I have many flaws; but one of the things I have the hardest time with is time management. For starters, I’ve never had a 9-5 job, but I also think I am just wired that way. I’ve spent a few years trying to find a better reason, as if finding the answer would open up a door to a side of me that is always on time. Untrue! Some mornings I wake up two hours earlier for more time to get ready for the school day, and we still end up running through the doors, bookbags and lunch boxes swinging while we race.
It’s also an issue that pops up at home and how we spend our downtime there, so we’ve partnered with Circle Disney to mange River’s screen time (and mine!), while keeping us connected! Circle is a little white box and app that pairs wirelessly with your internet allowing you to manage content and time online across every device in your home.
I try hard to pay attention, but will inevitably end up giving the kids an extra five minutes, then ten, and then I’m wondering where the time has gone! There are also times when I find they’re swapping from show to show or starting a new movie, even though I’ve only allowed them one. While I like that River takes initiative and exercising autonomy, I am not comfortable giving up parental controls that keep screen time comfortable and safe.
Circle Disney is literally one of the easiest devices I’ve set up in my house! It connected wirelessly with my router and was instantly available on my iPhone and their iPad. All I did was plug it in and connected it to my wifi—bam!
Essentially, the app creates a circle of users to locate app usage (in our case Netflix, ABC Mouse, Youtube kids, and a few games) and monitor it. The app allowed me to filter what apps on my phone River can have access to, as well as the time limits for them.
Another cool thing: You can set up a screen-time alarm. River who is 7, wakes up at 7:30; but using Circle Disney, she isn’t able to access any apps on her iPad until 9 AM—when she’s really allowed to get on. The app also has a bedtime timer, preventing sneaky little ones from hopping on late at night and accessing their favorite games.
If I ever have to, I can also just pause the internet completely, which I have found to be a pretty powerful tool.
I use it personally, too, setting a bedtime timer at 11 PM for myself. Even if I lack the will power, Circle has my back. It’s that easy!
My personal goal is to never let the internet consume us, and that means being diligent about not only how we connect, but the times at which we connect.
How do you manage time and connect in this digital age?