Ask any parent what they wish they had more of and they’ll likely tell you:
But most will probably say “time”.
Being a parent is a 24-7 job and there is not enough hours in the day to take care of all the responsibilities that come with it. Not to mention, the responsibility you have to take care of yourself as well.
While clever scheduling and multitasking may free up some moments throughout your day, these unique time management techniques may be what you need to streamline your life and find more free time:
1. Eat the Frog
Eating the frog is in reference to the following Mark Twain quote (and doesn’t actually involve eating a frog):
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
When it comes to time management, this means starting your day by tackling that big annoying task (or “frog”) that needs to get done but you have been putting off or are tempted to put off.
It may be the mountain of dishes piled in your sink or the bills you are reluctant to pay. Whatever it is, getting it done right away will set a positive tone for the rest of the day and give you more time to relax and enjoy your family.
2. The Pomodoro Method
Created by an Italian in reference to his tomato-shaped kitchen timer (“pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian), the Pomodoro Method provides maximum focus and creative freshness while reducing mental fatigue.
To follow the Pomodoro Method, you work for 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes. You then repeat this 30 minute time-period (or “pomodoros”) four times before taking a 15-20 minute break.
Basically you are working intermittently for 2 hours before taking an extended break.
This may seem more like a work-related time management method, but for parents it can be helpful when it comes to tackling huge tasks like housework or more mental-focused tasks such as helping your kids with homework or creating a meal plan.
Likely, as a parent, you’ll find yourself completing a task during one pomodoro. However, it is still a great method to maintain focus and get things done.
3. Time Boxing
Time boxing is similar to the Pomodoro Method except that the time you work on a task is not fixed.
You allocate time-periods (or “time boxes”) to the tasks that need to be done and work within those time-periods – taking breaks in between.
Think of it as implementing little “time challenges” throughout your day.
You can choose to allocate sufficient time for a task or give yourself less time to see how quick you can get it done. Either way, you are organizing your time and focusing on what needs to be done.
This is a great method to use with kids, since challenges and games are motivating to them. You can use Time Boxing to encourage them to clean their rooms or finish other chores.
4. To-Done List
This is not so much a time management method as it is a means to motivate you to tackle your responsibilities.
Instead of completing a to-do list throughout the day, you make a to-done list at the end of the day by listing the tasks you have completed.
This method gives you perspective on how much you got done versus what’s left to do. It is a motivating technique to try to get more done in the day in order to grow the to-done list.
What Time Management Technique Works For You?
Have you tried any of the above – or do you have a personal technique that works wonders for you?
Let us know in the comments below!