Time Management Tips for Busy Parents

Do you feel overwhelmed at times? Wish you could make life easier and have more time for loved ones and yourself? Carey Ann from Explore Learning shares tips for managing time and family

From the moment your child is born they are on a schedule that is entirely different to your own and if you don’t quickly find a way to merge your life schedule and theirs then chaos ensues! (Am I right?)

The more people in your household, the more there is to balance and get done. So, time management allows us to dictate the pace, put on the brakes when we need to and have fun, quality family time without completely losing our minds in the process.

How to manage time and family

To have time for all you want to achieve in life, you must recognise three key things:

  • Not doing everything is okay
  • It’s all right to say no
  • You need to know what is truly important to you

You have to balance out your personal needs, your family’s needs and the needs of your career.

When you identify the things that really matter, you will be able to prioritise and say no to the things that are not important. You’ll know when you’ve got it right because you will feel proud, in control and downright amazing!

7 top tips for time management

1. Self-care

On an aircraft you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first. In life you must do the same and it took me a while to acknowledge that I wasn’t being selfish doing this. I was doing everyone else a favour. The truth is, you can’t take care of people the way you want when you’re broken. So before you do anything else each day, make time for you.

2. Meal Planning

There’s no getting away from it, the masses need feeding – all the time! To avoid ‘hangry children’ it could help to plan out all the food you need to have for the week. No last minute dashes to the shops, no having to think about what to make for dinner and a healthier food selection for everyone.

3. Online Shopping

As you plan your meals, pop everything into an online grocery order and have it delivered to your door. Get it delivered at a convenient time and suddenly a big part of your weekly burden is removed from your schedule.

4. Learn to Say No

It can be hard to turn down invitations or requests for help from colleagues, friends or family members. You need to consider if you are easing someone else’s burden at the expense of your own. The main question to ask is: is it important? Will it make a difference to your life goals by fulfilling it? If it doesn’t tick this box, then you need to politely decline.

5. Routines

I know routine sounds restrictive and regimented but it does have a place in time management. If nothing else, your house plants will be very grateful for being routinely watered! Washing bedding and towels, cleaning bathrooms etc. will all stay manageable if you do them as part of a weekly routine.

6. Reduce Distractions

Taking control of notifications on my phone has been really empowering. I don’t want my phone to rule my life so turning off social media notices means I only look at it when I have time, the same goes for email. I check it daily when it suits me, not every time something pings through. When I really need to focus then airplane mode goes on. As long as a form of emergency contact remains available then I feel comfortable being a bit disconnected for chunks of the day.

7. Don’t Strive for Perfection

If you are a self-proclaimed perfectionist as I once was, this is a hard step to adopt. However, trying to achieve perfection both at home and in the workplace can leave you over-stretched. Much better to strive for good in all areas rather than outstanding in one and disastrous in the other. There will always be room for improvement and that’s okay.

For 20 years Explore Learning has been delivering award-winning English and maths tuition for children aged 4-14.