Time Management for Moms in College: How to Balance it All

Simple time management tips for college moms struggling to balance it all

One of the biggest challenges moms in college face is time management. How do you manage your time to ensure you don’t completely ignore any aspect of your life?

Lots of college moms are stressed and some have lost motivation because no matter how hard they try, they always seem to be behind and never have enough time to get everything done. If this is you, I want you to know that I see you and I know exactly what you are going through.

I went to college as a single mom and it was the single hardest thing I ever did. Between trying to keep a passing grade in college and not completely ignoring my kids and other aspects of my life, it often felt like I was been torn apart.

But, I survived, and so will you. It just takes some effort, patience, and lots of determination. So, if you are a mom in college, here are some time management tips to help you balance college and being a mom.



Many moms in college take on more than they can realistically handle. As a result, these moms often find themselves struggling to balance everything. Time management for moms in college is all about knowing your limits and being strategic.

Signing up for lots of classes at a time, when you have young kids at home with little or no support, is going to really make it hard for you to get everything done. Good time management is all about making good choices and using the time you have productively.

Don’t fill every minute of every day with activities or things to do, that you end up not having enough time to breathe or take care of yourself.

So, watch your workload and don’t overdo it. For example, if you know this semester you have to work more than you normally do, then the smart thing to do is to take fewer classes. Yes, I know you are trying to complete college as fast as you can, but you still have to be realistic about the toll a heavy workload can cause.


One of the reasons some moms in college struggle with time management is that they start each day not knowing what they want to do or how they want to spend their time.

Without a clear focus, you will end up wasting large chunks of time doing nothing or spend your time doing meaningless tasks. So, start each day knowing exactly what you want to achieve and the most important tasks you want to accomplish.

You can do this by asking one simple question, and that question is “what one thing would make me happy if I accomplished it, even if I don’t achieve anything else?”

Asking this question will help you avoid wasting time and effort on mundane stuff. So, before you go to bed each night, spend a few minutes thinking about the most important things you’d like to accomplish the next day. Write them down on your to-do list, so that when you wake up in the morning, you know exactly what you want to do, and you can jump right into it.

This daily planner pack can help you streamline your activities, so you can focus and be more productive. Check it out.


Time management for college moms is all about knowing the most valuable activities for you, and the ones that can wait. Since time is very limited when you work, go to school, and have a family, you can’t afford to spend time on things with little or no value.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are lots of tasks that are needed to keep a home running smoothly, so I don’t mean to imply that they don’t matter. However, when time is limited, some things are going to have to take a backseat, that’s why you have to learn how to prioritize.

You can’t give the same time or attention to everything when you are a full-time student with kids, so focus on the most valuable activities.

For moms in college, the most valuable activities include:

  • Attending classes
  • Studying
  • Completing assignments
  • Spending time with your family
  • Working

To help you manage your time well, activities like the ones above should take precedence over everything else. So, resist the urge to focus on unimportant activities when you have so little time to do everything.

You can use this little trick to help you stay on track. Each day, try asking this question when you are in the middle of a task: “Am I focusing on the most valuable activities or Is this the best use of my time right now?”

Related product: Weekly Planner for Moms in College


Below are some other time management tips that will help you survive being a mom and student.


Do you know how you can avoid those missed deadlines? It’s by working ahead of schedule. Working ahead of schedule means no more procrastinating or leaving things until the last minute.

If there’s something you need to do, you get right to it, so you can move on to something else. When I was in college, I never missed a deadline or turned in an assignment late, or asked for an extension on an assignment or paper.

I always tried my best to complete assignments when they were due, and I could have made my life a lot easier by working ahead of schedule. So, take it from me. Working ahead of schedule will give you some breathing room and peace of mind when things go wrong (for example power failure, a sick child, a laptop dying, and so on).

Here are some rules for working ahead of schedule.

  • Make a note of all your deadlines. You can write them down in your planner or on a calendar.
  • Next, set your own deadlines. Give yourself at least a day or two before the official deadline for an assignment.
  • Set a reminder on your phone or whatever gadget you use.
  • Organize everything you need to complete an assignment, write a paper, or study for a test. Put all your materials in a folder, so that when you are ready to get to work, you will have everything you need.
  • Always look at your schedule at least a week in advance. Know what you have coming up the following week so you can plan and prepare for the week.

As you can see, these rules are pretty simple but make no mistake, they can be very effective if you follow them consistently. So, if the idea of working or staying ahead of schedule sounds appealing to you, go ahead and incorporate these rules into your life.


