Being a parent is tough. You’ve taken responsibility for another life (or lives), and as a result you’ve probably lost a lot of time for yourself. But don’t worry, the blow list will help you bring back some of that time that you used to spend on you. Here are the top time management tips that can help you regulate the time you spend on your children and the time you spend for yourself.
The Time You Spend with/on Your Children
There’s no doubt that you love your children, and you likely feel guilty when you don’t spend time with them. That said, evaluating the time that you spend with/on your children is a good place to start with your time management skills. Do you often spend time repeating yourself? Is your house chaotic? Do you feel like you could get more done if you had better processes in place? If any of these are true, there are time management tips just waiting to help you!
1. Create a morning or bedtime routine. Sure, you probably have a routine right now, but you might need to streamline it. If the process includes a bunch of unnecessary steps, then you’ll be running in circles or taking up time that could be used for you. To help, simplify the routine and add some time savers. Some easy ones that may help? Have your kids put their coats, shoes, and backpacks by the door the night before. It’ll work wonders.
2. Ask for help. Busy parents always feel as though everything will go faster if they just do it themselves. Yet, asking for help can actually save you time and increase productivity. Delegate. Give everyone in your house a job. The younger kids are when they learn that they have to pitch in and help the better. You can’t run the family by yourself and you shouldn’t have to. The less amount of time you spend on household chores or errands, the more time you can actually spend with your kids.
3. Write it down. If it relates to the kids (or even you), do yourself a favor and write it down. A lot of parents feel the pressure to cram all of the information they need into their head. All of that information takes up a lot of time and space. If you want to save yourself time, don’t force yourself to remember it all. Keep one calendar for everything you need to remember and make some to-do lists for short-term items. Doing this will help you to prioritize what you need to do each day and make sure that you won’t forget anything when it comes down to it.
The Time You Spend on Yourself
While it can be tough to realize that spending time on yourself actually makes you a better parent, it’s necessary. Dedicating time to yourself daily is essential. If your days feel packed because of everything you’re balancing, here are some time management tips to help you.
1. Reduce your stress. This will look different for everyone. You’ll have to book time into your day in order to make this happen, but it’ll help you to see how tracking time can benefit you, increase your productivity, and ultimately improve your time management skills. Take a walk, do yoga, read a book. When you’re less stressed, everything becomes clearer.
2. Stop multitasking. While you might feel as though you’re being more productive, you’re not actually managing your time any better. Divide your time into set tasks. Tracking time this way will lead to the completion of tasks rather than several incompletes tasks. You’ll be able to get all the dishes done, the laundry finished, and the kids to their sports practices with no trouble at all.
3. Don’t be a “Yes Man” or “Yes Woman.” While we all love friends, family, and neighbors who say “yes,” it can be tough to find time for ourselves when we’re constantly giving of ourselves to other people. Spread love and happiness to other people but don’t forget about your own. Understanding that it’s okay to say “no” to things that aren’t necessary in our lives is incredibly important. It allows you to save much needed time for yourself.
The more efficient you are with your time management as a parent, the more time you’ll get to have with your kids and to yourself. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Institute a schedule for the family, don’t multitask, make lists, keep a calendar, learn to delegate, say no, and take time to reduce your stress so you aren’t frazzled. These tips are the key to improving your productivity—implement them in your home now!