It can be difficult enough trying to manage your time when you’re raising a family with a partner, but doing it alone can be even more of a challenge. It can be easy to feel like you’re getting just too swamped or that there isn’t enough of you to go around, but by practicing a few effective time management habits you’ll be able to get yourself back on track and make more time for just relaxing and spending time with your kids.
Use a Family Calendar
A calendar or planner that everyone has access to is a great tool to make everybody aware of each other’s schedule. Arranging rides, family meals, and chores can be much easier and more efficient when surprises aren’t sprung on you last minute. With a shared calendar, your children will also be aware of your schedule and will be less likely to try to plan things that would conflict with other important appointments.
Not only does this tool allow you to keep track of where you should be and what you should be doing throughout the day, it also helps your family understand the importance of managing their time and sticking to a schedule. You may also want to encourage everyone, including yourself, to keep their own personal planner where smaller things like studying, gym time, or leisure activities can be accounted for as well.
Stick To a Routine
Whenever possible, try to keep things on a routine schedule. It can make it easier for everyone to get into the habit of completing certain tasks in set amounts of time. It can also help make time for getting together as a family if you have a set night every week to do so. If there’s certain chores you or your kids keep putting off, a routine that you follow closely will create good habits of just doing them rather than thinking about them.
If your family is always short on time, try to avoid making too many social plans in advance for the weekends. You can always change your mind last minute, but when you’ve scheduled yourself for too many parties or BBQ’s you may feel committed to go when there are other much more urgent things you should be attending to.
Don’t Burn Out
While it’s important to stick to a schedule and use your time wisely, be sure you also schedule in some time for everyone to just relax. For these times, avoid answering the phone or checking email and allow yourself to truly rest and clear your head. When your quality time with your kids turns into work time, you’ll never really get a break and the time you spend with them may no longer be “quality”.