When you think of organizing your family, you probably first think of everyone’s stuff. It’s true that cleaning up and organizing a messy house are part of family organization; but did you ever stop to think of how organizing your family’s time is just as important? In fact, you may find that you can get more done by doing less if you organize your family’s time. Your family may also find they have more time for the things everyone enjoys.
Here are some tips on managing time, and how to be more efficient without having to increase your daily workload.
Time for Math and Math for Time
One of the problems with time management is that many of us are stuck in the “addition phase.” We add things to our schedules and shuffle things about, but do we ever take away or subtract anything? Here’s a tip for keeping your family’s schedule sane: don’t add anything to your schedule without taking something else away. This can apply to the whole family – your kids can’t add an activity, for instance, without cancelling another one; the same applies to you.
To take this concept a bit further, try subtracting first. Sit down with the family and discuss dreams, goals, joys, hobbies, etc. Then look at your schedules. Is your son’s goal to be a martial artist? Then maybe you should take music lessons off the list and add in a private martial arts class. Is one of your goals to write a book? Then see if other family members can wash dishes a couple of nights a week to give you time to write.
A Time for Everything…
…and everything in its time! Time is not unlike space in this respect. Here’s where you can do more by doing less once again. Does it feel like you do dishes all the time? Do laundry, wiping up, answering the phone, etc. seem to be never-ending?
While it’s true that some chores are daily, they don’t need to be done a dozen times a day. For instance, rather than grabbing and washing every dish immediately so your sink stays empty all day, wash dishes only once a day, say in the evening or first thing in the morning. The same goes for laundry – work out a regular schedule so that your laundry gets done but you aren’t running ragged doing it.
The same goes for phone calls and email. Let your voicemail or answering machine pick up until your allotted time for making phone calls. Screening calls can save a lot of time. Have a set time for email checking, too.
For the other members of your family, homework time, TV time, and other activities can all be worked into the day in a scheduled manner. It helps things go a lot more smoothly and helps you get more accomplished without running frantically trying to keep up.
Electronic Day Timers
Did you know your computer can help you out here? There are tools and software that can help you automate much of your calendar and schedule, keeping contact names and numbers handy and reminding you of appointments. There is software that can do a lot more than that – and some of it may be free online. Take a look…but only during your allotted computer time!