It seems sometimes as if there aren’t enough hours in a day to check off all the to-do items on the list, doesn’t it? What’s a parent to do when schedules collide? I’ve found that adopting a few good time management habits makes my life less hectic.
Save the Date, Time, and Event Type
Starting at the beginning is always a great place to begin and the easiest way I’ve found to get started on any project in a timely manner is to set a schedule where each task is assigned a general time slot. By marking it on my calendars, mobile phone and posted on a dry-erase wall calendar, I can easily catch any scheduling overlaps.
Compare Family Schedules and Update Often
I love the look of a pretty paper wall calendar and save these for birthdays and other yearly or regularly attended events such as the county fair. Dry-erase and digital calendars are easily updated, so I tend to use them for fluctuating schedules between home, school, and work events.
Get the Kids in on it
Kids today have schedules as full as any adult. Juggling extracurricular activities, regular schoolwork, family obligations and sometimes afterschool/summer jobs can be overwhelming. Taking a few moments at the beginning of each week to coordinate their schedules with mine helps my children be more responsible and reminds them that I think their time is important, too.
Multitasking Mamas and Papas
Let’s face it, none of us knew how complicated this whole adulting thing was going to be. Our own folks and cable TV made it look pretty easy, as I recall. Parents in the 21st century have become adept at multi-tasking on multiple levels at the same time. Be careful when multi-tasking, and never text and drive to save a few moments’ time.
It’s OK to Waste Time, Sometimes
After 20 years of being a parent, I’ve learned one key trick to saving my own sanity, especially when my family’s on-the-go lifestyle begins to catch up with us. Just stop, take a walk, go to the park and swing, or watch TV.
We make it a point to set aside some time each week for a “no tech, no distraction” type of entertainment like reading, coloring together, or riding bikes. We use these breaks to help us connected, catching up on personal time.
Time Management is Most Effective When It Fits Your Family
Between work, kids, shopping, and life’s little surprises you’ll quickly notice that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to family time management. You know your family best, and by personalizing your schedule to reflect the needs of your family you’re likely to find you have less scheduling chaos.
Parenting Pro-Tip: Kids Dig Schedules
One last tip; get creative! Involve your family, get your kids’ input and ideas, and utilize them. Enlisting your family in the planning of schedules helps them adopt valuable life skills, making it fun means they’ll want to be involved.