How To Achieve Time Management Success For Parents

Time ManagementYou need to drop the kids off at daycare or school, commute to work, will face big deadlines at the office, figure out what to make for dinner, fold the laundry, find time to shuttle the kids to soccer practice … being a parent requires a huge time commitment which can also lead to huge stress. As parents raising families in a hectic world, it is becoming increasingly important to learn ways to manage time efficiently and effectively in order to achieve balance in life. The tips below can help you achieve time management success – and a little breathing room, too:

Plan It

You need groceries, your daughter has soccer practice on Tuesday, and your son has swimming on Thursdays, and you go to work every day. These are constants in your life, so with a little work, you will need to be able to account for them. Use a calendar that everyone can see to write down the week’s events. Have a family huddle once a week so that everyone knows what is going on and assign tasks to everyone to help make family life smoother and happier.

Add Some Buffer

Of course, you can plan as much as you want, but as the saying goes, life can get in the way. How can you deal with this? Add some buffer. For example, that crisis at work may prevent you from getting the chicken for tonight’s dinner, so what to do? When cooking, make extra and freeze it – your buffer is in the form of food. If you need to pick your daughter up at school, add an extra 15 minutes to account for delays – your buffer is in the form of time. Adding a buffer in whatever form is a great way to manage your time while preventing stress.

Just Say No/Prioritize

Art classes, hockey practice, extra courses for work, having that gourmet meal…sometimes you cannot do it all. And that’s OK. But, you need to learn to say no. Before saying no, you should make sure that you are saying no to the correct items. Eating dinner – you need to do that. The last course for your MBA – you need that, but can you delay it? If so, what are you delaying it for? Make a list of the family’s priorities and determine what must be done, what is nice to have, and what can fall by the wayside.


A great and cost-effective way to manage time is to trade. For example, perhaps if you look after a neighbor’s child one week, they will look after yours the next. This one can be tricky because of the nature of people’s relationships and their propensity to reciprocate, but if it works – go for it!


For those tasks that just can’t be avoided, another option is to outsource. A cleaning person can deal with your house, groceries can be delivered, and a student can look after your child one afternoon a week. These methods don’t have to be long-term solutions either; just the occasional help to get through a rough week at work or a stubborn cold that drained your energy.

Let It Go!

You have dust bunnies. You ate cereal for dinner. In the grand scheme of things, do they really matter? Learning to let go of the minor things, just for a while, is a valuable time management strategy because you only have so much time, and you should use some of it to relax and not worry. Not every little thing needs to be done!

Though it doesn’t feel like it when you’re in the trenches, but the hectic pace of being a parent doesn’t last forever. But while you’re there, successful time management will go a long way to having a happier, or at least less stressful, home life.

Image credit:  Simona Balint