Time management hacks
for busy parents...

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Top 5 ways to improve your day

As a parent or carer, it can feel that there are not enough hours in the day to do what we need. Between never-ending household duties, kids’ activities, and work, it can sometimes feel like juggling at least two full-time jobs.

There is no magic formula or shortcuts for balancing time but here are our top tips on how to recapture the time that slips away.

Do an audit

How much time do you feel is sucked away from you and you are not sure why or how? Whether you are working or not, sometimes taking a look at where our time goes can be a really useful exercise. Many of us run out of time but are not sure how we can run our lives differently.

For a day or two, be mindful about how you are spending your time and ask yourself these questions: Was that a good use of my time? Could that task be made simpler? Experts say that we spend around an hour a day on jobs that could be put on hold or completely removed from our schedules.

Approach in short bursts

Is household admin getting you down? Washing and ironing baskets over-flowing? Some tasks seem overwhelming and get left until they get even bigger. If you do not have the time to complete one task, such as washing, work, or something else, break it into smaller and more manageable chunks.

A popular method of time management is the Pomodoro method, a time management technique where you complete a task for 25 minutes, and then take a short break of three to five minutes. This helps to break up large jobs and keeps you motivated.

Experiment with routines

We all know that when it comes to family life, having a good routine in place is essential. From managing the morning rush to bath and bedtime, knowing what happens when will help everything run according to schedule. It has been proven that routines help children feel safe, build good habits, and develop life skills.

If you are finding that there are tricky times in the day when at least one member of the family ends up upset, why not make small tweaks to see if it helps?

Be smart around multi-tasking

Being a parent is one long multi-tasking job but where possible, avoid trying to do too many things at the same time. Most of us feel as if multitasking is the most efficient way to get things done and let’s face it, sometimes we are left with no choice. However, it has been proven that it slows us down and makes it harder for us to do things well. Try to remain focused on one thing at a time.

Build in Rewards – for you!

It is natural to want to complete things, as it keeps our brains alert. As well as breaking tasks down into more manageable chunks, you can build in rewards. The feeling of completing a task will give your brain a hit of dopamine, so you feel good. After completing certain things, reward yourself. Whether it is something simple like a cup of coffee or even a long and luxurious bath when the children are in bed, you should celebrate your achievements.

Over to you…

It is always important to celebrate what you have done at the end of the day and not be too hard on yourself for those things you didn’t manage to do. Celebrate you achievements and remember: Your time is in your hands!

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About the Author

Georgina Rodgers regularly writes for parenting and lifestyle titles. Her books include Peace of Mind: A Book of Calm for Busy Mums. She is also a mum of two daughters.