The 80/20 To Being a Better Parent in a Busy World ⋆

The 80/20 To Being a Better Parent in a Busy World

These days it’s really hard to be a parent raising a child along with a million other responsibilities you have to contend with on a daily basis. As much as you would like to do something for yourself like attending a fitness class or getting your hair done, where are the extra hours to make that happen?

Are you trucking your child off to school events or birthday parties, spending endless hours cleaning off walls covered in crayons and cleaning up all the stuff they have left lying around?  I don’t know any mom who wouldn’t give anything for just a few more hours in the day to do something for herself.

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto, an Italian economist, and philosopher said 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes.  As an example, putting this theory into practice might be fixing software with bugs by 20% that will remove 80% of the errors.

You might be scratching your head thinking what has this got to do with my parenting skills?  It actually comes down to understanding time management.  When you give 20% of how you use your time, you will get an 80% outcome. This is known as the Pareto Principle.

You have to figure out what activities you are the most efficient in doing and what activities deplete and drain you the most. That might seem easier said than done but what if we could break it down in simple to follow steps?

Ask yourself what you would do if you just had some extra time.  Write down what you would do with extra time and be as specific as possible. Maybe you’d like to spend a little time at a health spa or go out to dinner with your partner.

Set Your Priorities:

You have to set your priorities on a daily, weekly, and lifetime basis.  A daily priority might be cleaning up after your child, weekly might be spending some time with your friends, while a lifetime priority could be taking care of yourself by eating healthier foods and working out at your favorite fitness center.

Recognize What Depletes And Drains You:

Be very honest with yourself and write down activities in your life that you spend a great deal of time on.  Cleaning up after your children, doing laundry, cooking, checking your email, and getting supplies ready for school the next day.

Even though you might wish you could just cut out all these activities from your busy life, understanding what they are will help you with the next step.

What Is Fake Productivity?

Going by the Pareto Principle, 20% of what you are doing will produce almost all your results.  That means 80% of your activities are actually fake productivity!

You need to recognize these activities and understand if you are putting things in the wrong order and wasting time such as staying up watching movies instead of getting a good night’s sleep.

Get A Plan Of Action:

Now that you realize all the ways you are spending your time ineffectively, you need to come up with a plan that will actually work by keeping a clear vision on your overall goals.

For instance, if you are spending the majority of your day cleaning up after your kids including picking up their toys every time they leave them laying around, consider picking them up only at night after they have gone to bed. Simple steps will help you free up some extra time that right now is being wasted.

Take Control Of Your Day:

Keep in mind, you do have control over how busy you are every day.  Make a list of your many activities and decide what you can cut back on.  Stop signing your kids up for every sports or school activity, look at your “to-do” list and what can be removed.

It’s not selfish but once in a while, you have to ask yourself what’s the very least you can get away with?

Take your time and think about all the activities you have on your plate and just how many hours in the day you actually have.  It’s like spring cleaning, clear out all the junk and get things in order.  Once you do, decide what you are going to do with all your new extra time!