Aloha welcome back to the blog! Today I want to talk about time management with a toddler. Having a 2-year-old is by far one of the biggest hurdles I face in creating efficient systems in my day-to-day life. He is also the main reason that I need to have streamlined, easy to execute routines in place.
I recently came across a post on The Littles & Me Blog about creating homeschool rhythms. Ashley uses a time management tool called the High 5 Method with her kids for their school day. I was immediately intrigued, since I love systems that simplify my life and what a great way to start teaching my son the art of prioritizing activities in life.
The High 5 method is this: Pick 5 activities that must happen for that part of the day to be complete. For example: Eat Breakfast, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed, Brush Hair, Make Bed.
I have modified this strategy to fit our family. Here is how I use this method for my son:
- Morning Loop
- Outdoor Activities/Learning Loop
- Quiet Time
- Family Time/Wind Down Time
- Bedtime Loop
Our Morning Loop and Bedtime Loop are activities that are necessary every day, in this general order.
I use Gunnar’s High 5 to chunk up my daily schedule. Then length of time spent on each of Gunnar’s High 5 varies based on how many services I have book for the day. I try to shoot for a minimum of 3 hours each day of outdoor time. I use the Pomodoro Method during outside time. I give Gunnar 10 minutes of my undivided attention, then do a focused work session of 25 Minutes. (It is the perfect amount of time for Gunnar to play independently, before he needs my attention again.) I utilize busy boxes, snacks and our outdoor toys to encourage independent play. We are very lucky to live somewhere that allows us to be outside most of the time.
I plan to make charts for Gunnar, so that he has a visual of what to expect for the day. I think the high 5 method is a wonderful way to introduce the concept of schedules and time management to a toddler.
I have been using a similar method to plan out my own day for quiet sometime, but I use my top three things to accomplish for each day, instead of 5. I make sure that each item gets a minimum of 25 minutes of undivided attention (hopefully more, but it is dependent on services booked). I feel like this approach gives me the best results for my overall productivity. The goal here for me is to keep it small. Keeping it small makes sure I show up, that I don’t get overwhelmed by overthinking the big picture. 25 minutes per item (or 75 minutes total) is beyond obtainable, clocking in at just over an hour. When I complete my top 3 loop,I either repeat the loop or move on to other things I need to do for the day, whether that is completing a service or working on household tasks.
This is the time management system that I plan to stick with through the new year, with monthly reviews and adjustments.
What systems are you using to keep you day organized and productive?