Throw Family Time Management Out the Window

Take a walk through the self-help section of your local bookstore (if anyone still does that) or do a quick search on Amazon Books and you’ll find a ton of stuff on personal time management. You’ll see titles like “15 secrets to successful time management”, “Getting Sh*t Done”, and “7 Habits of Highly Effective Hipsters”. Ok, maybe I’ve made up some of those titles; but you get the idea.

I’ve also come across the concept of “energy management” as supposed to “time management” which argues that it is not so much about how you allocate your time but it’s really more focused on the quality of how you spend your time with others and yourself.

Fascinating ideas! But how does all this apply to Family Time Management.

Recently many families have found themselves with some new incredible challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Mom and Dad are working from Home. Kids are navigating through confusing in-home school lessons. Your dog now wants you to walk him/her every hour because why not.

Or maybe you’re searching for a new job and can’t really focus on anything else right now. Maybe your teenagers are depressed because after working so hard for 12 years of their life they may not even get to walk on their graduation day (assuming we still need to continue the isolation guidelines).

This pandemic has flipped everything upside down for many people and the demands are starting to pile up for families all over the world. Don’t despair. Things will get better.

What we all need right now is not effective family time management. What we should be focusing on instead is Family Prioritization.

According to Dictionary.com, a pandemic disease is an epidemic that has spread over a large area, that is, it’s “prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world.” The “whole world”. Ok, that’s enough commentary from Captain Obvious.

The reason why I’m overemphasizing this point is, so you realize that we’re all in the same boat. Millions of families all over the world are going through this. Some are coping better than others but the overall sentiment is the same.

I saw a meme this week that even challenges the notion that “we’re all in the same boat.” The meme said:

We’re not all on the same boat. We’re in the same sea together. Some are in luxury yachts. Some are in smaller boats. While others are floating on life jackets fighting for their lives.

Internet meme

That meme hit me hard and got me thinking about what everyone’s priorities should be right now, and that should be on taking care of each other, our communities, our families.

So, if your kid doesn’t understand the worksheets that you received via e-mail from his or her teacher, screw it! Tell your child not to worry about it. Cancel that conference call from work that makes absolutely no sense right now and go play a board game with the kids. Build a Fort. Go for a walk with the family.

Put your kid inside a cardboard box and push him or her around the house like it is a race car. (Thank you TodaysParent.com for this – and other creative ideas)

Focus your energy on your family during these challenging times and even after we come out of this situation. Learn from this.

Because I’ve always said Family ALWAYS comes first. Especially now.

Image credit: ©GettyImages/LightFieldStudios

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