As a working parent, you struggle to find the time to fit everything in. If only there was another way. A magic wand to pause time so you could catch up. Sadly, the magic wand remains elusive despite our wishes. But there may be some savvy advice you haven’t heard of, or more likely haven’t had the time to find.
As with our other recent articles, 6 tips to help working parents thrive in the workplace and 5 ways for working parents to reduce their stress we’ve done our bit by collecting and putting together the 5 most useful time management tools for working parents, to help you add some more minutes to your day.
1. Plan & Prepare
A busy working parent like yourself needs a detailed plan and thorough preparation. Don’t underestimate the extent of what you do. By acknowledging the gravitas of your roles, you can put the correct structure in place to support you. You’re juggling a momentous amount and it requires a sturdy plan.
Sit with yourself and if applicable, your partner; write out everything you have to get done in your week and month ahead. Make a huge mind map of it all; the occasions, the chores, the meals and work schedules. Break it down into weekly timetables and charts.
A few hours of planning will save you a whole lot of time and stress throughout your week, leaving you energy to focus on the tasks in front of you.
If you need help in picking a new calendar app, this article can show you the best ones to use in 2020.
2. Divide & Delegate
Once you’ve worked out your master plan, divide the tasks up and delegate as fairly as possible. This is likely to vary from week to week, so review it frequently. Encourage the whole family to work as a team, so that no one person is asked to carry more than another. Enlist help from outside your home too. Consider paying for a cleaner or ask friends and family if they could assist with childcare. When one person is juggling all the balls, they’re more likely to fall. This way, everyone can organise a little more time for themselves.
3. Separate Home & Work Life
As much as you can, keep home and work life where they belong, separate. Be intentional about how you spend your time at home and where you put your focus at work. By doing this you’ll be more productive and efficient in the workplace, and likely secure an excellent reputation for yourself. Likewise, an in-tune presence with your family will be happily received. Loved ones will always appreciate dedicated attention; making for a happy, harmonious household. You’ll benefit too as your mind will be quieter and you’ll absorb all the good stuff rather than missing it.
4. Take Control of Technology
As a working parent during this era of tech, you face new challenges. You have constant distractions and temptations at the end of your fingertips. Notifications ping and can interrupt every hour of your day. Technology is a fantastic tool, but don’t let it take over. Turn off notifications and consider downloading an app that monitors the amount of time you spend using your device. Leave your phone in another room or switch it off during days with your kids. Consider having ‘no tech weekends’ for the whole family, so you concentrate on each other without the temptation to peek at social media. You’ll discover you have more time that’s well spent.
5. Let Go of Perfection
Truth is you’re not perfect. We all know that, yet we still burn ourselves out trying to achieve perfection. Whether we’re attempting to maintain a magazine cover-worthy home or be named as the top salespersons in our team. We want to get it all right, and we don’t let ourselves rest until we get there.
How about you give yourself a break, and accept perfection is unattainable. Make peace with your best, and know that is enough. It applies to the work-life balance struggle too; use these top tips to help you do your best, and let go of the rest.