Following on from tips to help with time management, Carey Ann from Explore Learning shares advice for prioritisation and offers a free downloadable planner to help you move away from unachievable to-do lists and maximise family time.
Do you find you have an overflowing to do list?
Are you prone to setting yourself an unrealistic amount of things to achieve in a day?
Do you wish there was more family time in your week?
I have found one approach to list making that avoids unachievable ‘to-do lists’ and maximises family time. This approach to prioritisation involves planning a week in advance and encourages you to give yourself a maximum of four tasks per area of responsibility.
This helps you to think about the bigger-picture and when you’re planning a week ahead you naturally focus on the important things. It’s amazing how much free time you’ll feel you have. You’ll get things done, feel more efficient and avoid unhelpful distractions.
Here’s an example:
Why not make your weekly priority list the family planner? Having a one stop shop for all family activities is really useful. Whether that’s a shared calendar online or one stuck to the fridge, it helps everyone communicate better and know what is happening. Hopefully it also ensures that events don’t get forgotten in the midst of all the other family admin.
If you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, then it might be time for a bit of analysis. Figure out where you’re losing time to something that doesn’t contribute to the important things in your life. Is it scrolling through social media? Getting distracted by your phone? Forgetting what you came upstairs for, for the 20th time? (If only my brain wasn’t such a time waster!)
It can be hard to turn down invitations or requests for help from colleagues, friends, family members or school. You need to consider if you are easing someone else’s burden at the expense of your own. The main question to ask is: is it important? Will it make a difference to your life goals by fulfilling it? If it doesn’t tick this box, then you need to politely decline.
Taking control of notifications on my phone has been really empowering. I don’t want my phone to rule my life so turning off social media notices means I only look at it when I have time, the same goes for email. I check it daily when it suits me, not every time something pings through. When I really need to focus then airplane mode goes on. As long as a form of emergency contact remains available then I feel comfortable being a bit disconnected for chunks of the day.
For more tips to help with the work and family juggle, read Time Management Tips for Busy Parents
For 20 years Explore Learning has been delivering award-winning English and maths tuition for children aged 4-14. Do get in touch if we can support you and your child with any part of their learning journey.