We’ve all been there. You want to get your family planner organized and teach your kids time management skills in one fell swoop, but life happens. It gets messy and before you know it, you’re further behind than you were when you began. Here at Hearth, we aim to make your life easier and more full. No, not in a pack your calendar kind of way, but in a more enjoyable kind of way! Whether you’re a working mom or a busy parent on the go, here are some time management tips and tricks to kickstart your family planner.
1) Make the Family Planner Accessible to All
You want your family to use and abide by it right? Come into the 21st century! Drop the paper planner that only lives in your bag and use a digital wall calendar that everyone can see. Hearth Display makes it to where you and your family will notice what is going on that day, without being an eyesore. Hearth is more than just a pretty face though. It lets you and your kids visualize your days, weeks, and months at a glance. No more asking “how many more days until Timmy’s birthday party” - they can check the touch screen display themselves. Besides the fact that it can connect to your phone and hold your master to-do list, one of our favorite parts is that it is color coordinated. Each family member is assigned a hue, so it is very user friendly and designed in a way that even the youngest family member can begin to grasp it.Visualizing your day can not only make it run more smoothly, but also has a huge impact on success.*
*Still not sold on a digital family planner? Here are three reasons why you should consider it.
2) Create a routine to establish balance
It’s proven that both kids and parents benefit from established routines, so why are they so hard to instill? Instead of looking at each task as a hurdle, try viewing them as a door to open opportunities. Don’t think you have to go about it alone. Try getting your kids involved. Start small and try a fun game or alliteration to help them remember. Who knows? Perhaps “Take-out the Trash Tuesday” will become one of their favorite tasks. Creating customs for your home will keep it a little less chaotic, while teaching your kids (and you!) the importance of time management and follow through. Need more help mastering your family morning routine? Check out these 5 tips here.
3) Block time to make it more valuable
Have you ever heard of time blocking? Time blocking is the practice of planning out every moment of your day in advance and dedicating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks and responsibilities. It is basically like a budget for your time.Just like you don’t want to spend more money than you have, you shouldn’t try to spend more time than you have either. Doing so usually leads to stress and burnout, among other unpleasant things. It sounds intense, but time blocking actually helps you focus and feel more productive. We personally love time blocking here at Hearth, because it helps us stay on track and not get distracted. It’s also nice to look back at to see what we accomplished that day or even that quarter. Unsure when you had “that discussion” or wrote that SOP? Search your family planner and it will tell you. Don’t forget that time blocking doesn’t have to be just for work. We time block our lunch breaks, workout classes, and family fun things too!
4) Learn to say noWe were very tempted to just leave this section as is, because it really is that simple. Period. Protect your family calendar and keep that white space in your family planner. You don’t have to say yes to everything. In fact you shouldn’t say yes to everything. Guard your schedule and your kids will learn to protect their schedule as well. You can try every time management trick in the book, but if you keep filling your family planner to the brim, you’ll be overworked and overwhelmed.
5) Don’t be afraid to delegateAs a busy parent this seems hard. We know, Whether it is your partner, a close friend, or family member, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is yet another intangible skill to teach your kid in addition to (#4) saying no. If your children are old enough, try giving them tasks to complete. Hearth has a chore chart and reward system that is kid tested and approved. It may seem easier and faster to do things for them, but this will teach them time management and hold them accountable. It might take longer in the beginning, but they will take this lesson with them throughout life.
Now that we have given you the keys to master your family planner, put them to work and unlock the possibilities. Just don’t forget (we are sure you won’t) that things don’t always go as planned. Whether it is a meeting that runs long or traffic on the way to pick up the kids from school, something is bound to throw a wrench in your plans every now and then. Take these not-so-fun instances and use them to teach your kids to roll with the punches. Just like it is important for your children to learn time management and to instill routines, it is also important for them to learn to be adaptable and roll with the punches. Don’t forget to remind yourself of this too!