Time Management Tips for Busy Parents

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If you're a parent, have a parent, or know a parent, you probably won't be surprised to learn that paretns are stretched pretty thin, and if those parents are holding down jobs outside the home, the time crunch is even more intense. According to a 2015 Pew Research study, 90 percent of working parents feel rushed. Add the COVID pandemic to the mix, and more and more parents are rethinking their schedules and their work choices.

So how can a harried parent find a few more minutes in his /her day? We explored advice from several time management experts and moms to create this list of tips for moms.

  • Get some help! Wellness Coach Elizabeth Scott recommends that moms work on their delegation skills. Asking partners, spouses, children to share in the chores can help give mom a break. She recommends breaking chores into several smaller tasks to make them seem less overwhelming.
  • Use technology. Try using digital solutions like an online calendar to schedule not just your own to-do items but also those of your family members. According to time management strategist Kelly Nolan, having everyone's schedule in one place enables you to schedule appointments, play dates, laundry, homework, and meals so that everyone know when and where they are expected.
  • Automate purchases. Lisa Tanner, educator and writer, recommends putting essential purchases (like toilet paper, diapers, pet food) on autopilot – you can set up subscription purchases through Amazon and other companies, have the items delivered on a regular schedule, and even get a discounted price.
  • Control the time available to you. If you start your day with a task list, and assign 15-minute segments to each task (some tasks might require more than one segment), you are more likely to be aware of your time and how you're spending it, according to digital health-tech marketing manager Erin Trafford-Basquill. You'll also know how much you're actually going to accomplish during the day, and will be less likely to feel like you didn't get all your tasks finished when the day is over.

Scheduling for a busy mom

  • Be flexible. There's always something extra that needs to be done. Maybe you didn't plan on rushing your child to the emergency room when she stuck gum in her ear, or maybe a surprise visit from an old friend wasn't on your schedule. Don't sweat the schedule changes! Blogger Verlisa Hooks suggest you allow for unscheduled time in your schedule, and reschedule items to tomorrow when life gets in the way today.
  • Take a break from social media. Parents and children alike could all benefit from backing off on screen time. Author Jackie Gaines recommends setting limits on how much time you and your family members spend on the internet and then respect those limits – when the buzzer sounds, set aside the phones and computers!
  • Clean as you go. Making a meal? Put the mixing bowls and pans in the dishwasher when you're finished using them. Playing with the kids? Have a toy box nearby and stash the toys (better yet, have the kids do it) when you're finished playing. Author Nina Garcia suggests that picking up as you go and also decluttering in general will save you time in the long run.
  • Order meals delivered. Farm to Fit offers several meal options that can help ease the time crunch busy moms face. Orders yours today!