How's your time management at home? I've got to say, it's where I find it toughest.
In many ways it’s more challenging 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:
…and that’s all without taking into account the other people in your life!
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.
So if you want to know how to manage time at home here are 6 habits to install:
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.
Here's a weekly planner you can download and print:
If your circumstances are different you can download some alternative weekly planner templates here.
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.
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.
What do you do that someone else could do instead? 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.
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.
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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Even one or two of these habits will make time management at home that bit easier.
Try it for a week and see what difference it makes.