You make every day count by being productive. Use every spare moment you have to do something that will bring you a step closer to achieving your goal.

Yes, it’s true you need some downtime, but for the most part, avoid wasting time or idling away when you can use that time to be productive.

I wrote a whole post on how to be productive in college, so check it out for lots of very useful productivity tips.

Related: How to be Productive in College and Get Things Done


Shopping online can save you an hour or two, which is time you can use to relax or spend with your family. These days, you can buy almost everything online without the hassle of going into a shop.

There was a time I did most of my grocery shopping online. It saved me a lot of time and made my busy life less overwhelming. The key is to have a list of your favorites, so whenever you go online to shop, just add the list to your basket, and you are done.

I love shopping for clothes online and so far, it’s worked very well for me and my family. Occasionally, I go into the shop to make returns or check out some items before I buy them (if I have concerns about the fit or style). But for the most part, shopping online has been pretty good and it’s something I recommend for busy moms like you.


Living or working in a clean and organized space can boost your productivity and save you some time. Now, I am not saying you should spend all your time cleaning and organizing your home, but keeping your home reasonably tidy is good for your overall health and well-being.

Too much clutter can prevent you from focusing on the work at hand, but you also waste a lot of time looking for things you need. You can prevent all that by staying organized as much as you can. And, you guessed it! I have a post on how to stay organized in college.

Related: How to be an Organized College Mom


Creating a schedule and getting into a routine are easy ways to manage your time. When you schedule everything, you know exactly what you are supposed to do, and when you are supposed to do it.

Similarly, a daily routine helps you get into the groove as soon as you wake up. You can have a routine for the days when you work, go to school, or stay at home, or you can have the same routine every day if you’d rather be consistent.

As a single mom, having a routine is the only reason I have been able to manage my life without going crazy. I homeschool my kids, and I am also the sole provider for my family. As you can imagine, I don’t have a lot of free time, so I have to make good use of every single minute.

From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I know what I have to do. I love when my days are predictable and follow the same pattern. I know this might sound boring to some people, but having a routine or using a schedule doesn’t have to mean boring since you can also allow some spontaneity in your life.

So, if you are used to unstructured days and times, try creating a schedule or having a daily routine you follow. For example, put your kids to bed at the same time or have dinner at the same time. Make a list of a set of activities or tasks you want to do first thing in the morning. These tasks can become part of your daily routine.

If you need help creating a schedule, check out the post below for some tips.

Related: How to Create an Effective Student Mom Schedule


This might sound counterintuitive, but getting enough rest is essential for good time management. When you are tired, you tend to drag yourself and procrastinate more than usual.

No matter how busy you are, you need to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out physically and mentally. Schedule frequent breaks and get as much sleep as you can every night.

You will be more productive when you feel fresh mentally and physically, so don’t go long periods of time without taking a break. Even something as little as a good night’s rest can help you feel more motivated and rejuvenated. So, make rest a part of your time management strategy.


As a mom in college, you are going to have more on your plate than usual and you probably won’t be able to get everything done. That’s just the reality of being a college mom.

Don’t beat yourself up for not getting more done or ticking more tasks off your to-do lists. Be gentle with yourself. Instead of focusing on how much you are getting done, focus on doing your best.

At the end of each day ask yourself “did I do my best?” Your best may not be perfect, but if you spend each day focusing on the important tasks, improving your life and home in a small way, or making progress toward your degree, then you are doing something worthwhile, and that’s all you can really ask of yourself.

So, keep planning your days and setting time management goals (because you have to keep making progress), but don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of your goals.

Finally, remember to practice gratitude for the little things in your life that are going well. While your life may not be perfect, at least you have a few good things going for you. So, focus on them while you work on making things better. Try using a gratitude journal like this one if you need some inspiration.

Closing thoughts on time management for moms in college

There are lots of time management strategies moms in college can use to balance everything in their lives. It all depends on your personal circumstances and how committed you are to the strategies you choose.

Whatever time management tip or tips you decide to use, the key to success is self-discipline. Even if you know all the best time management strategies in the world, without self-discipline, they won’t do you much good.

So, that’s where you need to start. Are you disciplined enough to follow through?

Are you a mom in college? Do you struggle with time management?

Related mom and student articles

How to Create an Effective Student Mom Schedule

How to Stay on Top of Housework (For Busy College Moms)

9 Productivity Tips for Student Moms Who Want Success

Time Management for Moms in College: How to Balance it All

time management for moms in college

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