Family Time Management: Get the Chaos Under Control!

Written by Domantas Vanagas

November 2, 2021

If you have ever hustled kids from one activity to another after school only to stop at a fast-food restaurant in between sports practices to make sure your kids get dinner, you know that family time management is crucial.

It is challenging to manage your family’s time and ensure that everything gets done during the day. There aren’t even enough hours in the day sometimes but it does not have to be impossible. 

This guide for parents puts together seven foolproof tips to help you and your families manage school, activities, meals, and family time easier. 

But first of all…

 

How Do You Handle a Busy Family?

Handling a busy family can be challenging for any parent. With many after-school activities, homework, dinner, chores, and lots more, there is a lot to make sure you have noted on the schedule. 

The following tips will help you to get the most of your time as a family by setting up a perfectly organized plan and a schedule. Here you go: 

 

Setting yourself and your family up for success at mealtime

Mealtime can be one of the biggest sources of conflict for families with children.

There is nothing worse than 5 o’clock rolling around and realizing that you have no idea what to make for dinner or that the fridge is empty.

Constant trips to the grocery store and takeout food are expensive and take away from time you could be spending as a family.

Creating a menu for each week and then meal planning is one of the best ways to make dinner time easy and fun.

You and your husband and the kids should sit down and talk about what they want for dinner for the previous week.

Involving the kids in this decision will ensure that they enjoy dinner too. Once you have a menu, create a shopping list and put the menu in the kitchen where everyone can see it for the week.

Once you’ve created your list and gone shopping, it’s time to meal prep.

Meal prepping can be done in a lot of different ways, and it’s up to you to decide what works best for you. Some families cook all their meals on the Sunday before the busy week starts and pre-portion them so that all you have to do at dinner time is reheat.

three prepared meals

If that sounds like too much prep for you, another option is to prep all the ingredients for each meal.

Cut the veggies, cook the rice, marinade the meat, and have all your ingredients labeled in the fridge so that you can pull out everything and get cooking after school.

Whatever way works for you is the best way for your family. The most important thing is that you feel like you are set up for success to feed everyone for the week without the chaos.

 

Accessing How Much Time You Have and Where You Lack it

Before you start making a family schedule, you need to figure out where things are currently going wrong with the current one.

  • Are you taking your kids to after-school activities that start simultaneously on opposite ends of town?
  • Is your husband getting stuck with all the household chores because you are trying to put the kids to bed?
  • Does your family feel like they never see each other or never know what’s gone on in each other’s day?

These are all important questions to answer.

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of making your entire family schedule, make a list of what is working and what’s not about the way you currently are managing everyone’s time.

 

Prioritizing Activities

Prioritizing activities is something that the whole family should be involved in.

Sit down with everyone and make a list for each person in your house. Kids, husband, Mom, everyone should have their list.

Have everyone list out what activities they enjoy the most.

Maybe your kids need to focus on their homework, you love gardening in the afternoons, and your husband has to mow your lawn twice a week.

Have everyone list 1-3 activities that are the most important to them.

This activity will help you prioritize what needs to come first when you sit down to make your schedule.

 

Making a Schedule

Once you have prioritized activities, the next step in time management is to make a schedule that works for all family members.

Make sure to account for every family member’s schedule. Write down every activity that you participate in or chores that you need to do.

It is also very important to include the prioritized activities from the previous tip. That way, if there is an overlapping schedule or you need to cut out activities to make everyone’s schedule work, you know what you can cut and what is essential.

Once you have made your schedule, go over it with your kids so everyone knows what is going on and when they are supposed to be doing certain tasks.

One tip from my own experience would be to print out a paper calendar and put it in a place where everyone can see it.

For example, a fridge. If your kids are old enough, you can also give them a copy of the schedule. 

Note: Please take a picture of the schedule and save it to your phone. Believe me, you need to do this!

 

Set Limits on Screen Time

One of the biggest ways a schedule can fall apart is if your family is absorbed into a screen when things around the house are supposed to be happening.

While a tv show or movie at the end of the day might be a great way to help your kids wind down for the night, too much screen time can leave young children overstimulated.

locked phone and computer

Setting limits on how much screen time your kids are allowed to have every day, with different limits for the weekend and the weekdays, will help with family time management.

There are plenty of activities you could be doing instead of looking at a screen.

Spending time together outside or even learning something new indoors is also beneficial for you and your kids! 

Talk to your kids about the screen time limits and make sure they know when they are allowed to be on a screen. If your kids know when screen time is allowed, it will hopefully be easier to transition to other activities when the time comes.

 

Make it Fun for the Kids

If you tell your kids that you will work on family time management, they probably aren’t going to be leaping up to help you. But if you find ways to make it fun and include them, they will be more willing to stick to the plan and help you keep the day moving.

Involving them in decisions is a great way to make it fun. 

Have them decide what days family game night will be on and what day of the week you will have a movie party. Or let them decide if they will do soccer or baseball and if they want to go to the park or have a play date. 

Involving them in decisions and giving them options will help them feel like they are a part of the time management and give them a sense of responsibility.

 

Splitting up Chores

How to get the whole family involved in household tasks?

Getting every family member involved in chores can make the week go smoothly. A chore board is a great way to make sure everything is getting done on time.

One family member can’t manage everything by themselves, but if you divide the tasks, the workload can feel light.

The key to success is to delegate family chores efficiently, so it feels like it is a part of a routine for everybody.

Even little kids can help pick up toys or put clothes into a drawer, and it helps to build responsibility from an early age.

children helping parents by washing dishes

Decide who has free time at what hours of the day and then give chores accordingly. If you are making dinner, make sure that someone else is doing dishes while younger kids help clear the table or help sweep the kitchen. 

Write down all of the household tasks on the chore board. Assign them to different family members and leave a note when they need to be done. 

The results are going to be incredible if you stay consistent. Not only you will create a productive routine, but you will also learn a lot from each other.

 

How to Create a Recipe for Family Success

Putting all the above time management family tips together will help to be more efficient and in the endless stress. Time management is a fundamental personal development skill that everyone should learn. It is the only thing that we are not going to get more, so make the most of it. 

Family relationships are important, and having a calendar and a plan for time management will help you to make time for each other.

 

 

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