SAHMs spend a great deal of time mentally, physically and emotionally running the household. This leaves very little time for personal affairs. A repetitive cycle of household chores with no personal breaks  may inadvertently lead to mental exhaustion or depression. Most SAHMs complain that they are almost always neck deep in home management, that they can't seem to find time for anything else. The solution lies in artfully balancing everything on your plate. How to find this balance is often where the problem lies.

Most people struggle with time management. It is a different kind of struggle for SAHMs, as it is easy to unintentionally get engrossed doing household chores. Time management involves a lot of commitment and discipline to enforce.

SAHMs can implement these tips to manage their time better.

Set a goal: To achieve anything, it is pertinent to have a goal to work with. Becoming a better time manager won't out rightly be easy. Achieving the set goal is easier, when broken down into milestones. You can start with milestones for three days or a week and gradually up it to a month.

Create and stick to a daily schedule: Schedules would help to keep you in check. Without them, you can end up being all over the place with nothing impactful happening. Start your day by outlining what you have to do, whether it's cooking or cleaning. List recurring tasks and add one-off tasks as they come. You can break them down in stick notes and place them where you can see them often, so acting haphazardly reduces to the barest minimum and you get to achieve so much.

Create a scale of preference: Most mothers tend to have a superhero complex, so they end up juggling a lot of things together. Putting activities or chores on a scale of preference would help you finish them faster and even achieve more than what you planned to do. Prioritize activities that have more importance. You can scale them by value, resources involved to carry them out or urgency.

Set logical time limits: Without restraints, spending too much time doing one thing becomes imminent. Logical time limits help to curtail impulsiveness, overperformance or underperformance. Use alarms, reminders or stick notes to help keep you on track. Here's a good hack to increase your speed: estimate the time it takes you to normally finish your chores, take 10 or 15 minutes away from the time and try to work with the remaining time. The end result s an increase in speed, which is a win for you.

Avoid multitasking: It can be tempting to do too many things at a time. Taking on too many tasks can cause extreme fatigue in the long run. Perform tasks that can be handled without tiring your body. Finish one task before moving on to the next. Even when you don't finish your tasks on time, don't beat yourself up. You are still human after all, not Robocop.

Deal with difficult tasks first: Difficult tasks can seem exhausting and scary at first. The best way to tackle them is to start with them first. Duties like this should be tackled first, in order to eliminate procrastination. Difficult tasks should top your scale of preference as they are often more important.

Work on similar tasks together: To avoid unnecessary repetition, work on similar tasks together. For instance: you have chores to do in the kitchen, finish up everything kitchen related before moving to the next task. This is another hack to finishing your chores faster.

Learn to shelve certain tasks: Certain tasks are unimportant in the grand scheme of your daily schedule. Learn to shelve them till the next day or when it's really important to do. If such tasks don't top your scale of preference, leave them till then when they are really important.

Create a break time: Being a stay-at-home mom, means the bulk of domestic work falls on you. Daily activities for mothers in this category tend to have a rinse and repeat pattern. They also tend to complain of fatigue quite often. Achieving a lot with your time will be a mirage if you're physically in bad shape. That is why taking intermittent breaks is really important. Periodic rests will make you rejuvenated and more efficient.

Have an accountability partner: Sometimes, self-will is not enough. So many people struggle with procrastination and often cannot get anything done. This is where getting someone who has your interest at heart, to hold you responsible comes in. Have someone you can report your daily progress and even relapses to. 

Closing Thoughts

Becoming better at time management will not happen in one swoop. Like the good ol' saying, "practice makes perfect". Apply these tips over and again till the change you want to see starts happening. As a stay-at-home mom, always have it in mind that you deserve a life beyond chores and childcare. Build friendships, develop hobbies and have as much fun as you can.