These five time management tips for parents will help you regain control of your schedule, your job, your family, and your downtime.
Being a parent is hard work. Throw in having another job on top of parenthood and you’re a full-on superhero. You wake up super early, manage your tiny humans and try to force them to do things they don’t want to do, then drop them off with someone else while fully putting your trust of their care into someone else’s hands, then you run off to work and hope you remembered your notes for the meeting and pray that you didn’t forget to take that dirty diaper out of your purse.
After a long day of work and ridiculously loud car ride home, you have to try to juggle dinner, chores, homework, errands, projects, and at some point, sleep. So how in the world are you supposed to get everything done without either losing your job or losing your mind? Here’s the secret sauce.
Get A Routine
I know, I know, you’re saying “Lela, you’re the routine police!” And maybe I am, but it’s so so SO important! Having a routine is what will get you through the day without downing ibuprofen and turning into a road raging coffee-infused crazy person. You need a morning routine and an evening one, and you can never ever stray from it. A routine has to be a non-negotiable in order to stay sane and productive.
Learn To Say No
This sounds so simple but it’s actually the hardest thing. Are you that person that always ends up saying yes? Is your schedule loaded down with additional projects at work, picking up extra hours on the weekend, planning your sisters best friend’s cousin’s baby shower, and heading the Spring Fling School Dance Committee? If you’re nodding your head, then you’re a Yes Parent. There’s nothing wrong with saying Yes sometimes, but just remember that every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something (or someone) else. That Yes to spending a Saturday at the office was a No to that long-awaited chill time with your husband. You’ve got to get your priorities straightened out before you say Yes to anything else.
Outsource Your Meals
You don’t really realize how much time it actually takes to plan meals, make grocery lists, shop for groceries, put them away, organize the pantry, prep meals, cook meals, and clean up meals. But let me tell ya, it takes a ton of time. We recently started using HelloFresh and I’ve finally gotten my evenings and weekends back. By using a meal subscription box service, you are outsourcing a huge time killer, and that’s one less thing you’ve got to worry about. No more getting called on in a meeting and you have no idea what the question was because you drifted off into dreamland of what to cook for dinner tonight.
Want to try HelloFresh to see if it works for you and your fam? You can get $40 off a trial box with my referral link here.
Set No-Work Times
This is a biggie, especially if you work from home. You’ve got to have some boundaries, and you’ve got to treat that no-work time with every bit of respect. Let’s be honest here, your family knows you need to work to pay bills and give them the life they are accustomed to. But they don’t always see you in front of your computer all day as a loving act of generosity. Yes, you do have to work to make a living and keep a roof over your head, but what’s a house and nice things without a family to share them with? By carving out specific times where work is not invited and you’re completely present in the moment, you’ll stay connected with what really matters the most to you, as well as avoid burnout.
Get Your Home Uber Organized
You know that old saying “A place for everything and everything in its place”? Well, it’s not just something obnoxious your mother used to tell you when you were cleaning your room. By having a place for everything in your home and actually putting things in their place will help you and your family be more productive, less stressed, and get along better. How many times have you and your spouse been in a straight-up arguing match on who used the scissors last and where the hell they put them? My hand is raised, so don’t be afraid to put yours up too. By getting your home crazy-organized, you’ll be able to find things when you need them, get them out of the way when you don’t, and actually have peace within your four walls.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Whether you reach out to family, friends, coworkers, or even hired services, there’s no shame in getting a little assistance. Nothing feels better than being ahead of the game, and in order to do that, sometimes you need to add someone to your team. Remember, you don’t have to be Super Parent all day every day.