How Working parents can Improve Their Time Management Skills


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One of the most important skills any working parent, carer, nurse etc needs is to have is time management. Without good time management, you will find it very hard to get everything done and still have some time for yourself, which is crucial if you want to stay happy and healthy. Time management also means being able to help those who rely on us, such as our children, work colleagues, and patients better and be there for our team or family when needed.

This may sound simple as time management doesn’t appear to be much of a challenge at first glance. However, the truth is time management is only easy when you don’t have a lot of things to do and plenty of time in which to do them, otherwise it's a pretty hard balance to achieve. This is often the opposite of how many working parents see their day as they have lots to do and in a very small window of time to get it all done. Therefore, time management is not only more important but more difficult to get right.

With that in mind, how can we improve our time management skills to ensure we don’t burn ourselves out in the process? Although it will be hard to do, it will also be worth all the effort, and here are some ways to get started.

Set Achievable Goals

One of the best ways to achieve good time management is to set achievable goals. When you do this, your productivity levels will increase, and your stress levels will reduce. The keyword here is ‘achievable’. Whether the goals are large or small, short-term or long-term, as long as they are things you can definitely achieve, they will be beneficial to you and your time management aims. If they are more difficult, perhaps even so large that you don’t know where to start, they won’t help at all and will just make things worse, causing stress and anxiety.

Start with your ultimate long-term goal. What do you want out of your career or family life for example? Where do you want to be in five, ten, or more years? Once you have this in mind, you can work backwards, setting yourself smaller goals in the short-term that, once you have achieved them all, will ensure you can also achieve your ultimate goal. By breaking this larger goal down into different parts, each one achievable on its own, you’ll find you are better able to focus on each one – one by one – and, once you have completed one task, you can move on to the next, gradually working your way up.

Not only does this approach ensure that you eventually reach your end goal, but it also means you can become better at time management. Rather than one vague future goal that seems too big to plan for, you’ll have smaller goals that can all be fitted into a schedule, giving you time to work on each one and not neglect your roles. You’ll be a lot less stressed, and you’ll have a roadmap to follow to get you where you want to be.

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Implement a Routine

While not everyone is a fan of the routine (like myself), especially when no two days look the same and you are juggling a lot on your plate, when it comes to time management and making work (and life) easier for yourself, routines are important

By ensuring you have something of a routine, albeit a flexible one that you can adapt as you go along if need be, depending on your working day, you can give yourself a framework to employ better time management. For example, if you always take breaks at about the same time (again, you may need to be flexible, as this will depend on how busy things are in your department), plan this into your day so that you can also plan everything else around it. 

Making routines for yourself means that work becomes easier, as you’ll be able to become more efficient thanks to practice, and potentially even muscle memory being part of what you do. With all this added together, you can see how routines will help you and how you can benefit from having at least a little bit of routine in your working life, whether you enjoy it or not.

Learn Remotely

The majority of people these days have to continue their education, be it training for work or work-related courses that are going to advance in their careers. Even those who are happy where they are and aren’t interested in going further need to keep learning; there are always new ideas and innovations being developed in most industries.

The issue with gaining this knowledge is that it takes time, particularly if you want to obtain qualifications, in what. is an already busy schedule. This adds a lot of strain to your life and can make time management difficult when there are classes to factor in as well as assignments to consider.

The best solution, if possible, is to learn remotely. Online courses mean you can work at your own pace and gain the qualifications you need, this could be an IT or marketing course, parenting-related courses, safeguarding or any nursing role you might be interested in while you’re working. Because you can choose when you study, it’s easier to ensure you can still have good time management because everything is so flexible. When there is flexibility involved, deadlines are less problematic, time management becomes less stressful, and routines can more easily be formed.

If you are going back to education or are in the middle of study while also parenting then make use of the tools and support available to you both online and in person. Course Hero is a fantastic online learning platform that helps you make the most of course-specific study resources and allows you to get help from expert tutors at Course Hero, 24/7, so you make the most of your course in a time-efficient way. 


Take Time To Rest

Burnout from overwork can be a big problem. There is a lot of pressure on working parents to get things right and although it can be hugely rewarding, it can be easy for burnout to occur and that can have a knock-on effect on your work and home life.

When you think about time management, it’s likely you only think of it in terms of how it can benefit your productivity and help you to become more efficient. However, you can also use good time management to ensure that you leave enough time to rest and relax and to effectively unwind and be more present with your family and home life.

Delegate Work

No one can do everything by themselves, sometimes, it’s best to ask for help if you need it and to delegate work when you are able to. If you have a lot to do and there is someone else who is ready to work but doesn’t have a task, give them some of your duties. 

Having a strong support network is an important part of the working parent's life. You need to be able to work well with the team around you and get help from them, as well as give help whenever you can. The more you work with people, the easier this will be, and if you’re truly having problems with the workload or anything else, always ask someone for advice, whether that’s a colleague, a manager, or a mentor. There is no reason to hide your issues, especially when there is always something that can be done to make things more positive.

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