At Childventures, we see busy parents every single day and these are 7 tips that we often recommend to help manage a child’s busy schedule.
1. Write Everything Down
In your phone or a notebook, write down any scheduling detail that comes to mind. Many of us write down significant events but not the minor ones. More often than not, the smallest details are the first things to slip our minds. If you see that there is construction starting and you have to take a different route or add an additional 10 minutes to your commute, write it down!
2. Prep Whenever You Can
Prepare the night before as much as you can for the next morning. Now that children are back in the classroom, parents are once again having the morning rush of packing lunches and school bags. Prepare whatever you can in the calm of the night before, you’ll thank yourself in the morning!
3. Leave Yourself Notes
As a continuation of writing everything down, leave yourself notes throughout your home. On the front door, have a list of items you need to remember every time you leave the house. Check it quickly as you’re leaving to avoid the endless back and forth from the car to the house as you forget your keys, mask, sippy cup, soother…..
4. Separate Quick Tasks from Lengthy Ones
Sometimes when looking at your to-do list, you’ll have ‘call grandma back’ and ‘go grocery shopping’ next to each other. These tasks are vastly different in terms of time and effort. Separating the ‘quick’ tasks will make them seem less daunting as you will see that while you might have 12 tasks that day, only two are lengthy ones.
5. Don’t Forget About Yourself
We have an entire blog post on how to de-stress as a busy parent. Fitting time for yourself into your routine is vital to ensure that you are able to keep up with your schedule and be present for your child. Set up a babysitter, go to the gym, read a book. Do whatever it takes to carve out a section of your day to devote entirely to your own self interest.
6. Time Block Tasks
Some tasks seem as though they are going to take forever, or you know that if you get started, you could get carried away and lose half the evening. For tasks that have no specific ‘end’ like tidying the living room or organizing some files, designate a certain amount of time and then walk away from it.
7. Encourage Your Child to Help Plan and Prepare
As you follow through each of the tips discussed, encourage your child to help you. Have them write notes for themselves, or share their weekly schedule so that they can have it in their rooms. This will make them an active participant in their own routines and will prevent (at least some) of the last minute ‘mom I forgot my homework’ as you are two minutes away from the school!
These are just 7 of the tips that we often encourage families to consider at our centres as they look for ways to manage their child’s busy schedule. We have found that these small adjustments add up to big results. If you try anything that we’ve recommended, let us know! What is the best scheduling tip that you have?