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10 Tips to Create Better Work-Life Balance With a Digital Calendar for Single Working Parents Single-working parents are taking the hardest strain, having to juggle both family and work responsibilities simultaneously is causing many of them to experience higher levels of burnout — many of...

By Carma Khatib

This story originally appeared on Calendar

Single-working parents are taking the hardest strain, having to juggle both family and work responsibilities simultaneously is causing many of them to experience higher levels of burnout — many of which are now hitting the wall.

The imbalance isn't spread equally among fathers and mothers. One research survey found that more than 9.8 million working mothers experienced burnout during the pandemic. This figure was nearly 30 percent higher than working fathers with similar experiences.

Burnout was highest among Black, Asian, and Latin American mothers, far higher than their white counterparts.

Even more surprising, the U.S. sees nearly a quarter of children under 18 living in single-parent households. The 23 percent of children living with one parent is almost three times more than the global average of 7 percent.

Balancing life as a single parent has only become harder and more demanding in recent years, as the cost of living takes a harder toll on a single parent's income. Census data shows that single mothers make, on average, $32,586 annually, and roughly 29 percent of single parents fall below America's very-low poverty line.

Single parenthood, especially in the current climate of things, is making things more complicated and more demanding on parents. A high-paced job and demanding professional career only throw a further spanner in the works for many people.

How to take back control as a single parent

As a single parent, you're trying everything to stay afloat, kicking and swimming in each way and direction, hoping to find a suitable pace that works for you and your family. Taking back control, and learning how to use a digital calendar to help you organize your life, and increase your work-life balance will help you quickly get back on track.

Create shared calendars

In scenarios where your children might be old enough to have a mobile phone or access to a computer or even a tablet, start by setting up a shared calendar. By creating a shared calendar, you can ensure that you and your children are always up to date with important events, and you can keep better track of what's happening.

Instill in your children the importance of updating the calendar as needed or adding important dates and events. By giving children some responsibility to help with the day-to-day planning, you can steadily begin to lighten the loan on your shoulders.

Communicate as a team

Take some time to talk with your child or children, and share the importance of effective communication with them. Yes, sometimes they forget to tell you about something important, or you might even slip up now and again. Nonetheless, effective communication is key to running a well-coordinated team.

Once you have gotten the communication thing down, you will begin to realize that knowing what's going on, and how to properly plan, can help you keep better track of all the most important events and dates in your and your children's lives.

Don't say yes to everything

As a single parent, you still hold the authority to decline invitations to events or even say no when you feel it's necessary. Having a digital calendar will help you visualize how your days and weeks are planned, and you can decline if there's not enough time in your schedule for something.

The same goes for your children, where you are unable to accommodate them, you can say no, or provide them with an alternative solution. Unable to drive the kids to a soccer game this weekend because your car is going in for a service, and you're not sure how long that will take to get done? See if another parent can help you out, or maybe follow up with the school to provide a transportation option for the kids.

Focus on the quality, not the quantity

This can be translated into many different aspects of life; however, as a single parent working with a busy schedule, make sure to use your schedule to allow you more quality time with your children.

Additionally, don't force everything into one single day of the week or weekend. Instead, spread things out, this will help give you some downtime as well. If you're planning some off time away from work, don't organize several activities for the first day, rather focus on having them spread out, this way you can be sure that you will have better quality time with your children, and still get enough rest.

Plan in advance

This ties in well with having your children onboard to using a digital calendar, and also having the ability to decline certain events if it doesn't fit into your schedule. Planning will ensure that you know exactly what's happening and where your attention may be needed. Planning also helps you to organize for any unplanned events that may jump up at you at the very last minute.

You might find out on Monday at work that you will need to work an additional two hours Friday afternoon to finalize a presentation, but you also have a PTA meeting scheduled for that time. Planning ahead will help you organize your time more adequately, perhaps fulfilling those two hours on Thursday and still being able to attend to your parental duties.

Complete one task at a time

Yes, you might be a super parent, that can juggle multiple things all at once, but sometimes you need to slow down and realize that completing one thing at a time will help you get more done.

While the aim is to be as effective as possible with your time, you need to realize that juggling ten things all at once won't lead to more things getting done. Again, remember, that quality is much more important than quantity. If you have five events to attend this week but still have to clean the house, and prepare lunches for the following week, try and decline two events, and rather prioritize more important things that will matter.

Accept help when needed

Your time is valuable, however, knowing that there are days when you simply can't get to everything, consider how having an extra pair of hands around the house will make a difference.

Accepting help from someone else isn't considered or even viewed as being unable to fulfill your duties as a parent. Instead, you need to view it as having an extra set of hands that can help lighten your load, or even care for your child or children in times when you're unable to do so.

Make the most of the help you have available, and don't fret when someone offers to step in and help you tick off some of the boxes on your to-do list.

Take time to breathe

We're constantly on-the-go, and working towards the next thing, never thinking that maybe taking a few minutes to recharge will help us see things from a different perspective.

Taking a few minutes during the day to recharge, or even just a breather, can help you gather your thoughts and help you see where you are heading.

Declining a phone call from a colleague, responding to your child's homework, helping them with a project, or even preparing their lunch will help you juggle less but still ensure you get enough done with the time you have on your hands.

Create a supportive culture

In any environment, having a supportive culture ensures that work and duties are equally shared among everyone and that objectives can be achieved more efficiently.

Having a supportive culture, within your family dynamic or household helps to ensure that both you and your kids are helping each other out. Whether it's scheduling household chores, or even organizing plans for the summer, having that support system with one another can help you better understand how you can be more effective with your time.

Make time for yourself

There's nothing wrong or selfish about making time for yourself. Whether it's over a weekend, or even during school breaks, make sure to carve out some time on your family's calendar for yourself.

Plan in advance to have someone look after the kids, while you take some time to enjoy a day by yourself. Being a single parent means that having time by yourself is more important than ever. It allows you some time to think, and breathe, but also readjust yourself and see where you're heading in terms of your parental duties and professional career.

Final thoughts

As a single parent, you're juggling more than you can handle, yet the important thing that many of us often overlook is how a digital calendar can help us better organize our day-to-day routines.

More importantly, it creates an opportunity for your children to assist with household duties, and understand the importance of planning effectively and using their time more wisely. Taking some time to plan your days or even weeks, will give you a better idea of where you will be needed most, but remain flexible in the event of sudden changes.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Julia M Cameron; Pexels; Thank you!

The post 10 Tips to Create Better Work-Life Balance With a Digital Calendar for Single Working Parents appeared first on Calendar.

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