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Do you ever feel like you need a little help getting it all done?
Do you need help prioritizing your time?
If you’re a homeschooling parent who needs a little help organizing your time, then we would like to invite you to book a free call with us.
Listen To This Episode On The HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast
Listen to this episode about prioritizing your time on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast. We bring you a new episode each and every Tuesday. You can listen to this episode right here, or on Spotify, iTunes, or nearly anywhere that you listen to podcasts. Look for episode #67. Get more when you listen to this conversational podcast episode.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Prioritizing Your Time
Prioritizing your time is what this episode is all about. Every parent has a lot of responsibility on their plate, and as homeschooling parents, we have one additional responsibility.
We are 100% responsible for our children’s education.
With that in mind, we must prioritize our time well.
You already know that prioritizing your time is important, but putting this idea into action is easier said than done.
If you’re like many parents, you’ve struggled with the many responsibilities of being a parent and fitting everything that needs to be completed into the 168 hours we have in a week.
If you are already dismissing the idea of planning your week, then you need this guide.
Planning will save you massive amounts of time.
If you are feeling unorganized and scattered, please don’t dismiss this guide.
Instead, take action.
Progress is better than perfection.
When you repeatedly implement this Step-By-Step Guide To Prioritizing Your Time, you will make progress.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Prioritizing Your Time
Before we get started, be forewarned, it would be easy to get stuck in the beginning steps.
Here’s a suggestion: write down what comes to mind quickly. Don’t get bogged down with details.
When you go through this exercise each week, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect, redirect, and refocus weekly.
This is a cyclical process, one that you will repeat over and over again.
Prioritizing your time will get easier and quicker each time you implement the process.
Step One: Reflect, Redirect, and Refocus
Look at how you really spend your time.
Start by making a list of all the things you do each week.
Include every big and little thing that you can think of.
Organize this list into various sections. Some categories that come to mind are kids, personal, home, marriage, work, social time, errands, and driving time.
Next, take an educated guess about how much time you spend on each activity.
If you want a more accurate account of where and how you spend your time, log your time over the course of a week.
What are the thoughts and feelings that come to mind when you look at where your time is going?
While you might want to judge yourself, consider being curious instead.
Ask yourself “why?”
Why are you spending your time as you do?
The key here is to reflect on how you are spending your time.
Step Two: Become Outcome Aware
Consider the outcomes of the activities and tasks you currently spend your time on.
Will they benefit you or your family at the end of the day, the week, the month, or the year?
Consider which activities have a REALLY LONG TERM BENEFIT.
Which of the activities will your family still benefit from after three, five, ten, or twenty years?
Do you have aspirations for yourself or your family that you don’t spend time on?
Is there anything that you should be doing each week that you aren’t doing?
The purpose of this exercise is to simply become aware of what will happen if you keep doing what you’ve been doing with your time.
You might find that you need to make adjustments to how you are spending your time if you want different results.
Step Three: Brainstorm Your Goals
Think about what you want out of life.
On a piece of paper write down everything that comes to mind.
What will matter at the end of the month, year, and even ten or twenty years later?
On a piece of paper, write down your long-term goals for yourself and your family.
How can you make progress toward your long-term goals over the next year? Write down any ideas that come to mind.
What small, specific, steps can you take toward your long-term goals over the next three months?
Create a few short-term goals that you want to achieve in the next one to three months.
Remind yourself of your goals daily.
Step Four: List Your Priorities
Make a list of who and what matters to you.
List everything you can think of.
Circle three to five items that you want to focus on over the upcoming weeks or months.
Make a list with your highest priority at the top of your list.
Remember to only list your top three to five priorities.
Step Five: Plan To Achieve Your Goals
Here’s how to plan for the following week.
Start by scheduling your number one priority item.
Then schedule your number two, then three, four, and five priorities.
Since you have kids, add buffer time to nearly everything.
Plan for the unexpected.
As parents, we know that things might not go as planned.
Plan an extra slot of time to complete your highest priorities that didn’t get completed when you had them planned.
Reflect, redirect, and refocus.
Reflect on what works and doesn’t with your weekly plan.
Redirect or improve where you can.
Refocus with the following week’s plan.
Remember to plan for the next planning time.
Use a paper or digital calendar to remind you of your plan.
Step Six: Follow Your Plan The Best You Can
Making a plan is great, but implementing your plan will get you results. Remember to use a calendar to remind you of your plan.
With that being said, you have kids, and we all know that everything doesn’t always go as planned. The key to planning with kids is having a routine, letting your kids know what to expect in advance, and leaving buffer time around transition times.
If you haven’t been a planner in the past, this is going to take some effort. Don’t expect miracles the first week. Expect a little frustration and a little progress.
Remember to reflect, redirect, and refocus when you sit down for your next weekly planning session. You are looking for progress, not perfection. Your plan is a roadmap that will have construction and detours along the way.
Review: Step-By-Step Guide To
Prioritizing Your Time
In summary, when you are prioritizing your time, remember the six steps:
Step One: Reflect, Redirect, and Refocus.
Step Two: Be Outcome Aware.
Step Three: Brainstorm Your Goals.
Step Four: List Your Priorities.
Step Five: Plan To Achieve Your Goals.
Step Six: Follow Your Plans The Best You Can.
In essence, you want to align your tasks & activities with your goals and highest priorities.
Keep the activities and tasks that really matter.
Eliminate almost everything out of your life that won’t matter in a year.
Look at the big picture.
Spend your time in ways that move your life and your family’s life forward in the way that you envision.
Finally, there is another concept that bears mentioning as you work on prioritizing your time better.
Learn to kindly say, “No.”
We’re not just talking about your kids here.
It’s important to understand the power of “No.”
When we say, “Yes,” to one thing we are saying, “No,” to something else.
Remember that when you say, “Yes,” to one thing that takes a block of time in your calendar, that you are saying, “No,” to something else that would fill that block of time.
When you learn to say “No,” you are also saying, “Yes,” to your high priority items that align with your goals.
Prioritizing your time allows you to do the things that have the greatest positive impact for your family and community.
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We’ve reserved a limited number of spaces to help homeschooling parents like you get started with prioritizing your time.
Calendars You Might Like…
Here’s what we like about this 2021 family calendar.
- We like the wire bound easy hanging feature.
- The large daily blocks are easy to write in.
Check out this excellent daily planner for 2021. Here are our favorite features.
- Monthly planning blocks.
- Daily top 3 priorities section.
- Daily schedule.
- Daily to-do list.
- Daily gratitude.
- Small enough to carry or fit in your purse, big enough to actually use.
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You Might Also Like These Episodes
If you want to learn about taking action steps that will help you achieve your goals, then read this article or listen to this episode.
You might also like listening to this episode of the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast about planning the next day.
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