Step 1. Prepare a timetable
A timetable is a great way to organise, schedule and plan events. Working parents – within reason - usually have the foresight to know when their days will be comprised of many different tasks to handle simultaneously. For this reason, preparing a timetable allows working mums to evaluate the time required for each task and plan their routines accordingly. Here is a list of the different things you may need to include in your timetable:
- Child’s school hours, including extra curricular activities
- Time for you to leave for the office
- Work meetings and engagements
The recruitment industry is unpredictable by nature, with unforeseen circumstances left, right and centre. For this reason, it is important to compile the insignificant daily routines, and include them in your timetable – adding a time limit to each task, such as:
- Shower - 10 minutes
- Exercise -1 hour
- Preparing breakfast 10 minutes
- Getting your child ready for school - 30 minutes
Putting each task to paper will help you plan your home and work activities so that you can perform them efficiently and accurately whilst avoiding time wastage. If you feel as though there is not enough time in the day, try to evaluate which activities will take up most of your time and what factors are causing you to waste more time than you would like. You will then be better able to make adjustments and adapt your timetable to allow more time for unpredictable tasks or emergencies that may need immediate attention.
Step 2. Technology is power - use it!
For working mums who make the best use of technology, organising their personal lives becomes a piece of cake. Online shopping websites and portals are the best places to shop while on the go - providing the opportunity to check out discounts, offers and bargains.
Thanks to the continuous development of mobile apps, life has become much easier for anyone who embraces and utilises them. Not only can you can plan events and surprises with the help of apps, you can also effectively streamline your days to combine work with family responsibilities, such as scheduling client meetings, routine GP appointments, networking events and the pick up and drop off cycle after school.
Step 3. Learn to say 'No'!
When driven by the desire to be a super hero – both in the boardroom and the household – it can be all too easy for recruitment mums to work themselves into a burnout. The harsh reality is that if you don’t take yourself and your needs seriously, no one else will. This could ultimately lead to you being exhausted, irritable and devoid of passion and drive. Although the notion of disappointing a colleague is never a pleasant prospect, one must never overlook the importance of saying ‘no’ – not just for one’s own sanity, but also for the sake of productivity. Saying ‘no’ to projects and engagements that will cut into your priorities is an essential habit to utilise when balancing the scale of work and home responsibilities. Setting boundaries both at home and in the office will also enable you to remain present and focused on the task at hand.
But more than simply saying ‘no’, is how you say it. If you say the word, then apologise profusely afterward, people can easily pick up on that and use your hesitance to their advantage. Rather than apologise, offer evidence to back up your reasoning. Most importantly, never waste your energy feeling guilty about rejecting proposals from others that may be detrimental to yourself.
Step 4. Create a list of priorities, and don't be deterred from them
It’s important to keep yourself ahead of the game by prioritising more pressing tasks over those that are not quite as urgent. The first step on the road to success as a working mum is defining your top priorities for yourself, your family and your job.
You can do this by asking yourself important questions about your different responsibilities in order to determine which ones should be ticked off your list first:
- What commitments cannot be dropped under any circumstances?
- What are the work projects that I need to overachieve on and what are those that do not need as much focus?
- What are key things that my family needs to keep the trains on the track?
- What do I personally need for my health, wellbeing and sanity to really thrive – both in my career and at home?
- Where can I draw on support to help out both at work and at home?
You can then ensure that your most urgent tasks are situated at the top of your list, allowing you to work your way to down to less urgent tasks.
Step 5. Let go, and delegate!
When prioritising duties at home and at work, you also need to decide what tasks you should do yourself and what you should instruct someone else to do. Distributing some of your daily tasks to others – whether it be household duties to your partner, or office-related duties to an assistant or colleague, and trusting them to get this work done- will free you up to focus on your family whilst maintaining productivity in your career.
We want you on our team!
Are you an experienced recruiter looking for your next role within the industry? Search Consultancy is a nationwide recruitment agency that offers a wide range of jobs from a variety of specialist industry sectors. If you feel you would be an ideal addition to our team, please do not hesitate to contact our internal recruitment manager, Peter Barry by email – [email protected] Be sure to take a look at our recruitment consultant jobs that we have on offer here.