top of page

Finding Time for What Matters: 5 Hacks for Busy Parents



Feeling Overwhelmed? You’re Not Alone


Do you feel like you’re constantly juggling a million things and can never find enough time in the day? I know exactly how you feel. As someone managing three jobs and raising two kids, finding time for everything seems impossible.


However, I’ve discovered five hacks that help me manage it all, and I guarantee they’ll help you find more time for the things that truly matter.


Why Productivity Matters for Parents


You might be wondering why I’m discussing productivity on a blog about multilingual parenting. Well, in my last post, I shared the 15-minute reading and writing routine I use with my kids to teach them Chinese. Many of you asked, "How do you find the time to do that?" This question inspired me to share my productivity tips. I believe that effective time management can make you a better parent and a better person. With the right knowledge and practical tactics, most parents can balance work and family life more effectively.




My Journey to Better Time Management


To give you some context, here are my three jobs:


1. Freelance Translator - This accounts for 40-50% of my workweek and is my primary source of income.

2. Part-time Blogger - I write blog posts for a marketing agency, working about 15 hours a week.

3. Side Hustle* - I spend up to 10 hours a week on my YouTube channel, blog, and KDP book business.


Over the past year, I’ve refined my productivity system to manage my time better. I’m excited to share my findings with you because I know how overwhelming life as a working parent can be.


Tip 1: Cut Out the Biggest Time Wasters


The first tip is to cut out major time wasters, which is both obvious and challenging. Implementing this step alone can free up at least three hours a day. On average, people spend 143 minutes on social media and 60 minutes on Netflix daily. That’s nearly three and a half hours wasted each day!


If you’re serious about finding more time for what matters—whether it’s spending time with your kids, starting a side project, or going to the gym—take an honest look at your screen time. Set specific limits and be intentional about how you spend your time. Consider deleting social media apps from your phone and using a timer, like Smart Countdown Timer, to limit your screen time.


Tip 2: Start Your Day Earlier


Starting your day earlier can be difficult, but it’s incredibly effective. About ten years ago, I started waking up at 6 AM to write a novel, and I’ve been doing it ever since. The early morning hours are often the only time you have complete control over, free from work and family responsibilities.


If you’re worried about sleep, remember that cutting down on evening screen time can help you go to bed earlier and sleep better. By waking up earlier, you can carve out time for important tasks before the day’s demands take over.


Tip 3: Work Smarter, Not Harder


To work smarter, stop multitasking and minimize distractions. Multitasking reduces efficiency because our brains aren’t wired to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Focus on one task at a time to boost productivity.


Minimise distractions by putting your phone on silent or using blocker software like Cold Turkey. This helps you stay focused and complete tasks faster. The Pomodoro technique, which involves 45 minutes of focused work followed by a 10-minute break, can also enhance productivity.


Tip 4: Do the Right Task at the Right Time


Recognise your energy patterns and schedule tasks accordingly. High-focus or creative tasks should be done when your energy level is highest, whether that’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening. For example, I tackle mentally demanding tasks in the morning when I’m most energetic, leaving routine tasks for the afternoon and evening.


Tip 5: Batch Everything


Batch-processing similar tasks saves time and boosts efficiency. For instance, answer all your emails in one session instead of sporadically throughout the day. This reduces the mental load of constant task-switching.


When it comes to household chores, batch cooking can save a significant amount of time. Cook large portions and freeze them for future meals. Using shortcuts like garlic and ginger paste or adapting recipes for the Instant Pot can also save time without sacrificing flavour.


Conclusion


To sum up, cutting out time wasters, starting your day earlier, working smarter, aligning tasks with your energy levels, and batching tasks can help you find more time for what truly matters. By implementing these hacks, you’ll be able to juggle work, family, and personal goals more effectively.


If you want more tips on productivity or the 15-minute reading and writing routine, check out my other posts and feel free to leave a comment. Happy time managing!

Comments


bottom of page