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Hi, I'm Shanice! I'm so glad you're here. I'm a mom of 3 (including twins), a self-care + time management coach, and a Communication professor. Her Guided Evolution® is a digital space dedicated to helping women make time for themselves and their personal growth.


What to Do About Poor Time Management

In this episode, Shanice talks about her new role as a time management coach and shares how she helped her first client be more productive and intentional with her time while working from home with children. Shanice talks about the importance of gaining awareness about your current time management situation, being proactive about self-doubt, and setting realistic  goals each day– especially considering the constraints that accompany working from home as a mom. If you’re struggling to manage your time, listen to this!

Free Video Training: 3 Ways to Maximize Your Time

My coaching program, Beyond Productivity ™, was born out of my own experiences with motherhood (read: struggling to assume this new identity) and still having this desire to be creative, ambitious, and high achieving. I know the struggle of lacking motivation because you are so overwhelmed that you don’t even know how to break the cycle of self-doubt, procrastinating, feeling like you’re running on a hamster wheel all the time.

I know what it’s like to wake up knowing that your kids need baths, breakfast, to be entertained, and you are looking at all the tasks in front of you, and you just want to crawl back in bed.

I know what it’s like to battle the self-defeating thoughts like – “I have kids so I can’t do X, Y, Z.” “I don’t have time; I don’t know enough.” “Eventually I’ll do X, Y, Z.” All the while, time is passing me by. I’ve spent years planning and working on the same goals only to get get nowhere. I’ve been through it, and I still go through it. And I’ve learned that sometimes I have to actively bring myself back to a place where I can be creative and get into a flow by relying on the tools and strategies that I teach in my own coaching program.

That’s why I feel drawn to this work.

I want to alleviate a lot of the unfair pressure and expectations that mothers often put on themselves while recognizing that we (at least those of us in the USA because that’s where I live) live in a society that demands all this labor from us regardless of how it impacts mothers on a personal level.

So, in this post I am going to share some things you can do when you are a mom who are working from home at least part-time and struggling with time management.

What to do About Poor Time Management

  1. One of the first things I recommend for anyone who is struggling with poor time management is to gain awareness.

Gain awareness about any self-defeating thoughts that you may have about yourself, about your ability to parent, about your ability to accomplish what you need to get done during the day. Gain awareness about how you procrastinate and how you spend the time that you do have.

When I think about my friends, family members who often say “I don’t have time” or those folks who are always working on the same project, task, or goal for years and years without making any progress, I know they need more than a new planner or another time-blocking strategy. If you have spent weeks, months, or maybe even years planning to do something and working on a goal, I guarantee there are probably thoughts and habits that are keeping you stuck.

That’s why I think gaining awareness about what’s going on in your mind, how and why you procrastinate is the first step to solving any time management issues.

One of the things that my client said was most helpful about working with me was we spent time figuring out exactly how she was spending her time and why. She was able to see when she was watching Amazon Prime and YouTube videos. This also helped her see why her current time management tools weren’t working. And from there, we were able to organize her schedule in a manner that considered those sneaky self-defeating thoughts and habits that were keeping her stuck.

So, I always say the first step to addressing poor time management is gaining awareness.

2. Next, if you are struggling with poor time management, I would suggest that you learn how to manage self-doubt and negative feelings.

So much of time management involves your mind.And I suspect that if you are struggling to complete tasks and not following through on what you wanted to accomplish, you probably have some self-doubt and uninterrogated beliefs about yourself and your circumstances that are not serving you.

Or, you’re actively trying to avoid being bored, feeling awkward, or some other negative feeling that is associated with the task.When I say self-doubt, this can be self-doubt related to your ability to achieve a bigger goal that is unrelated to your 9-5 job like going back to school, starting a business, applying for a new job.

This can be self-doubt related to your ability to tolerate and handle negative feelings like boredom, frustration, and anxiety throughout your day, so you end up avoiding tasks like email and returning phone calls, which can cause you to lose time during the day. You may have self-doubt related to your ability to be compassionate with yourself because you may think a lot of self-defeating thoughts throughout the day.

If you don’t manage your self-doubt and your negative feelings, in my experience, that’s when you fall into this trap of trying to avoid tasks and procrastinating. Of course, as a mother working from home, you have real constraints on your time. I’m not downplaying that at all.

You know I can relate. But I want you to think about your day. Or think about what you did yesterday. Did you get on Facebook, Instagram, or spend time scrolling through TikTok videos today? Did you watch Netflix, Hulu, stuff on Amazon Prime? If you’re like most people, including myself, you probably did a couple of those things.

