Friday, May 11, 2018

Helpful Tips for Working Parents

If you are reading this, it is likely that you have multiple to-do lists, paperwork stacked up to the ceiling sat on your desk, and a house full of hungry mouths to feed. Being a parent is a rewarding experience, but there are always tough days, and juggling raising children with your career can seem near impossible at times. If you are feeling overwhelmed at having to juggle a jam-packed schedule while trying to look after your kids to the best of your ability, here are a few helpful tips for working parents which you might find useful to help you through.

Share the workload

Juggling a thousand items on your to-do list might seem impossible when you’re doing it alone, but the more people who you have supporting you to share the burden, the easier it will become. Simply sharing the responsibilities equally between yourself and a partner can make life a little easier, but don’t be afraid to enlist the support of everyone you can in the home to help you get everything done. Depending on their ages, there are lots of chores which children can get involved in.

Many parents take the mindset that jobs will get done quicker if they do it themselves, but don’t forget that by getting your kids involved, you are also keeping them busy, meaning that you don’t have to divide your attention as much between them and all of the other things you are trying to get done. Young children can help out by tidying all of their toys into a box, and as kids get older, they can start doing more, such as stripping their own beds, putting their own clothes away and even helping out with the dusting. Simple incentives can turn what seems like a chore into a worthwhile activity for children, so consider creating some sort of reward chart to capture their interests.

Get organized

While having kids can mean that the house is often in a state of disarray, try and create stations or ‘zones’ around the home for certain objects, in order to keep the house a little more organized. This will create more efficiency when you are trying to find things on the go, and will also make it easier to keep the house tidy. For instance, if you have a set room, or area within a room, where children can play, then all of their toys will be kept in that zone. This will make it easier to tidy each zone around the home, as nothing will stray too far from its original place. A great method for organizing children’s items is to give each child a labeled or color-coded box or storage area, where they can keep all of the toys which belong to them. This not only reduces arguments or bickering when it comes to determining who owns what but will also mean that when it comes to tidying away, they each know where they are supposed to put their possessions.

It is worthwhile having your own box, or at least an easily accessible station, where you can keep all of the items which you frequently need, or which you need to have easily accessible when you are on the go. Keeping this storage facility near the door means that your wallet, briefcase, keys, and everything else which usually gets misplaced within the depths of the house, will then be easy to find when you are in a rush.

Create lists

It may seem like a simple concept, but keeping a regularly updated to-do list will really help you keep on track with all of the tasks which you need to get completed. When you have a really busy schedule, it is easy to forget to do the important tasks, no matter how many times you’ve reminded yourself throughout the day. It doesn’t take much to keep a note of all the tasks which you’ve got to do, and in the long run, you’ll be saving yourself time, as you won’t have to keep backtracking and trying to finish errands which you had forgotten about. Make sure to keep all of your notes in one book though, as a lot of people have a tendency to write notes on lots of separate bits of paper, which are easily misplaced.

Make sure to prioritize all of your jobs, using a number system or similar organizational code to sort them into the order of importance, so you know which task needs to be completed first. It can be incredibly useful to get the whole family to keep a record of all of their important events or commitments as well. A family planner or some sort of noticeboard can be a great tool for allowing everyone to add their upcoming events into, so that everyone knows what is happing on a set day, decreasing the chance of someone overbooking.

Practice multitasking

Not everyone is a great multitasker, but thinking of ways increase your efficacy when you have an endless workload could be the difference between a good night’s sleep and a restless one. Multitasking doesn’t mean you have to magically grow extra arms and complete the washing up while simultaneously checking your children’s homework. At its core, the art of multitasking simply means finding ways to get the most out of your activities.

For example, while you are in the bathroom waiting for the bath to run, you could spend a few minutes wiping down the sides in the bathroom or cleaning around the sink. If you have to get a train to work, then make yourself a breakfast which can be eaten on the go, saving yourself time in the morning before you leave the house. Altogether, adopting these simple tasks could save you a lot of time throughout the day, meaning you can take those extra ten minutes to relax in the evening after everything has been taken care of. If you really aren’t a multitasker, then try to make sure you go through all of your tasks in as time conserving an order as possible. For instance, rather than skipping from one area of the house to another when you’re tidying up, make your way around in order.

Find ways to save time

You may feel like you are doing everything as efficiently as you can, but sometimes it is easy to overlook areas where you might be able to save time. Consider spending a week or so keeping a note of your daily schedule, and recording accurate timings for your day. Include everything from how long it takes you get ready for work in the morning, to how long you spend doing the housework, and how much time is left over for yourself at the end of the day before you go to sleep. This makes a great starting point for figuring out ways to improve upon your current schedule and will pinpoint specific areas you may wish to work on: you might just be surprised at how much time you spend doing certain tasks.

For example, you might discover that while doing the food shopping only takes forty minutes, getting the kids in the car and completing the drive to the store and back again could take an additional forty minutes out of your day. Therefore, in this situation, you could benefit from changing how you shop, such as by changing to a different store or shopping online. While you might think this may limit your shopping freedom, there are a lot of different shopping sites online to choose from. You can even get your medication delivered to you through the Canada mail order pharmacy, making it easier to stock your medicine cabinet. Plus, utilizing price comparison sites means that you can find the cheapest places to buy your groceries, allowing you to save money on your shops as you go.

Don’t put off tasks

It is easy as a parent to respond to most requests with “In a minute” or “I’ll do it later,” because when there is no time in the day, sometimes you need to push things back in order to finish the task you are currently focusing on. However, the longer you put tasks off, the easier it becomes to forget and to then be in a rush to get them done when you remember them later on. If you are faced with a task which, while inconvenient, will only take a few moments to complete, then more often than not, it is easier to just get it done straight away. A good example of this would be having to fill in some paperwork, or sign a permission slip for your child’s school trip. Get these tasks done straight away, and they won’t become a problem later on.

It is also useful to make sure you store items away correctly as soon as they have been completed so that they don’t get lost in the abyss of the house. Paperwork especially can be extremely easy to misplace, so create an easy to navigate filing system for yourself, and place everything away as soon as you can in order to avoid later distress.

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