Organizing your personal schedule can be challenging by itself. Add to that the schedules of multiple children and any number of their activities, and you could spend days trying to keep track of everything that needs to get done.
The key to managing multiple schedules is having the right tools and the right mindset. Here are six tips and tactics for time management for parents:
- Select the “right” calendar. Choosing the right scheduling calendar can make all the difference. Is your family always on the go? If you use a calendar via the Internet, consider saving your family calendar on the Cloud – a number of free options are available. Many, such as the Google Calendar, have reminder features that can schedule alerts on your smart phone, so that you never have to worry about missing an appointment.
- Use your calendar for pre-event reminders. When adding items to your calendar, don’t simply put an event’s date. Think about everything that you will have to do ahead of that date. For example, if your child plans to attend a birthday party next weekend, add a reminder to go shopping for a birthday present before or during that week.
- Schedule time for scheduling. Consider setting aside some time each week to review your calendar for the coming days. Not only could this help you to better anticipate what you have coming down the pipeline, but it also may help you to find time-slot opportunities for using your time more efficiently.
- Delegate. You don’t have to do everything yourself. When looking at your calendar, contemplate which tasks you could assign to other family members. For example, could your significant other pick up one child from soccer practice while you take another other child to dance lessons? Team work makes the dream work.
- Prioritize. Understand what absolutely needs to get done and what can wait. Consider sorting your to-do list into three sections: items that need to be taken care of immediately, items that can get done sometime during the week, and items that are long-term or ongoing.
- Have a “Plan B.” It’s unlikely that everything will go exactly according to your schedule, but having a back-up plan ready “in case of emergency” can help to give you peace of mind. This could be as simple as having a family friend on standby in case your child needs a ride, for example. Consider being your friend’s emergency contact, too, in case he or she is ever in a jam.