On a Time Crunch
More and more, I find myself feeling stressed because I don’t seem to be able to finish my planned tasks on time because of various distractions. Throughout the day I am rushing from left to right, buzzing around like a bee, yet, at the end of the day I got very little done! And when I try to enjoy my most treasured time with the kids in the evening, my mind keeps drifting off to the “unfinished business” that is haunting me like a ghost. I am sure many parents are facing the same challenge, so I tried to look for some hacks and tips on better time management for parents.
Break it all down
Those who work from home must be familiar with the challenge of juggling kids, house chores, and meal preps while trying to put in a few solid hours of video conferences and email correspondences. This article suggests several ways to segment bigger tasks into more manageable sizes, or sort tasks based on time requirements or urgency. But one helpful and easy tip I think can be effective is to minimize distractions from social media and the internet by keeping my browser closed while working. This can definitely help save some time for more important tasks so that I can cross off more from my to-do list and get to my kids sooner!
Beat that addiction
How many times has my phone pinged with notifications of alerts, emails, and text messages from the moment I wake up in the morning until I go to bed? Looking at my phone became the first and last thing I do every day, both times while in bed. We keep worrying about screen time for the kids, yet we, as adults, seem to be more addicted to our mobile devices than they are! Maybe I need some radical changes in my lifestyle to keep this phone addiction in check. A friend of mine recently told me that he actually only looks at his text messages at designated times during the day and he checks his emails only a few times a day. If anyone needs to reach him urgently, they can always pick up the phone and give him a call! Actually, this makes a lot of sense because I get distracted numerous times by incoming text messages (both personal and work-related) during the day, but I can perfectly reply to them an hour or two later, or I noticed a new email that just came in and dropped whatever I was doing to go check it.
Don't be a perfectionist
As for the chores that need to be done around the house, we can also lower our standard by a few notches and go for some imperfections! 😉 Even the home-organizing guru, Marie Kondo, also recently admits that her home with 3 young kids is a mess! But to make life easier and a household that is simple to maintain, the key is to be organized. If everything has its own place in the home, it can be easily found and put away at all times, this way less effort is spent on searching and cleaning up. This is also a good way to cultivate good habits in your kids from a young age. Soon, you can delegate more to the little ones and they can help you with simple yet necessary chores such as putting away clean laundry or cleaning up their own rooms.
I think all these tips call for a certain degree of self-discipline and determination. But, hey, I would do anything to spend more quality time with the kiddos with my undivided attention.