Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life
Time management is a scary topic. The reality of the crazy world we live in is that everyone is time poor – Being a parent only amplifies that issue.
The unpredictability of life will always and without any warning throw up surprises that will make you want to curl up in a ball and never leave the comfort of your own bed.
There is however the predictable – Pack lunches, drop kids off, go to work, pick kids up, make dinner, and go to bed. The unpredictable – Temper tantrums, toilet disasters, and a fall off the monkey bars. This is always a convoluted juggling act that requires a whole lot of planning, cooperation and mental resilience.
So called experts will provide you with an assortment of tips and tricks in regards to time management, but at the end of the day you are the master of your own destiny. Well maybe that’s a little cliché and corny, however finding what works for you and most importantly your family is a great starting point.
The below tips are suggestions only and mere ideas to find what works best for you!
Think ahead, create a to-do list and have a killer calendar – Try keeping a single calendar for all your tasks.
It is absolutely impossible to win all your battles! Assess the things that are most important and work your way down your to-do list, prioritising each and every task.
Make extra food
Cooking and preparing food takes up a large portion of everyone’s time, if you’re catering for 4, cook for 6-8 and have left overs for the next couple of days! Food tastes better the next day anyway.
This may mean automating paperwork, finding apps that do it all for you or good old fashioned folders in the study.
Communicate to all members of your family – Tell your kids what you expect of them and how to do tasks around the house. Communicate with your partner and delegate tasks – Family members can’t read your mind!
You don’t have to say yes
A big trap a lot of people fall into – Dinner invitations, taking on extra work and personal favours are difficult to decline, but being honest with yourself and with friends and family will save you a big headache. Instead of leaping into “YES, that sounds great!” take a moment and assess if you really have time. There is nothing wrong with politely declining!
While many people swear by multitasking (something which men claim to be masters of), it can create a real ruckus, muddling activities and decreasing your time management and efficiency. Devote time to one task at a time and finish it before starting the next.
Allow time for yourself
Finally, find time to unwind, collect your thoughts and recharge – Go for a walk or a swim, maybe even meditate or go to a yoga class; Declutter the mind and attack your next set of challenges in a positive, clinical fashion.
Life and parenting is unpredictable, control the controllables the best you can and stress less about the things out of your control.
“Humans and weather, the two most unpredictable things in life”
If you are stuck in a cycle where you feel completely devoid of any free time, then it is likely time for a change.
No matter how much you have on your plate, time can always be used more efficiently. The above tips are designed to provide some clarity on how best to organise your time.
If you or anyone close to you is feeling overwhelmed do not hesitate to contact a health professional.