Maximize Your Time, Minimize Your Stress

Do you ever wish there were more hours in the day? Wouldn’t it be nice if your to-do list had fewer to-dos? While neither of these may be realistic options, with effective time management, it is possible to make the most of each day while minimizing your stress.

We’ve all experienced the growing pile of dirty laundry, the dwindling supply of after school snacks and exhaustion that not enough coffee in the world could overcome. The ambition we feel on Monday morning soon turns into “I’ll do it later” or “it can wait.” Countless activities, chores and appointments fill your schedule faster than you can fill your little one’s backpack as they run after the bus.

However, it is possible to overcome the challenges that leave you feeling run down and worn out. Take a moment (or ten) to yourself and read the following tips that are guaranteed to make you more efficient and less stressed.

Establish a Routine

It’s 7am on a school day. What does your house look like? Is your daughter lying on the bedroom floor because she wants to wear a tutu instead of jeans? Is big brother hiding under the covers, despite your threats to pour cold water on his head? If breakfast consists of granola bars and spilled milk in the car, it’s time to establish a better routine.

Allow extra time in the morning and make sure each child knows what their responsibilities in the morning are. It’s crucial that they are in bed at a decent hour – this can make a big different when it comes to waking them up. It is recommended that grade school children sleep 9 to 11 hours per night. Once they’re up, make sure they know what is expected of them and when. Consider having them write out the following list so they can learn responsibility and how to manage their time.

  • Make bed
  • Use the bathroom
  • Change clothes
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush teeth and brush hair
  • Pack lunch
  • Pack bag and put on socks and shoes

A similar list can be used after school as well.

  • Put away backpack
  • Put shoes away
  • Clean out lunchbox
  • Wash hands
  • Have a snack
  • Do homework
  • Complete chores

Team Up with Other Parents

Even if you’re a parent of one, it can feel like a full house when you’re trying to get things done and your child wants someone to play with them, help with homework or prepare a snack. Dividing your attention isn’t a very effective way to get anything done – never less give your child the attention they deserve.

Consider teaming up with other parents you know through school or youth sports to arrange a play date. When you take turns hosting, one parent will have free time to run errands or do chores while the other will have some freedom at home while the kids entertain one another.

Shop Strategically

Do you find yourself making trips to the store every other day? Whether you need poster board or snacks for the tee ball team, consider taking advantage of curb side pick up and online shopping.

  • Curb side pick up – Both Walmart and Target offer this service, free of charge.
  • Delivery – Instacart and Peapod are two of the most recognized and well known services that will delivery groceries to your door step.
  • Online shopping – We’re all familiar with Amazon, but keep in mind that stores like Target offer delivery options as well.

Schedule Time for Yourself

One of the best ways to become more efficient and less stressed is to schedule time for YOU! Whether that means signing up for a yoga class, sipping wine with friends or seeing a movie with your man, spending time away from the busy-ness will help you maintain a sense of calm and appreciation. Sometimes the best way to move forward isn’t by speeding up, but by slowing down.