Parents juggle. It’s what we do. And the reality is that sometimes, we can feel like we’re not juggling very well, and just can’t keep all the balls in the air. All too often, it can seem like there just isn’t enough time in the day to do all the things we want and need to do, whether it’s meeting that work deadline, tackling the always-growing pile of laundry, helping kids with homework, and somehow still getting dinner on the table on time. Reminding ourselves that we can’t get everything done and that things definitely slow down when we become parents is one of the first things we should do when we feel overwhelmed and stressed before we can begin to tackle the “how” in time management.
Start Using a Timer
For certain tasks, like checking email or scanning news headlines, it can be so easy to get distracted and fall into the rabbit hole of all those viral videos and GIFs that are calling out to you, enticing you to click on them like the Sirens in ; before you know it, you may have spent way longer than you intended to do online. To prevent this from happening (and it happens to all of us), set a timer when you need to do a certain task. That way, you can stay focused and not stray-click on that cute cat video.
De-Clutter Your Schedule
One possible reason Marie Kondo’s book became so popular is that it most likely struck a nerve in our jam-packed, constantly-on-the-go lives. Just as our homes can be packed with things that don’t give us joy (one of her criteria for throwing something away), so can our schedules. We can learn to say no to that energy-vampire friend who keeps us on the phone for an hour spreading gossip about other people; we can set a timer (see above) and not browse shopping sites for clothes we cannot afford and don’t need; and we can be realistic about how much free time we have to volunteer at school or church (volunteer together as a family once or twice a month, or however often you can swing it, but don’t over-commit only to feel like a failure when you can’t do it all).