The 8-Step Guide to Time Management
Keeping up with your daughter’s piano lessons, your son’s basketball games, and the daily home chores can be a challenge. Taking a breath and finding time for yourself is a moment you find hard to come by. With a few time-management tips, you’ll be able to navigate through your constantly moving life more easily.
1. Prioritize Your Tasks
Ask yourself what needs to get done today, what can you complete later in the week, and what is an ongoing task. Not everything on your to-do list needs to be done right away. Pick and choose what you can go without. You might prioritize the laundry over cleaning one night or choose to catch up on your favorite television show over cooking dinner. What can do you in advance or delegate to other family members to create more freedom in your schedule? You’ll feel less stressed about completing your to-do list if you give yourself a sufficient amount of time to do them.
2. Assess Your Time
Designate 30 minutes to an hour every week to evaluate how you spend your time. You could be spending too much time on tasks that could be consolidated or eliminated. For example, how much time are you spending waiting to pick up your kids from school? Is it possible to cut down that time or investigate getting into a carpool with neighboring families? Assessing your time allows you to think ahead and prepare yourself and your family for the week.
3. Use A Planner
Most paper planners allow you to organize your work, home, and travel schedule. Electronic calendars remind you of upcoming tasks and events, allow you to share information and can sync to your smartphone. You can even try a family planner so everyone can see weekly schedules. Find the perfect planner to accommodate your lifestyle.
4. Make Meal Planning Your Best Friend
During your weekly planning sessions, plan meals for the week. Organize your meals on your planner and compile a grocery list. You’ll save time going to the grocery store once a week instead of multiple times a week.
Also, think about replacing a meal with leftovers. Cook double (or triple) the amount of food you would normally cook for your family and save the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. Leftovers will eliminate the time you spend cooking.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
Delegate tasks and chores to your family and make it an opportunity to teach your children about time management and responsibility. Your spouse could do the laundry or wash the dishes, and your children could help clean the bathroom or kitchen on a regular basis.
Utilize other parents and trade off carpooling so you can get more accomplished without having the kids around.
6. Be Picky
Prioritizing tasks lets you evaluate your free time and enables you to say no. Don’t be afraid to pass on supervising the school dance or volunteering at the community fair. Utilize your free time wisely. Loading up on tasks will easily create imbalance in your life.
Be picky about your children’s activities and limit them to one to two per child. Share your plan and reasoning for the change with your kids, and let them decide which activities to cut.
7. Master Multitasking
For those moments you have no control over things such as sitting at the doctor’s office or waiting to pick-up your kids from their after-school activities, utilize the down time to cross off other items from your to-do list. Check your children’s homework or take advantage of the internet to pay your bills, buy supplies, or find gifts while you wait. You can even pack a “while you wait” bag for those specific occasions.
8. Classify “Same” Items
Have a place for everything and try to put everything back in its designated spot. Also, keep the “same” items together such as athletic uniforms and sport-specific clothes or important documents for your family like social security cards and insurance documents.