03 Nov

Time Management: Part 1

Mum juggling everythingWhy is time management particularly tricky for parents?

Our free workshop this month is all about Time Management Tips for Busy Mums. We are running two workshops in Warwickshire and would love to see you there if you get the chance.  Register here.  As the lead up to Christmas has begun we all find ourselves in an even more time poor state than usual during this busy time of year!

Time Management will be the topic of my next 3 blog posts. In each one we will look at different aspects of time management and the last one will include a free worksheet. If this post looks familiar that might be because you saw a condensed version of it in the latest Warwickshire Families Magazine…

There are no easy answers or quick fixes when it comes to time management. For most of us being a parent often means operating while overwhelmed. Our time management is particularly complex with lots of variables! So what makes it particularly tricky for us? Everyone’s situation is unique but here are a few thoughts…

  1. Unpredictability – The needs of the family are constantly changing. Different phases require different strategies. Humans are programmed to look for patterns so it’s a problem when there is often no pattern, or just as one begins to emerge – something changes! Try to relax into the chaos, know that you are doing the best that you can and that everyone else is dealing with this too! 
  1. Contaminated time– sometimes also called fragmented time. This is mental pollution that comes from having to deal with so many things at once, (for example – while writing this article I am also cooking dinner, baking a birthday cake, monitoring homework and writing the shopping list) and making it difficult to focus on one thing and feel like you are doing it well or even finishing it! Accept that occasionally it is important to isolate yourself, take time to recharge and allow yourself the luxury of focusing on one thing until it is done.
  1. Expectations – We all have expectations of what we should be able to achieve. Our expectations combined with what we believe others think we should achieve can create stress and anxiety. Look closely at where should is showing up in your life and ask yourself why you think you should.
  1. Proactive vs. Reactive – We hardly ever get a chance to take a step back and determine what we want and consciously aim for it – instead we are reacting to each crisis as it comes along. Setting aside time to plan (monthly, weekly or daily – your choice) can help with this.

Hang in there. You are doing a better job than you think. Only about 10% of our thoughts are conscious, so no wonder we feel like we are often on autopilot, because we are! Parents are constantly juggling priorities, making decisions big and small. Add things like a bit of sleep deprivation, a house move or a sick loved one to the list and it is no wonder we often feel overwhelmed.

Yours in overwhelm!



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