5 Effective Ways to Manage Your Time As a Parent
Parents have to have an effective routine and have great organizational skills to keep up with having a family, keeping a house, paying bills on time and keeping up with school work. Some parents work full time or two jobs and go to school and raise their children. This all can be done effectively if you establish some teamwork and good time management skills. It may sound overwhelming but honestly, once you have a routine, this can be smooth sailing. Of course, everyone gets their days but try not to let things go into a snowball effect and get off track.
Here are 5 effective ways to manage your time as a parent
All families are busy, regardless if you have children at home or not, but when you do have kids living at home, you have a double duty of managing your time as well as your children’s time. This can be quite challenging and hard to complete everything on task. This is where good time management skills come into action and these 5 strategies will assist you with your daily life through improving your time. You can do this without panicking and missing any appointments and your days will run smoothly and you will also have energy at the end of the day.
Keep a Calendar
It’s hard to plan ahead when you don’t know where to start or what day you are doing what. This is where having a calendar is very important, and this can be a paper calendar or an electronic one. You can even have two calendars.
When you are combining more than one schedule, things become more difficult, so a family calendar is a true necessity. You should choose the right spot so everyone can easily view who needs to be where and what time. Don’t double book or overbook your day by not paying attention and putting the calendar in a place where no one can find it.
People in your family have multiple schedules so it might be better to use an online calendar. Google is a good calendar to use for your family and their schedules. Paper calendars are good for small children in the house because they don’t use devices yet. This way everyone can look at the paper calendar together at mealtime and plan their day or nights together.
Many parents like to place their family calendar with a bunch of other information that is interesting to the whole family. This calendar should still be placed in a common area of the home. Some people call the area their “command center “or “The Main Post.”
Meal planning saves time so you can go ahead and purchase everything you need at once so you don’t have to run to the store daily. You can start the prep work before you shop and choose meals that fit in your schedule for preparation, cooking and feeding your family. You might want to sit down once a month or weekly if this works better for your family and think about a simple basic meal plan for your dinner meals. If you choose to plan breakfast and lunches, this works even better for time management.
If you have designed a plan for the month, you can always break this up by the week and shop for your groceries. Some families choose to cook large batches of food for the month, so dinner meals only need to be taken out of the freezer bag, thaw it out and place this meal into the family slow cooker.
Many parents don’t pay attention and get lost in time when they are working on a project, and they have no clue 3 hours have passed. If the project was fun, time goes fast and if the project was annoying, time goes slow. Whatever the case may be this includes losing hours wrapped up in social media or binge-watching on your television. You might even be reading a good book but everyone can also get stuck with tedious tasks as well, or choose to forget about them because they won’t finish them anyways the same day. This is when a timer comes in handy because you can set the timer for 45 minutes for social media, then stop and do something else. This way you have had me-time but you won’t have wasted your whole afternoon. If you are becoming overwhelmed with a tedious task, break it down into smaller parts and set the alarm.
For example, if your closets and bedrooms are so cluttered, you feel this will never unclutter, set the timer and take an hour a day and start organizing, one room at a time. This might take months but you won’t feel overwhelmed and this works for all tasks that you find boring and annoying. A timer is amazing when it comes to organization and in a matter of months, your house will feel great to you.
One of the main keys to time management is realizing there are only 24 hours in a day, and no one can create more minutes in a day to complete everything. You don’t have to do everything someone asks you to either. You have to learn how to say no, so you are able to prioritize the things you have to do, rather than what someone else wants us to do. If you do say yes, make sure this fits in your daily schedule, and make sure you tell them the world doesn’t revolve around you but I do have time to help today.
Check your family calendar to make sure you aren’t overdoing things for yourself, especially by using family time, your personal time so other tasks are overlooked. Just say no, when things aren’t comforting to you. In addition, if you lost interest in something that interested you at the moment, leave this for another time.
Skim your List
It’s ok to say no to people that are not family members and at times it’s you who is pressuring yourself more than anyone else is. There are times you will have to say no to yourself as well. This is because you are the one putting too much work on yourself. Your list is really becoming unrealistic at times because you have made it too long for one day’s work. Don’t set yourself up for failure when you are making unrealistic to do lists. Try using your timer more in order to help assist you in understanding how long your chores take, then use these calculations to see how long these tasks take.
If you have more work than time, it’s time to prioritize which are the important tasks that need to be done today and move the rest over to tomorrow. You have to give yourself a margin of time when planning these tasks. A margin simply means some extra time on each task for the simple reason of disruptions or unexpected calls that make your tasks last longer.
Once you have everything prioritized, this will help you understand a more realistic approach of how long it takes you to finish tasks and you will feel good about yourself when you have finished all of your work for the day.