Four Effective Ways to Manage a Busy Schedule at Home
I don’t know about you but 2020 has felt extremely chaotic. We all have to manage a busy schedule at home. We have a global pandemic, protests and an upcoming election. On top of it we’re expected to carry our lives on as normal whether it’s at home or work.
Even though a lot of us are at home, it may feel more difficult than ever to stay organized and stick to a routine. Here are four effective ways to manage a busy schedule at home.
1. Organizing your home will keep everyone sane
Ok, hear me on this one. I’m not saying every little thing needs to be in its perfect little place. Having and keeping an organized home will help things flow smoothly in your schedule.
Think about the last time you were looking for something in your home. Did you spend more than five minutes looking for it? This is a key indicator you need organization in your home life.
Do you have children? When’s the last time they asked you to help them find something? If yours are anything like mine it can be on a daily basis!
If it takes more than a few minutes to find something, it’s time to organize your home.
Start by analyzing everything you and your family use on a daily basis. This may include things like school work, technology, food and things you use to get ready on a daily basis.
Create a designated space for each of these items that everyone has access to based on their own needs.
Helpful tips for managing a busy schedule at home:
School work: Each day, have a printed schedule of school work ready to go, along with a pen or pencil to check items off. Keep this schedule with all their school supplies in their book bag in the same place every day. When it’s time for school work, ensure it takes place in the same place every day for consistency and routine.
Technology: Keep electronics in the same location where they won’t be a distraction. This will also ensure they can easily be of use.
Food/meals: Plan each meal throughout the week before you grocery shop. Know ahead of time which meals need more effort and which your family will need easy and quick access to. Shop based on meals, not based on what sounds good. We shop online and have everything delivered to help us stay on task with what we need. This also helps not overspend or get caught in aisles at the grocery store forever.
Daily care items: When it comes to grooming, make sure everything your family needs is kept in the same place. This allows for easy access to routine.
Do you feel like you have to do everything for anything to get done around your house? I certainly suffer from this from time to time.
It’s easy to get so caught up in our habits our schedules start to fill up with lot’s of to do work. These types of tasks can easily be handled by others in your home. They can also be left completely off the table if they are purely busy in nature.
If you have a family, whether it’s a partner, children or both, delegating is crucial. This helps manage a busy schedule at home.
It removes the false belief in our mind that we are the only ones capable of getting anything done.
Sit down with your family and review your daily schedules. If you have young children, sit down with your partner or brainstorm on your own if you’re a single parent.
Whether it seems possible or not, there are things on your list that everyone is capable of doing.
Children actually thrive off of routine and feeling like they are needed as well. Assign duties and make it clear what’s expected of others. You can’t care for anyone else if you can’t care for yourself first, so delegating is an absolute must.
3. Create a daily routine around everyone’s schedule
Pre-pandemic everyone in our home had their own set schedules. We followed our daily routines and went about our lives as we always had. Then the pandemic came on and all that changed.
When everyone had to stay home we quickly realized how chaotic things were. We now had to manage work and school from home.
There are four of us in our home, each requiring different daily schedules. Whether it was meetings or work, there was always something each of us had to do simultaneously.
While it can still be a struggle today, we’ve created daily routines around our schedules.
Whether it’s for school or work, we use working blocks as well as breaks. This involves meetings, work, exercise and eating.
Personally, I like to get up earlier than the kids so I have extra time to get some work done before the day sets in. If you’re a parent, you understand how precious uninterrupted time is when everyone is at home.
Plan your daily household schedule in blocks of time. Here are the main elements of our schedule:
Block one: Jeff and I wake up an hour – two before the kids get up. We practice our individual morning routines while sipping coffee and then work.
Block two: I wake the kids up to eat breakfast and I get back to work.
Block three: I break from working and school work begins.
Block four: Lunch time! We use this time to eat and play/take a break from school/work.
Block five: Kids go into school and I get back to work.
Block six: Pick the kids up from school and play! This involves eating a snack while playing at the park or outside if the weather permits.
Block seven: Eat dinner and enjoy the rest of the evening together.
4. Empower your children
I am the classic mom who thinks I need to do everything under the sun for my children. Whether it’s filling up water bottles or grabbing them snacks (both of which they can easily do), or you name it, I do it!
This gets exhausting real quick. Not to mention keeps you on your feet every minute of the day. Just when you sit down, they ask for the next thing. Which makes sense, because if you’re like me, you’ve shown them you can do everything for them.
While this may seem like the noble thing to do, it only teaches them to be reliant on you and not help themselves. You will feel exhausted and they will keep expecting more.
In my household, I’ve had to asses whether certain activities are even necessary. Or if I just feel the need to keep everyone entertained. Often times I find it’s the latter.
I’ve had to learn to empower my children to help themselves when I can’t be walking away from work every two minutes. Sure, it’s been painful at times and I still work on it.
This has included things like buying easy grab and go snacks or lunches from the store. Or pre-planning activities ahead of time for the day so they know what to expect and how to help themselves.
Children want to be empowered. They need to feel independence just as we want to. Look at your schedule and find the opportunities where you can empower your children.
Summary – Managing a busy schedule at home
No matter what your situation is right now, there is always room to improve our busy home schedules. Did you find this helpful? What are some ways you manage?
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