More often than not, as parents, we’d find ourselves in the dire need for some genius time management hacks! If you know the right way to manage your time, you’ll save yourself a truck-load of stress and strain. While life can get unpredictable with kids, a little time management can actually work wonders. I cannot promise that you will avoid chaos altogether, but you will for sure see some improvement in your schedule, if you plan your timing well. It’s not about athletic precision, but about parental decision making after all. 🙂
Here are a handful-few tips to help you navigate your days better as a stay-at-home parent or a workaholic career-person with kids.
- Plan your menu ahead of time. Write it, pin it and execute it! Planning your meals is a pocket-friendly way to eat healthy, thinking less in the morning about “what to cook/eat today” and keeping the bills within limits. Besides, it’s always better to cook and eat fresh home-cooked food rather than ordering last-minute takeaways. Since you already did all the thinking and ingredient shopping in advance, it would take you only a few minutes to cook!
- Chalk out your chores. Keep a to-do-list either in a notepad or on a white-board. Maintain it daily by adding or striking off relevant tasks. Developing this habit will help you stay organized and also keep a tab on the recurring tasks (that you can finish at a go).
- Create a crystal clear routine. Be it for the family or for yourself, it is always critical to stick to a routine. Besides, human brains function the best when adhered to a schedule. Kids also become more disciplined with time, if they follow an agenda everyday. They also feel excited about their “play time” or “activity time,” which become hours well spent!
- Organize, well in advance. Pack school bags and your gym/office bag. Keep them at a handy place by the main door. Also, keep a stocked up first-aid kit and dry snacks at home, in the car and in your bag.
- Do not overcompensate with your children. Rules are rules, and they are cast in stone, especially when it comes to little kids. Be it homework time, chore time, bed time or meal time, the kids have to stick to the schedule you plan for them. Similarly, time your tasks as well to stop a burnout feeling at the end of the day.
- Use alarm clocks and other tricks to keep a tab on time. Wake up on time and go to bed on time as well. Use a timer to finish your chores and help the kids develop this habit too. Wake up at the sound of an alarm to train your brain and body to function well.
- Learn the subtle art of saying “NO.” Avoid piling your kitty with a truck load of work and watching everything topple down the mountain. Do only as much as you can. Deliver quality, even at home.
- Outsource tasks as much as possible. Hire a tutor to teach the kids or a babysitter if you need to stay late at work or step out for a business dinner. Ask your spouse to help you with chores like laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping in alternate weeks.
- Get ready to get moving right away! With kids at home, you have to be on your toes even in your sleep! To make things easy, keep a travel bag packed with clothes and basic toiletries to grab and go at the drop of a hat! Anything can happen at any time and anywhere. So be ready, at all times.
- Take scheduled breaks. Keep aside a few hours everyday to take a relaxing bath or drink a cup of “masala chai” all by yourself. Amid all the hustle-bustle, it is important to keep your sanity and sanctity intact for the benefit of your family.
Set aside some “me” time. Not just a break of a few hours, but a break of a few days is also important at times. As you feel accountable for your tasks and time, make everyone else feel likewise to live in harmony.