To say we have hectic schedules full of long days and rough patches is an understatement. Between balancing practices, games, school, friends and relatives, any additional training, work, homework and any other responsibilities, there isn’t a spare second in the week.
Understanding how to juggle all of these events and schedules, while still finding time just to hang out with your kids, is as essential to being a great hockey mom as an SUV and hockey-themed cocktails.
Time management is a skill anyone can learn. But, it does require some learning (and time). It takes a fair bit of trial and error to see how your time can be best spent on what, when. As some obligations end and others begin, you have to be able to transform your schedule as quickly as a line change.
Learning new strategies for scheduling and completing tasks more efficiently, can make transitioning to new plans and commitments easier.
These five strategies can help you create a schedule. Check them out, and you will be on the path to getting things done on time.
Create A Master Schedule for Time Management
Hockey families have a lot of different schedules that have to fit together. Your skaters have a school schedule, a hockey practice/game schedule, possibly a work schedule, a time for homework, a bedtime, a social calendar, and so many others. It’s important to merge all of these into one “master schedule.”
Even if you still refer to the individual schedules, this master plan will make it easier to spot schedule conflicts and other problems sooner than you would otherwise.
Most people have a calendar or a “system” for balancing life
with hockey. But, not everyone is very proactive at updating it, especially when new commitments pop up. Your master schedule should be the first thing you refer to before taking on another responsibility. It should detail everything going on on any particular day.
I use my iCal app for this. I have one big schedule and then smaller color-coded schedules that coincide with each kid and each kid’s commitments. When I add something to one of my kid’s schedules, it populates the master schedule. And, my husband’s phone receives the update, which makes it easy to divide and conquer.
A Priority List for All Your Commitments
Aside from a master schedule, a to-do list will help you see all of your obligations and responsibilities in order of importance. As much as we wish to give our all in everything we do, the more commitments we take on, the harder it is to do so.
Conflicts are always going to happen and demand that you make tough judgment calls into which event requires your attention more. Saying “no” to something is a challenge that everyone faces. Thus, it is important to create a priority list that dictates which of your commitments take precedence over the others.
Utilize Time Management Apps
We often view our smartphone as a means of distraction, but there are a lot of excellent time management apps available, too. If you like dividing your daily tasks into lists, downloading an app like List.ly, Trello or Todoist can help you generate better lists that are easier and more rewarding to check items off.
Alternatively, MindMeister is better for people that are more big-picture and goal oriented. It’s also easily adaptable to group projects because you can add collaborators and assign individual responsibilities. It’s ideal for people who are delegators.
When it comes to time management apps, it isn’t so much about finding the best one ever, but rather finding the one that fits your needs the most. Don’t be afraid to download a few different apps at once or take one for a one-week test drive.
In other words, everyone handles his/her scheduling and time management differently. So, the more apps you try, the higher likelihood that you’ll find one perfectly suited for your individual needs.
Join Hockey Clan
When you find yourself in need of anything hockey related, the Hockey Clan app is the go-to resource. This app has thought of just about everything for hockey families. It has rink locators, restaurant and bar finders, a pro shop, and even groups of like-minded hockey families.
Instead of wasting time searching the internet, or bouncing between 3 or 4 apps to get what you need for your skater, hit up this one-stop shop and you are certain to save time.
Record Log for Time Spent On Each Activity
Reflecting on time spent on tasks sounds like something else to add to your already long to-do list. But, it’s a crucial step to save time. Maintaining proper time management is an ongoing process. The best-kept schedules are ones that are fluid and easily transformable, to adapt to sudden changes.
One of the best tactics is to record how much time it takes you to complete each task.
This creates another dimension of information and allows you to learn how long it takes you to do what you need to do. Then, you can better craft your schedule to give you the time you need to balance it all.
Tracking your time spent on each activity is the same as when people budget their expenses by seeing how much money they devote to each expense. By monitoring how much time you spend on each task, it becomes easier to identify the components of your day-to-day life that you spend the most time. Thus, you learn where you are spending too much time. From there, the path to achieving time efficiency becomes much clearer.
Time management is all about discovering ways to get your kids where they need to be, minus a panic attack. So, you need to
figure out where you are wasting time, and how you can juggle time.
Time is one of the most valuable resources a hockey family has. We have even less free time than an average family. This means it is even more important that we learn how to manage it properly.