apps** 

– Apps can provide convenience, organization, reminders and time savings. Find ones that suit your needs. 

– Look for meal planning, grocery shopping, chore checklist, and family calendar apps. Cozi is a top-rated option. 

– Search for time tracker apps to gain awareness of how you currently spend time. This allows you to make changes.  

– Experiment with productivity apps like Forest that help minimize distractions. 

By actively planning your schedule with the right tools, busy moms can better manage time, reduce stress, and focus on what’s truly important. 

Morning and Evening Routines   

Having consistent morning and evening routines can help moms feel more organized and in control. Try implementing some of these ideas: 

**Morning Routine** 

– Wake up 15-30 minutes before your kids to have some “me-time.” Use it to meditate, exercise, read or just enjoy a cup of coffee. 

– Get ready before the kids wake up so you’re not rushing around. Lay out clothes, make lunches, etc. the night before. 

– Have a morning checklist for yourself and the kids. Include things like getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth. Check them off as you go. 

– If the kids are older, print out checklists they can follow themselves. Praise them when they complete morning tasks. 

– Eat a balanced breakfast to start the day off right. Model healthy eating for your kids. 

**Evening Routine**  

– Have an established dinnertime and bedtime for kids. Stick to it as much as possible for consistency. 

– After dinner, tidy up and get kids bathed and ready for bed. Read stories or sing songs together.  

– Once the kids are in bed, take time for yourself. Relax with a bath, read or chat with your partner.  

– Prepare for the next day by laying out clothes, packing lunches and backpacks, and reviewing schedules. 

– Establish a consistent bedtime for yourself and unwind before sleeping. Try journaling, meditation or reading. 


As a busy mom, it’s easy to neglect caring for yourself. But making time for self-care is crucial for maintaining your physical and mental health. Here are some self-care tips to incorporate into your schedule:   


– Try to fit in at least 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. This could be a walk, yoga, cardio workout at home, etc.  

– Exercise boosts energy, relieves stress, and makes you a healthier role model for your kids. 

– If you can’t find a block of time, break it up into smaller, 10-minute chunks throughout the day. 


– Schedule at least 30 minutes per day for an enjoyable solo activity.  

– This could be reading, crafting, relaxing with a cup of tea – anything that recharges you. 

– Resist the urge to multitask. Focus fully on yourself and your needs during this time. 


– Take short 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day to decompress.  

– Step outside for some fresh air, do light stretches or meditate.   

– Breaks help re-energize and refocus so you can be more productive. 

Making time for self-care, even in small ways, prevents burnout and gives you the energy needed to manage all your responsibilities. Don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself – it’s essential for being the best mom you can be. 


Mastering time management as a busy mom requires dedication, planning and self-care. By taking the time to assess your schedule, identify and eliminate time wasters, prioritize important tasks, delegate when possible, batch similar tasks, establish helpful routines, and schedule regular me-time, you can take control of your days.  

The key takeaways include: 

– Take a close look at how you currently spend your time and identify any gaps where wasted time could be reduced. 

– Recognize when you are partaking in unproductive activities that take time away from priorities. Social media, TV and aimless shopping should be limited. 

– Use a planner or scheduling app to map out daily and weekly plans focused on your biggest priorities and goals. Schedule time for tasks in advance.  

– Learn to say “no” to unnecessary obligations and delegate tasks like cleaning or errands when you can. Outsource what you don’t have time for. 

– Group similar tasks like emails or phone calls together into time blocks to maximize efficiency.  

– Establish set morning and evening routines, so you start and end each day smoothly. 

– Don’t forget about your own needs – schedule time for self-care like exercise, hobbies, relaxation or socializing.  

With focus and purpose, you can take control of your time as a busy mom. Be patient with yourself, and remember that progress takes practice. You’ve got this!

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