Tips from the Coach – Time Management for Overwhelmed Parents: Part One

Get your summer off to a good start. Consider hiring a trained ADHD coach to help you and your family identify issues that pop up and get in the way of daily living.  Without the pressure of school-year activities, you and your family can learn strategies for success. Coaches are available year-round and focus on all life areas, not just academic or business. To get you started, I will be offering time management tips for overwhelmed parents throughout June.

Part One – Systems

1.   Individual Calendars

  • Use a day planner or electronic calendar of your choice.
  • Start on your own calendar system before you begin to work with your children.
  • Be sure there is ample room to write appointments and if possible some blank pages for notes, ideas,  “to do” items that come up during the day. If you use an electronic or online calendar, take advantage of the NOTES features to jot down your thoughts on the go.
  • Block out realistic time frames directly on your calendar. Consider driving time, waiting time, rush hour, weather delays.  An appointment begins when you get in the car, not when you arrive at your destination.

For example:

  • How long will the appointment at the doctor’s office REALLY take?
  • Did you include travel time, time to go to the pharmacy?
  • Do you need to build in time to pick up your child at school or camp?
  • Is the camp or daycare center on the way or will you need to add time to backtrack?

Once you have become comfortable with your system, share some ideas with your children and your spouse.  Each person should have a paper or electronic day planner or a calendar.

2.   Family calendar

  • Post a large calendar with ample writing space for each family member.
  • Transfer the information from each of your day planners on to the calendar.  This gives each person a chance to see the big picture.
  • Use weekly family meetings to review the calendar and upcoming event.  When time conflicts arise, work together to solve them.  Don’t delay!

3.   Timers

  • Use a watch with a timer, if that will help you.
  • Set alarms on your computer or carry a small digital timer.
  • “Human timers”- ask for help from others.  If you work in an office, ask a co-worker or staff members to push you out the door at a designated time.

Check back next week for Part Two of our Tips from the Coach!