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Tips For Managing Your Time And Your Family

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During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, we are all being pulled in many directions while trying to balance work, family, and self while being at home. Busy is not the word to describe the sensation of sheer mental overload that many of us are experiencing. The only way to make things work is by learning some helpful tips and tricks that can turn you into a time management ninja. You'll be amazed by what you can achieve in a few minutes with some practice. Here are a few of the tips I've learned over the past several months that have helped me maintain balance and keep me from feeling completely overwhelmed.

Learn To Say No
We are socially conditioned not to say no and to seek approval from others. It's OK to say no. It's necessary to say no. We can't do everything for everyone all the time. Saying no nicely and diplomatically by having a few responses prepared that you can use is a skill that will change your life. Your time is your most precious resource, so don't feel bad for protecting and prioritizing it. You are teaching your kids and others in your life valuable lessons about boundaries in the process.

Forget The Multitasking Myth
We've also been raised to believe that productive people multi-task, but actually you get much better results when you focus on a single task at a time. Not only can you produce higher quality work, but you can also have the mental satisfaction of knowing something is complete and not nagging at the edges of your attention all the time. 

Be Present
Practicing mindfulness is a huge asset to busy parents, because it trains you to focus on the moment and not always be mentally distracted. Being present with your kids and giving them your full attention when they aren't at daycare or in school is crucial for their emotional development. It also helps you to switch off a little and not to feel overwhelmed all the time. If you know you give focus to each thing in turn, life becomes a lot simpler.

Share The Responsibility
Are you taking on too much? We kid ourselves that overloading our to do list shows that we care or that it's 'easier' to do things ourselves, but that just leads to burnout. I am very guilty of this. I do it because I want everything done that way I want it done. Often it's an excuse to try and control a situation, because uncertainty makes us nervous. I am learning to accept that I can't control everything and let other people take on some responsibility to ease my burden.


Make Time For You
Usually we become the last thing on our own lists, and that has to stop. Taking time for self care is not selfish - it's actually very necessary to look after yourself in order to be able to help others. But how do you honor this when your task list is growing by the minute? The answer lies in scheduling time for you like you would any other commitments. Even if it's just half an hour to read a book, take a long bath, or go for a run, giving yourself the mental space to relax and be you is vital.

There's no doubt that we perform a juggling act each and every day. And while some days it all works perfectly, on other days it's natural to feel that it's all coming apart. Learning to be more forgiving and accepting of yourself and recognizing the enormity of your roles as a parent and as someone with a career is hugely important. You got this, mama!

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