Using the High 5 Method of Time Management with My Toddler

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.

faceless female journalist writing in notebook and drinking coffee
Planning The day around a Toddler can be a big challenge for work from home Moms. Read more about how I increased my productivity and how I’m teaching my son about time management.

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:

  1. Morning Loop
  2. Outdoor Activities/Learning Loop
  3. Quiet Time
  4. Family Time/Wind Down Time
  5. 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.

anonymous lady using laptop for studies in sunny park
The reality of a work from home mom: Everywhere is the office.

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.

Tiners are great tools for keeping your work focused and on track.

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?

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