Great Time Management Equals More Family Time

Times have changed greatly since our grandparents, and even our parents, had to build their lives.  Today, we want to accomplish far more in our lifetime than ever before. We have lofty career aspirations, ongoing family commitments and responsibilities, and personal goals that need to be accomplished. Far greater is the desire to balance all of these responsibilities.
On the surface, it may seem impossible, but with the proper set of tools, practice, and perseverance, you will be able to accomplish all of the above and still have an abundance of time to enjoy with your family and friends. It all boils down to time management.

Evaluate How You Use Your Time

Before you can start making your plan, you must evaluate how you use your time. Everything you do in the course of your day consumes time. You need to figure out what things are most important and/or necessary to be done, what things are less important and can be added as necessary, and what things can be completely eliminated from your day. After you complete this evaluation, give these five time management tips a try to help you get more done in your day:

1.  Initially, get rid of all of the “play time” from your schedule.  By eliminating these unnecessary things from your schedule, you will be able to focus your time on the things that really need to be addressed every day.  As you become more proficient in managing your daily tasks, you might find you are able to reintroduce some of this “play time” back into your schedule.

2.  Multitask where ever and when ever possible. Before running errands, make a list of the places you must stop at and what needs to be done or picked up at each location.  Attach receipts and coupons to this list so they are not forgotten.  This is a huge time (and gas) saver.

3.  Stop procrastinating. Procrastinating can really get you into trouble and take time away from something that really has to be done.  Remember, procrastination only puts off the inevitable – and can possibly have devastating consequences.

4.  Never be afraid to ask for help. We have been taught to value our independence, which can be a good thing, but never be afraid to ask your spouse, a friend, or your family to help you with something. Teamwork and delegation will help get more done, diminish your stress, and strengthen your bonds.

5.  Create a schedule and stick to it. Use a calendar, a day timer, your cell phone, whatever works for you to keep your to do list and your schedule at hand.  Writing things down will help keep you on track and moving forward on your tasks.

Spend Quality Time With Your Family

Once you begin to organize and manage your time more efficiently, you’ll have much more time to spend with your family.  Remember, it’s not the quantity of time you spend, but the quality that counts.  Here are several ideas to help you have more quality (and fun) time with your family:

1.   Have a game or movie night where you play board games, cards, put together a puzzle, or watch a movie together – as a family.

2.   Arrange a weekend trip, or even a day trip, to somewhere fun for the entire family. Perhaps it’s an amusement park, zoo, water park, a museum, or some special event happening in your community. The activity does not have to cost a lot of money, just a bit of planning.  The most valuable thing you will receive from going away will be the recharging of  your body and mind and renewed bonds you will have with your family.

3.   Put together an arts and crafts night. Perhaps you can make a scrapbook together from one of your weekend or day trips and allow everyone to include their own memories into the book.  Near holidays or birthdays, a craft night can be a great way to decorate your home for the whatever the season or occasion!

4.   Reward your children for good grades or good behavior by having a theatre night on the weekend. Take the children to a movie they have been wanting to see and enjoy movie theatre popcorn and soda together. Think beyond the movie theatre and take your children to a live theatrical production.  There are many free and low cost children’s productions in many communities.  It’s a wonderful way to introduce your children to a different form of entertainment and give all of you something to look forward to at the end of a long week.

5. Play with them. Children love it when their parents join them in their imaginary world, so get down on the floor or go out into the yard and become a kid once again. Take a bike ride, go to the park and get on the swings, build a sand castle – it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it together!

Building a Better Quality of Life

By improving your time management skills, you’ll not only get more done, but you’ll be able to spend more time with your family. Focusing on how you spend your time and what you do with your time is essential to transforming the way in which you live.  Remember, it’s important to spend quality time with your loved ones and create on of the most important treasures you can ever have – memories that will last forever.

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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