It’s common to feel lost and powerless in the vortex of busy family life. In between juggling work, running a household, driving the kids all over town and generally being the CEO of the family, it’s no wonder you don’t have time to think about self-care, let alone sit and have that hot beverage that’s probably now cold!
As a mother of two teenage children, a wife and a business owner, I’ve learnt a thing or two about organising my hectic family life. In fact, I was so sick of spending precious family time planning family time that I created Life Sorted, a shared family calendar app to reduce stress and streamline and simplify my busy family life.
When it comes to organising my hectic family life, there are a number of tools in my kit that I’ve acquired over the years. But my favourite tools are always the simplest:
1. Get the kids involved
How many mornings have you walked around your kitchen or living room chanting like a crazed woman to your family a list of things to do? Shoes. Teeth. Rugby bag. Lunch. Car. Now! Too many to count, right?
If you want to raise independent children who take control of their own schedule, get them involved now. During the teenage years, a child’s need for responsibility and autonomy becomes more apparent. However, it’s never too early to start including children in family discussions about upcoming household routines and family holidays, and encouraging ownership of their own goals.
We have a designated family meeting time, usually after dinner (that’s scheduled into my Life Sorted app), so we’re all on the same page with what’s going on.
2. Embrace technology
There’s no denying that I’m a total tech nerd at heart. I wear so many different hats during the day and technology helps me get the job done. As an app creator myself, I sure can appreciate a good one when I see it.
I absolutely could not live without my organisation and productivity apps. They keep me sane and feeling in control of my crazy-busy life. My top three are:
Calm (for relaxation and productivity)
Calm is an amazing app that will help you regain order amongst the chaos of daily life. This app will teach you how to restore your sleeping patterns. I can assure you since downloading this app I have experienced the best sleeps and have been feeling more energised during the day!
Google Home (for organisation)
The Google Home app requires you to have the Google Home device. It’s minimalistic design fits well in my recently de-cluttered living room! To activate this wonder of a machine, simply utter the two magic words, “Hey Google!” followed by your request.
You can frequently see me in the morning shouting, “Hey Google, how long is the commute to work?” (I never run late, I swear!)
Life Sorted (shared family calendar app)
Life Sorted helps you organise your hectic family life so you can spend less time organising and more time doing the things you love with your family! The combined calendar is a standout feature in my eyes, as it allows you to see what every family member is up to at any given time (or even turn a blind eye to your teenager’s social life by momentarily choosing not to integrate it into your calendar).
3. The 4D framework to combat brain clutter
Your brain is like an email inbox, constantly receiving messages and the information input can be overwhelming. I created this simple system as a way to organise your thoughts and give you the time you need to process each event, activity or appointment as it occurs.
As a new project, appointment or event enters your brain’s inbox, file it immediately by choosing one of these four options:
- Do it. Priority one! Knock it over straight away. These are the events you can (or need) to do on the spot. Tick those babies off your list and move on.
- Delegate it. Give it to someone else to do. Seriously. As parents, we can often take on too much! If your partner, child or friend can handle this, take a big breath and pass it on.
- Defer it. Do it another day. If it doesn’t need to be done immediately, schedule it into your calendar for a future date so you can deal with it then. Simple.
- Ditch it. Delete, dismiss or discard it. This one is self-explanatory and my favourite option of all. If it isn’t relevant, straight to trash!
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