East Riding Life Coach Helen Thorburn is a busy mum of two. Each month she will write about topics that all mums face, take two minutes for yourself to read on…


From stressed to serene!

8 ways to manage your time more effectively


Do days engulf you with a tidal wave of things to do?

Are you drowning under a sea of tasks, checklists and expectations to live up to? If the answer is yes then the good news (as a small bonus) is that you are not alone. We can’t help being so busy- can we?


The reality is that our lives are as busy and hectic as we choose to make them. So how can we make our time feel less cluttered and more cheerful?


Here are some ideas on how to approach your life to allow you to feel more in control and help maximise time. It’s not rocket science but it works:


1. Eat well and get some fresh air.

Obvious, but it’s vital that we eat food that’s going to leave us feeling nourished and full of energy rather than tired and lethargic. Buy and keep to hand nutritious foods (that you like) that go together quickly and easily to make snacks and meals – ready cooked chicken, rice pouches, avocado, peanut butter, wholemeal pitta bread, dark chocolate, bananas… Having a sports bottle of water to hand will stop you getting dehydrated (the ones with a straw are often easier to drink from).

Getting outside will also help you feel more energised.

2. Put EVERYTHING you do into a diary, take it with you and be realistic about timing.

Put aside 10 minutes either at the start or end of every day to look at your diary.

Include things you have to do (clubs, work, events…) AND importantly things that normally get squeezed in around the other stuff (emails, housework, shopping, study, family time and free time- it’s allowed and necessary).

Allow enough time for everything.

Keep your diary open where others can see it so there’s no confusion or double bookings.

Always take your diary with you when you go out.

3. Routines work. Keep them simple. Stick to them.

I’m not talking checklists (unless you want one). Children (and most adults) feel safe with and benefit from a routine, especially at the start and end of the day. Keep it simple and make it work for you.

4. Set a time limit for screens.

Tricky, but I know how much time I can spend scrolling if not kept in check. Can also help you sleep better if avoided at bedtime.

5. Say no.

What’s the worst thing that can happen?

6. But make sure you say yes (to offers of support you need).

Most people like to help and will be pleased if you take them up on an offer. If you ask, the worst they can say is no (see above).

7. Set a limit on multi-tasking.

I had a habit of sweeping the floor when talking to my mum on the phone. And checking my emails/ Facebook… Not the best conversations for my mum. Or me. Try to limit what you do (if only to avoid accidents). It’s much more effective.

8. Do what works for you.

Some people thrive on activity, others don’t. Try not to worry about what everyone else is doing. They’re probably too busy thinking the same thing. Focus on yourself and what is best for you and your family.


Helen Thorburn has worked in education for the past 15 years both as a teacher and in an advisory capacity. Having experienced the positive impact of coaching on young people’s lives through her work in inclusion, she has progressed to coaching adults. She is currently working towards her Level 2 & 3 Diplomas in Life Coaching and is delivering her first well being retreat, in conjunction with Angela Stone Yoga instructor, this September at The Orange Tree in Rosedale. Look out for regular articles, when Helen will provide East Riding Mums with advice and tips on how to cope with modern family life.