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Why You Can't Manage Time

Posted by Michelle Forster on 31 October 2019 11:28:49 AM
How often do you lie in bed in the morning thinking to yourself: 'I wish I could just get one more hour of sleep?' Or perhaps you have just sat down at 9pm and realised that it was first time today that you have been able to take a 'breath' after rushing around working and managing the kids all day. Or you realise you have spent a large share of the day mentally plotting who has to do what by when, and worrying that you have missed something. This juggling of self, work and family along with the 'mental load', this constant emotional labour of being on top of things, is impacting many a working parent's physical and mental health.
According to the findings of an Australian survey of 6000 parents and carers, (National Working Families Report) 62% of parents have difficulties managing their own physical and mental health. 1/2 of all mums say they are under a lot of stress or a great deal of stress. It is not surprising to hear, that as a consequence, 1 in 4 mums report that they have considered or are actively intending to leave their job in the next 12 months.


Some may suggest that you should just get more productive with your time, that you can manage time better. 

But time is finite each day. It has a limit. There are 24 hours in a day. Time can't be controlled. What we can control are the choices that we make on how to spend our time.


Managing time implies 'I must work harder, smarter to manage time better'. When we focus on 'our choices with time' we instead ask 'does this task deserve my time'. This shifts from being at fault or at blame to about empowerment and self worth.

For a busy parent, to get yourself an hour of me time, relaxing time or quality time with your family there a 4 clear choices that you can make.

Before we look a these choices, let's first understand 'what is the value of 1 hour of my time?'

So with this in mind, let's look at these 4 choices:
1. Choose not to do the task
If it is not important or not urgent - choose not to do the task today. Ask yourself, does this task deserve my time today? Is it worth $68?
2. Choose to share the task with family
You don't have to do it all. Get the kids to help take the washing off the line. Unpack the dishwasher. Help cook dinner. I know initially this is not easy to do and sometimes it feels like more work than if you just did it yourself - but it will pay dividends in the longer term. 
3. Choose to agree on a task plan with your partner (if you have one)
Sit down with your partner and together draw up a list of the chores. Agree in how you are going to split them and most importantly, how are both of you are going to schedule some 'me-time' in your calendar. Best case, you can schedule an hour a day or, worst case, an hour a week of 'self care'. This is time to do as you want, how you need.
In my experience this is actually harder than it sounds. I found in my family, it was always so easy to slip into the routine of just doing the task without question. And as a mum that shoulders a large proportion of the responsibility for household tasks, this can really wear you down overtime. Be brave, have that open discussion and schedule your 'me time'. You are worth it.
4. Choose to outsource the task
There are a number of reasons why I think only 1 in 5 of Australian households outsource a household task that they find time consuming and unenjoyable. Cost is a big factor, along with 'it takes too much effort' and 'can I justify it' being other reasons.
Let's look at it another way. We have already established that at a minimum, your time is worth $68 an hour. If a cleaner costs $50, you are better off by $18 each week. If it takes 3 hours to find and set up the cleaner then your 'payback' is within 4 weeks. And we haven't added the emotional benefits into this simple equation! Your time is worth it, you can justify it - you are important.

It takes on average 2 hours a week for a parent, with 2 busy children to manage the family's schedules

Going through newsletters, emails, apps, documents, portals... Trying to stay on top of all school and kids activities.... Being solely responsible for working out who is doing what, when and what do they need to do or bring is more time consuming than you may realise! It is also adds to your ever churning mental load - 'have I done this, who, when what'...

At myWhānau, from $4 a week, we can manage your household diary, giving you back these precious 2 hours, reduce your stress and mental load  - learn how 

Family on the grass


Family standing amongst the greenery


Family watching Tv in front of the couch



#wegotyourback     #familycalendar     #mywhanaufamilyassistant     #timemanagement    #savingtime    #worklifebalance 

Michelle Forster

Written by Michelle Forster

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