Let’s face it, most parents feel like their days are a game of beat the clock, and more often than not they end up losing. Trying to keep everything together and get that huge to-do list done can lead to frustration, losing your temper and feeling overwhelmed.
Life is unpredictable, especially with kids. Even when you plan, emergencies happen. You may not be able to avoid chaos altogether, but here are 10 Time Management Tips that can benefit busy parents. Following these tips can help bring order and peace back to your life and help you make the most of the time you have.
I cannot stress the importance of this, knowing what is a priority and what is not, is key to getting the things that matter done. Every day write your to-do list and prioritize your tasks into what you need to take care of immediately, what you need to do during the week and then your more on-going or long-term tasks
This is so hard for some of us, but as a rule, if you can delegate a task that is not something you absolutely have to do yourself to a person that you feel will do it 80% as good as you would, delegate it. It doesn’t mean you are not a good mom if you don’t go up to the school to copy and distribute 1,000 fundraiser flyers. Let someone else do that, and it will free you up to do the things that only YOU can do.
Look over your to-do list and see what tasks you have that you can batch. This means if you have to go to the bank, post office, kid’s school and the dentist, try to do it all in the same trip. This saves time and gas money!
If you are always running late because you can’t find something you need; it is time to get that under control. Get a filing cabinet for all your important papers, birth certificates, passports, insurance documents and more. Have your kids place all homework, library books, permission slips and other things in their backpacks each night. This will save frantic library book searches in the morning.
Have everyone lay out their clothing the night before. I really like these weekly clothing organizers for kids. Having your kid’s clothes picked out and organized for the week ahead, will make mornings less stressful.
Family Message Center
Install a family message center in a central location in your home. Make sure that everyone uses it to communicate what is coming up, post shopping lists, permission slips and school papers that need to be signed, important reminders and more.
Use the Internet
I cannot stress enough what a time saver doing things online has made in my life I shop, pay bills, do research and more online. If you do have to go out to a store, check out their current sale flyer online and make a list of what you need to buy. Taking the time to do this, will get you in and out of the store faster without forgetting things. While online, you should check to see if there are any special coupons or promo codes that can be used in store.
Do a clothing and toy purge and make it fun. Promise the kids a treat like going out for ice cream, when you go to donate the purged items. This way you won’t drive around for months with those bags in your trunk. Trimming the excess from your lives will make you feel a lot lighter and make cleaning less of a chore.
Plan your meals for the week. This will simplify your shopping and you won’t be running out all the time to get something for dinner. Use a slow cooker or pressure cooker, to help you get dinner on the table easier and faster than ever. Make extra when you cook to freeze and save, or check out some freezer meals you can make ahead for the whole week.
Assign your kids Chores
Giving kids jobs to do helps them learn responsibility and improves their self-esteem. Even little ones can help with certain tasks. You can use chore charts to make it easy for kids to see what their responsibilities are.
Learn to say No
This is so important, because our inability to say NO effectively, is the reason we end up with too much on our plate. It is okay to say NO, and to say it often. You can say, I would love to help set up the school book fair, but I just cannot take on any more projects right now. Once you say it a few times, it will get easier.
Following these 10 tips can help you bring some order to your life and save you time and stress. What are your favorite ways to manage your family and your time effectively?