Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Parents

Registered Dietician

| 3 min read

Busy schedules are part of the norm for almost everyone and finding new ways to save time is always beneficial. According to a recent report, U.S. adults working an average of 47 hours per week struggle to establish a work-life balance.
Managing time can be especially challenging for busy parents. Thankfully, small changes in the daily routine can make great time-savers for busy parents.

Morning Hacks

Though not everyone considers themselves a morning person, early risers tend to be more proactive and better planners. Productive mornings set the tone for productive days.
  • Stay Away from Screens: For some, checking social media, phones and other screens first thing in the morning is routine. Ignoring these devices can help save time and stress as excessive technology use has been linked to fatigue and mental health problems.
  • Plan Ahead: Each morning, prioritize tasks and determine what needs to get done when. List-making helps to organize thoughts and ease stress. Teaching your kids how to get ready, creating a reward system or putting up a chore board can allow family members to tackle their responsibilities efficiently.
  • Stop with the Snooze Button: Believe it or not, hitting the snooze button does more harm than good. Every time we hit reset, the sleep cycle starts again, leaving an individual feeling more tired than before.

Afternoon Hacks

Whether you’re at work or home, staying focused and energized throughout the day can sometimes be difficult. Unproductive afternoons often lead to late-night stress and can disturb sleeping patterns.
  • Curb the Caffeine: Coffee, energy drinks and pop provide short-term energy often followed by an afternoon crash. Seeking alternatives like tea can provide sustained energy with no mental or physical crash during a busy day. Also don’t forget to stay hydrated with water all day long.
  • Take Breaks: Chronic stress at work and home takes a toll on the mind and body. Taking breaks throughout the day to go for a walk, meditate, get outside or eat a snack helps fuel the body and brain to get things done.
  • Get Moving: For some, fitting a workout into a busy day can seem impossible. High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, is a timely way to fit in a great workout. Research shows that interval training is more effective for weight loss and strength conditioning in 15-20 minutes. Everyone can benefit from a walk, whether that be for a half hour once a day or two 15-minute walks throughout the day.

Nighttime Hacks

Preparing for the day ahead is one of the most effective time savers.
  • Batch Cook: Choose a day to meal plan for the week to save time, money and avoid excess food waste. After deciding the menu, create a grocery list and dedicate a few hours to preparing ingredients or batch cooking meals that make it easy for the family to feed themselves during busy times of the day or week.
  • Prepare for Tomorrow: A rushed start to the day sets a mood of stress and impulsivity, which can impact kids and parents. To make morning routines run smoother, pack bags, cars, lunches, etc. the night before. Prepare a healthy breakfast, such as an easy egg recipe, overnight oats or smoothie, the night before.
  • Ditch the Devices: Putting away devices at least one hour before bed allows time to wind down. For many, it’s easy to get caught up in social media and spend unnecessary hours scrolling. A proper amount of rest recharges the mind and body for the day ahead.
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Photo Credit: anika

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