While raising three children and now with grandchildren, I find myself always wishing I could have more time to do all the things I want to do. I know other parents feel the same way so I researched a few ways that parents could find more time in their day.
Dr. Magdalena Battles discusses time management skills in her article, 10 Time Management Tips Every Parent Needs to Know. Dr. Battles says we need to be clear on what our priorities are and how we want to spend our time. Every yes, we give to something, which means we need to say no somewhere else. If being on another school committee is not what you enjoy doing, learn to say no. Don’t feel guilty about saying no because it will free you up to do what is more important to you and your family.
Dr. Battles also cautions against overscheduling activities for your children. If you are going here and there every night, there isn’t enough family time. She suggests making sure you have several nights each week when no activities are scheduled. Several nights without activities give you more time to spend together as a family. Eat dinner together and spend time playing board games or just talking. Children need downtime just like we do, so scheduling too many activities will create unnecessary stress.
Having your house organized so that items are easily found can save time as well. Good organization does not mean that a house has to have everything perfectly in place. Find a place for jackets, keys, purses, and backpacks, and make sure they are consistently in that spot. Searching for something wastes time and creates tension. Keeping an organized home is a great life skill to teach your children.
Another way to carve out time is to not do everything yourself. Give everyone tasks that they are responsible for doing. Explain to your family that this is about helping each other, and it is important that everyone does his part.