Nobody is more efficient than a working mom.
Before I had kids, I would go and do workout classes during the week. Bootcamps gave me a great workout and allowed me to spend time talking with people before or after the classes. It wasn't until I had kids that I realized how much time I was spending driving to get to these classes, taking the class, getting back to the office, etc. The whole process would take me two hours.
After my first child was born, and especially after my second child, two hours in a day became a significant amount of time. These were the years when ThirdLove was a brand new company, and Dave and I were frequently at the office until eight or nine at night. It became very tough to balance building the business and still having quality time with our kids, having dinner with them, and putting them to bed.
So I had to restructure our days and weeks. I had to find ways to make the most of my time, without diverting too much attention away from our business and our kids.
Here are a few things that helped me maximize each and every hour of the day:
1. Work out at home--and treat classes as special occasions.
As soon as we had kids, I realized I had to give up my morning workout classes.
Instead, I bought a Peloton bike and started working out at home. What used to be a two-hour adventure turned into a quick twenty to thirty minute exercise routine.
Especially when you're short on time, the question becomes how you can make the most of the time you have, while still doing the things you need to do to feel your best, look your best, be most productive, and so on. When most people feel like they "don't have enough time," they remove personal health completely.
But that doesn't have to be your only option.
2. Limit huge time-sucks that don't need to be part of your life.
For me, Instagram and Facebook are huge time-sucks. Of course, some amount of social media exposure is good for me, because I need to "stay in the loop" of what's happening, as well as manage my own personal accounts, etc. The problem is when five or ten minutes turns into an hour and a half of screen time, added up throughout the day.
So I try to set aside distinct time slots to focus on social media - limited to my posting on LinkedIn, Instagram and a quick scan of what is going on across a few platforms.
Remember, you can do a lot with twenty minutes. That's time you could have spent with your partner, your kids, friends you keep saying "I don't have time" to, etc.
3. Make as many meetings in your day 20 minutes or 50 minutes (instead of 30 minutes or an hour).
This is a habit I picked up when working at Google.
The idea there was for all meetings to either be 20 minutes or 50 minutes, because if they are a half hour or an hour long, people won't be able to do the things they need to do between meetings: go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, get to their next room, etc. So what happens is, because there is no time in between, the next meeting starts late, which makes the meeting after that start late, and before you know it, your whole day is behind--which leads to other inefficiencies.
Besides, if a 30 minute meeting can't be done in 20 minutes, then it should probably be a 50 minute meeting. And if a 60 minute meeting can't be done in 50 minutes, then maybe an hour wasn't enough time in the first place.