8 Time Management Tips for Busy Hockey Families

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Where all my Hockey Mama’s at?!? This one’s for you AH-MAZING ladies, plus a little game day checklist, because a little checklistin' never hurt nobody!

SHORT ON TIME? get the game day checklist

Because scrambling around to gather the goods on game day is NOT anybody's idea of a good time.

The phrases “free time” and “hockey families” are paired about as often as “hockey hair” and “figure skating.”

But, lives filled with practices, games, rink time, gym time, homework, school, chores, eating and sleeping — not to mention the gainful employment of those funding the enterprise — doesn’t mean lives bereft of downtime.

It does, however, mean you’re going to have to put in some work to have the whole operation rolling smoothly like a new Zamboni.

These time management tips should help.

1. Timing After Timing

In order to effectively manage your time, you first must have a realistic idea of how much time each task takes. Can your player do his or her homework in half an hour or an hour and a half? Do the chores get done faster first thing in the morning, right before bed or somewhere in between? Work time isn’t simply time on the clock, but travel time as well. Plus, once you know how much time you’re spending on any given activity, it’s easier to see where your time is being misspent.

2. The Schedule Is Everything

A master calendar, posted where everyone in the house can see it every day, is essential. Many families find it easier to create a shared Google calendar, giving everyone access to the same information and the ability add new items even while away from the house. Mom and Dad’s work schedules, doctor or dentist appointments, school off-days and other details are as important as practice/game times and who’s driving.

3. What’s the App?

Try one (or more) of the many available time management apps. Let the kids take the lead (since they’ll end up explaining it to you anyway). There are even hockey-specific apps such as HockeyClan that, while not expressly time management apps, can establish group messaging for entire teams and help by putting information on rinks, hotels and restaurants in one place.

4. Know Your Limits

If you’re the parent who tries to do everything, remember … sometimes allowing someone else to help is doing them a service. Everyone likes to feel needed. Some of us wear “doing it all” like a badge of honor until it is a reason to melt down. Share the burden and accept your shortcomings. And recognize, no matter how hard you try, sometimes that birthday party or barbecue just isn’t going to make the cut.

5. Prioritize

Sometimes the birthday party (nana’s 90th) trumps a workout. Listing all your activities for a given day (or week), in order of importance, helps everyone understand that if a sacrifice must be made, which one will cause the least pain. Kids won’t fixate on the “no” as much if they see all the “yes(es)” that surround it.

6. No Detail Is Too Small

Blocking out time for practice is one thing. Blocking out 15 minutes at the end of the evening to make sure everything in the hockey bag is clean, in proper repair and ready to go for practice the next day is much easier on the whole family than 15 minutes of panicked scrambling on the way out the door the next morning.

7. Getting Down

When all of this is done, and you’ve somehow found a way to trim, organize and schedule your way to 15 free minutes, try not to schedule anything for that downtime. Relax. Hockey families don’t get enough of that. Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do.

8. Reset the Clock

Remember, hockey players spend more time falling before they can skate. You’re not going to get this right the first time out of the box. You’re going to forget something, or assume something will take more or less time than it actually does. Unforeseen circumstances will arise. Practice, adjust, pick up a different tool if necessary and, ultimately, your efforts will be rewarded with that greatest luxury — time.

don't forget to download the game day checklist...

It'll help you to plan in advance, and again.. it's super cute!

Thanks to AJ Lee, from Pro Stock Hockey, for his hockey expertise and sharing it with us so we can stay sane on the ice this season!

Until next time, Sideline Hacker.  Keep hacking that sideline, because they appreciate you for it, and so do we, for ALL that you do!


Author bio: AJ Lee is Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet.

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