Multitasking goes with the territory of parenting but it can often feel like you are spinning plates. Juggling all of your work and family commitments, it only takes one thing to go wrong for everything else to come crashing down too.
Making the best use of your time and creating an organisational system that works for you, your family and your busy life is the key to being an overworked parent who is at least coping with all the calls on your time.
Here are some strategies and tips to keep all those plates spinning, including why one planner is always enough, a smart way to get discounts when they are available, plus some tips on how to make mornings work better.
Stick to one diary system
It’s easy to think you will remember an appointment without writing it down or maybe you get a text message but don’t put the date in your diary. The inevitable consequence of not having a go-to resource to check where you need to be and when, is that you will miss something sooner or later.
A great organisational tip is to create a master calendar in your email inbox and then sync it with all your other devices like your smartphone. That way you have instant access to one master system and you reduce the odds of missing a scheduled appointment. Get into the habit of using just one diary system and you will soon find that keeping track of your hectic schedule becomes a whole lot easier.
Having your diary available on your smartphone is a good move as many of us are constantly using social media and things like a local weather app to make sure you and the kids are dressed appropriately!
Making the most of coupons and offers
Another one of your tasks as one of the heads of a busy household is likely to be organising the weekly grocery shop and making sure that all the kids have a meal to sit down to at the end of a chaotic day.
Sometimes when you are out shopping for groceries or visiting your favourite restaurant you suddenly realize that the voucher you found (and the whole reason you went there) has been left at home and frustratingly, you end up paying more than you needed to. I’m a bugger for this when it comes to loyalty cards… I never, ever have them on me.
A lot of shops and restaurants encourage you to go paperless these days so subscribe to their email newsletter and at least the next time when you are all heading out for a an awesome meal you can use your smartphone to get the discount that makes a difference to your weekly bills.
Making the morning ritual easier
There never seems to be enough time in the mornings, with breakfast and packed lunches to prepare (we aren’t at that stage yet, but it’s coming!), plus the fun of getting little ones dressed or encouraging the big ones to get ready on time.
You can create a bit more time for yourself by preparing the lunches the night before, and if you lay out the kids clothes and keep things like socks and shoes in an easily accessible place, it will save that last-minute dash to find a matching pair of pants and shirt. I don’t do the morning haul as I’m out of the door before Short Rib and Wes are even awake, but I know my mum used to do this for us when running a household of four kids!
Fact is, you’re are always going to be knackered (sorry!) but at least with a few savvy time management strategies, you should feel like you are in some sort of control each day.
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