Time management is very challenging for caregivers. There’s so much to do for and only so much time in one day. And as a family caregiver, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spare. You have many other responsibilities in your own life.
Caregiving is difficult, and you may feel drained, both physically and mentally. To avoid caregiver burnout, it’s time to stop thinking that you have superpowers and can do it all. Managing your time effectively will enable you to accomplish everything and still live a full life. Above all, it can reduce your stress and give you a sense of control.
Below are some tips for managing your time effectively as a caregiver.
Caregiver Time Management Advice
Prioritize Your Tasks
The best time managers write down a list daily of things they have to accomplish. Be realistic and don’t make the list incredibly long. Shorter to-do lists keep you more productive, whereas long ones tend to overwhelm. Don’t rely on a list in your head. Your to-do list must be written down, and you can do it on anything from a napkin to an Excel spreadsheet. As your putting to-do’s on your list, prioritize them. Use the first column for tasks that are urgent or need to be done that day, and the second column for tasks that can wait. Or, you can put tasks in different columns such as “Caregiving” and “Personal.” Whatever way you decide to prioritize your to-do list, keep it flexible and simple.
Combine Tasks When Possible
Batching tasks together involves doing similar tasks together, which is a great time-saving strategy. For example, pick one time for errands so you only have to go out once. If you have to make some phone calls, do all of them together. Make sure the to-do’s you batch together are all related to each other in some way so that you aren’t jumping from one different thing to the next. Then, move on to other tasks.
Ask For Help When You Need It
Sometimes, it’s difficult for us to reach out and ask for assistance. Our pride gets in the way, and we feel disappointed that we couldn’t complete our tasks ourselves. When you ask for help, you are recognizing your huge workload and using your resources. This is a good thing! It takes courage and humbleness to ask for help.
Schedule Time For Yourself
Often, life can get pretty busy when we are juggling life and caregiving. And we tend to ignore our own needs. Instead of running on empty, schedule time for yourself when you’re making your lists. When you are tired and feeling run-down, you won’t be productive. And that’s not good for anyone! Find some time to exercise, get a massage, or spend time with family and friends.
Professional Respite Caregivers Can Help
No matter how efficiently you manage your time, as a caregiver you need a break from time to time. That’s when First In Care can step in once a week, a few times a week, or even for a few weeks at a time. Professional homecare agencies provide caregiving services for your senior when you need a break. They’ll take care of everything from general housekeeping services up to more involved medical care like therapy, changing bandages, and administering medication.