4 Basic Tools for Time Management

In my opinion some of the tools used for time management in the workplace are not the same that I would use for time management at home.  In the workplace I learned that time management was about prioritizing, organizing, scheduling, and setting performance goals.  However, these do not work for me at home.  At my house everything is a priority – Mom I need this, Honey can you do this, this is due today, it all needs to be done now.  I try to be organized at home but my youngest child follows right behind me and destroys everything I organize.  Scheduling is definitely not for me, I am terrible at following a schedule at home.  Naptime and bedtime are whenever the little one decides she is ready to fall asleep and mealtime is whenever we are hungry.  As for my list of performance goals for the house the two most important are to get out of bed each day and to take a shower. 

So, what are realistic tools that busy moms can use at home to help with time management?  Here’s my list:

1)      Let the small things go.  So what if there are some toys on the floor all day?  What is the point in picking up toys off the floor when the kids are still awake?  If it’s not hazardous, completely in the way, or life threatening leave it alone until the kids are asleep and then take care of it.  This will save a lot of time during the day. 

2)      Multi-task. Have you ever carried a baby and vacuumed the floor?  Have you ever held a baby while eating lunch?  Have you ever held a baby while doing homework and talking on the phone and checking your email?  I think you get the point – learn to multitask and you will be able to accomplish more.

3)      Ask for help. It is nice to think that we can accomplish everything by ourselves but the reality is that at times we all need a little help from our friends or family or really whoever is willing.  Have your friends or family babysit every once in a while so you can have some time at home without the kids to catch up on your to-do list.  Ask your mom or your mother-in-law to come over and help you clean the house.  Ask (tell) your husband or boyfriend to pitch in with the chores and the errands. 

4)      Be flexible. The unexpected always occurs so be flexible with your time and don’t get upset/stressed/frustrated. If everything you hoped to accomplish doesn’t get done for the day, so what!!  Tomorrow is promised to no one. If you’re still here tomorrow get it done then, if you’re gone then it is someone else’s problem. 

I hope these basic tools will help you begin to be successful in managing your time each day.  Please share your comments.

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