Between work, kids’ activities, family events, cleaning, and everything we try and squeeze in between, a day in the life of a parent can reach entirely new levels of hectic!
Finding balance in your life is crucial for you, and your family. In order to tackle these massive to-do lists daily, you need to stay clear-headed and calm.
That means staying organized, as well as finding time for you!
Most hear this and think “I don’t have enough time”, and it may feel that way, but chances are that’s not the case!
How To Plan Better, by Planning Less!
Planning isn’t just setting an order to the day’s events and following a to-do list. The key to successful planning is prioritizing!
Like many of you reading this, I used to have a huge issue with micro-planning my entire day. Setting out a specific schedule for every little detail, including dishes, replying to emails, and even showering!
Breaking your day into such tiny details makes your to-do list look a mile long, and completely justifies that feeling of “not enough time”! Besides the fact that making that “control factor” a habit can allow it to spread into other areas of your life, like your marriage…been there, done that, not good!
The trick is not to remove these smaller tasks from your schedule, but rather to group them into larger windows of time, and prioritize them within that time frame. Not only does this simplify your day, and give you the feeling of more time, but you will discover certain areas you were actually wasting time on by even giving them a place on your list!
What does this type of planning look like?
Basically instead of scheduling in specific tasks, you want to look at blocks of time, and assign them a category. The categories I work within a regular week are Work, Household, Personal, Family, and Maddie (yup…she gets her own category!).
You can adjust these as needed, but don’t have any more than 5 or it defeats the purpose!
Every Sunday, I take about 30 minutes and plan out my week (seriously, that’s all it should take, and your week will be smooth sailing as long as you stick to it!).
For each category, I will list my priorities for the week. Then once I have an idea of how long each of those lists are, I start scheduling in the blocks of time each day.
How you do this part is up to you, and what you find easiest to read throughout the week. I simply write mine out, but I’ve seen people use a whiteboard, or even a printable weekly calendar and color code each category, the choice is yours!
When you are in a “Household” window of time (for example), start plugging away at your top priorities in that category until your time is up. Set a timer if you have to in order to make sure you stick to your plan, or the whole thing will just go right out the window!
As you do this you will start to learn which categories you were spending more time on than you needed to (I find I work faster on a time limit!), and can adjust your plans each week accordingly.
After the first month, I not only had a more precise idea of how long things would take me, but I was able to identify the best times of day to get them done, and found time each and every day for my “personal” category too!
I now approach every day confident that I will not only finish the day with a completed to-do list, but relaxed and balanced as well!
Do you have any tricks you use to stay on track with your day? Tell me about it in the comments! And be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and subscribe to our free email newsletter!
This post was written by Julia:
Julia is all about rocking “Mom life” in every way! She has a husband of 7 years, is mom to a spirited 3 year old daughter, and lives in Niagara Region, ON, Canada. Check her out on RockItLikeAMom.com for lots of easy recipes, DIY projects, parenting articles, and up front Mom talk!