And that makes sense because most of us have ways of coping and spending our time that isn’t always aligned with our short term and long-term goals EVEN if you have kids. And that is okay!

Even me, I’m super busy, but I still spent some time on Facebook today. I scrolled through my Instagram a couple of times today because I am working on something career related that is bringing up a lot of self-doubt and frustration for me. That’s why I say, mindlessly scrolling through your phone is not necessarily a bad thing.

We all need time to chill and honestly, just BS on our phone if we want.

But I think it’s also important to consider what may be driving this desire to watch those YouTube videos or get lost in Instagram Reels.

For a lot of us, it’s easier to mindlessly scroll through our phones rather than dealing with the self-doubt or other negative feelings that may surround starting your business, or applying for graduate school, applying for a new job, or even sending an email.

Self-doubt is so sneaky because it can show up as, “I’ll never be able to accomplish that.”

But sometimes self-doubt is hidden under other thoughts that seem unrelated and harmless like, “I don’t have time” or “not right now” or “I’ll get to it later.”

Self-doubt can show up as perfectionism and constantly questioning everything you do. Self-doubt can show up as questioning if you’re a good mother and mommy guilt.

So, if you are struggling to manage your time, I recommend figuring out how you are going to navigate self-doubt and other negative feelings.

It’s important to manage self-doubt because it doesn’t matter if you plan out your schedule perfectly or do time-blocking, you’re less likely to follow through on those tasks if you aren’t actively managing that fear, boredom, and other negative emotion that those tasks bring up for you.

3. My last suggestion is to create a schedule that’s realistic and fits your specific circumstances.

One of the things that I’ve struggled with in the past and one of the things that my client also struggled with is not being realistic about what we can accomplish in a day. If you start each day or week planning all these lofty goals, and you end up not completing everything, this sets you up to fall into a cycle of self-doubt and having low confidence in your ability to manage your life.

Let me give you an example.

My husband, Chris is on a research trip right now, so that means I have all three of the kids while he’s gone for a little less than two weeks.

I am very fortunate to have help—my mom and my sister-in-law help when my husband travels, but as most parents know, the help you receive from family and other people is just different than what you would receive from a partner (at least it should be).

For me, my mom and my sister being here helps so much—but when my husband is gone, I still have to do all the household management tasks—all the laundry, grocery shopping, taking out the trash, cleaning, scheduling for the kids, etc. on top of actually taking care of the kids and working from home.

Considering this, it’s not realistic for me to say that I am going to finish making my syllabi for next semester, get an academic paper under review, record 6 podcast episodes, do 2 interviews for my dissertation all within the next two weeks while my husband’s out of town.

It’s just not realistic. And mothers—that’s often what we’ll do without even realizing it. We know that we are working from home which automatically creates these circumstances where we have to split our attention between responding to emails, figuring out what our kids are going to eat, giving them attention, and then we still think we are going to have the capacity or time to tackle all these tasks.

Most of the time, we’re lucky if we even get to take a shower or get through two things on our to-do list! Society puts all this pressure on women, especially Black women, to do all these things and put in all this labor, both invisible AND visible labor, and we start to internalize those things, which leads to us holding ourselves to these unrealistic standards.

That’s why my program, Beyond Productivity ™, is designed to help my clients work on self-compassion while we are all navigating internal and external pressures that often lead to us making these impractical schedules and to-do lists.

In all actuality, to be honest, I think a to-do list and/or a schedule can be harmful if you are not using it correctly. That’s why creating a realistic schedule is so important. If your daily or weekly tasks feel realistic and manageable, they are going to bring up a lot less resistance and be a lot less intimidating when it’s time to follow through. And you run less of a risk of falling into this cycle of procrastination self-doubt and not knowing how to get out of it so you can be productive.

Summary: So just to recap, if you are working from home with kids and you feel frazzled, frustrated, and like you have no control over your time and your day, I want to encourage you to gain awareness about any self-defeating thoughts and how you may be procrastinating? I also suggest learning how to manage self-doubt and negative feelings because avoiding these often leads to procrastination. And my last suggestion was to be realistic about what you can accomplish in day considering everything you have going on and be compassionate with yourself.  

If you want to learn to apply the content of this post, apply for a free Making Time for Me Assessment Call today.

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Founded by Dr. Shanice Jones Cameron, Her Guided Evolution® is a digital platform dedicated to helping women (specifically moms) make more time for themselves. Instead of chasing productivity, the Her Guided Evolution® philosophy is aimed at helping women create more time for self-care, improving their mental health, and finding joy.

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