Parents would know the struggle of juggling different tasks on one hand and taking care of the kids on the other. It can seem like a day is not enough to do all the things that need to be done and they all find themselves in the race to beat the red light. Meeting work deadlines, cooking, doing the laundry, helping kids with their homework, and everything in between can be so daunting and exhausting. Not to mention, the attempt to balance all of these chores all at the same time. This is why aside from being superheroes, time management for parents is also an essential skill that needs to be mastered.
Time Management for Parents: Tips for Busy Moms and Dads
A reminder to all parents.
It’s okay to have unfinished tasks, especially on overwhelming or stressful days. It doesn’t make you any less of a parent just because you failed to do laundry as scheduled or having to resort to takeout for dinner because you don’t have the time to cook that one night. No parenting book can ever teach you to become the perfect mom and dad and as long as you are doing the best that you can, you are already doing so much and it is okay to rest or take things easy.
That being said, if you are in dire need of some time management tips for parents, read on to find out how to juggle a busy day!
Use a timer
It’s easy to get distracted and it happens to all of us. For certain tasks such as checking the email, browsing through the news headlines, or a quick scroll down social media feeds, use and set a timer. It’s easy to say that you’ll only spend 5 minutes replying to that co-worker or take a 15-min break and see what your Facebook friends are up to but sometimes, we spend more time than intended and get distracted along the way.
List and break down tasks
Before heading off to bed, make a list of all the things that you plan or must get done the next day and assess what tasks can be moved the next day or the next week. When you list all of the things you need to do, you can see a bigger picture of priorities and what can be done at a later date.
Aside from work tasks and house chores, don’t forget to add must-do activities like cuddle time with the kids, movie night with the family, recital day, or a parent-teacher conference.
It is common for a parent to think that he or she must do everything but, this is actually one of the biggest wastes of time. Children can be given simple tasks from a very young age, such as making their beds or picking up their toys. If they are a bit older and more capable, they can be assigned to wash the dishes, take out the garbage, or sweep the floor.
Give them responsibilities and make it clear that you expect them to do these chores. To remind them and to make every day easier, post a chore chart for everyone to see. In the beginning, it’ll take a bit of time for the kids to get used to their responsibilities but once they do, it’ll be easier for the parent to do more things during the day.
Naturally, an allowance or reward system will be established and this will serve as a motivation for the children.
Create a menu plan (and extras!)
If you are in charge of the house meals, create a menu plan, list down all the ingredients you may need for 1-2 weeks, and buy them all at once instead of constantly running to the grocery store every other day. Also, let’s admit it, cooking takes a lot of time and it can be quite exhausting as well, especially when you’ve just got off from work. One way to save time is to make extra portions and store them in the fridge so you can heat them up and forego cooking the next day.
Learn to say no
We only have 24 hours in a day and in between, we need time to eat, shower, and sleep, and the rest we spend on things that must be done. And one of the important factors to successfully manage your time is to learn to say no, especially if this activity or task is overfilling your time.
Saying no doesn’t automatically mean you don’t want to do the task, but it can also mean that there are other things that you need to prioritize. If it currently doesn’t fit into the agenda, you can always say no or reschedule.
Before agreeing to an additional schedule or work, check your and your family’s calendar in order to make sure that it doesn’t run into conflict with other scheduled activities or even your personal time. More reason to say no if it’s an activity that doesn’t give you joy! This is one of those time management tips for parents that should be followed.