Time Management at Home - 6 Tips for an Easier Life

How's your time management at home? I've got to say, it's where I find it toughest.

In many ways it’s tougher than time management at work. There are often less organized structures, but just as many deadlines to contend with.

Are you constantly ‘chasing your tail’?

Whatever your responsibilities at work, you’re the manager of a highly complex environment at home.

Demands in a typical day could include:

  • Laundry
  • Meal planning, preparation and clearing
  • Paying bills
  • Food and household shopping
  • Arranging and attending social events
  • Cleaning
  • Fixes, repairs, alterations and improvements
  • Tool maintenance
  • Kids’ homework

…and that’s without making time for the people that matter to you most!

There’s no doubt about it; good home time management matters. Get it right and everyone benefits. Relationships are better because you feel calmer and more in control, which you can be.

Want to know how to manage time at home? Here are 6 ideas to try:

1. Work out your week

Plan what you have to do to learn what time you have left. A weekly planner is probably better than a daily one because not everything is done each day. A week tends to incorporate most scheduled activities.

Once you know what you have to do, you’ll have a more accurate idea of the time available to do what you want to do.

Strangely, this exercise can be quite motivating. You'll probably find that increasing awareness of your time will enhance the value placed upon it.

2. Put it back

No one wants to waste time, but we all do it. The trick is to get better at doing it less. One way that works? Make sure everyone puts things back. Nearly isn’t good enough. Put things back exactly where they belong even if it seems to take longer than it should.

Changing where something goes is the same as implementing a new system. Unless everyone does it, the system won’t work. Or it will, but only because someone does it for others, which can lead to frustration and resentment.

3. Create a landing strip

How many times have you delayed going out to look for your keys, phone, wallets, purses or glasses? Having somewhere easy to pick them up and put them down is one of the best tips for managing time at home.

Create a ‘landing strip’, somewhere near the most frequently used entrance. It could be a dish, shelf or drawer; it really doesn’t matter as long as it’s so easy to use that you’ll use it.

4. Delegate

What do you do that you shouldn’t? Who else in the house could take on a task?

Companies invest time and money in staff training because they believe it will improve their productivity and profit margins. Why not do it at home where “profit” equates to more time?

Time invested in delegation is almost always time well spent.

5. Tweak, adapt and improve

It’s rare to get it right straight away. When things aren’t working your system isn’t necessarily wrong. It probably just needs tweaking. Persist and improve. Factor in what you forgot to account for first time around and aim to increase the accuracy of your time estimates.

Time management at home will always need to adapt to changing circumstances, so be prepared to build in time to review old routines and set up new ones.

6. Get up earlier

If you're busy, sooner or later, you'll want to know how to wake up earlier to create some time. Even if you gain an extra 10 or 15 minutes, it makes a positive difference to how you feel about your day.

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