I have asked a time management expert (my wife) to provide some tips on how to better manage time. She amazes me with how organised she is. She manages to look after all of the boys in the house (there are 4 of us) and work her own job etc. Don't get me wrong, we all help out, it's just that she is so efficient that she can do as much as the rest of us put together!
Anyway here is her post...
Being organised is something that I must say I got from my mother. She probably got that from her mother. Regardless, I learnt to be organised at an early age. I grew up in a migrant household and not having much money meant my parents both working to get by in life and bring up 3 children. For me, being the oldest, meant looking after the younger two for that small window in the morning from my dad going to work and my mum getting in from night shift 2 ½ hours later. We had animals to look after as we were a small working farm plus lived a couple of kilometres to school in which we had to walk to. We got up early, fed the animals, made lunches, had brekky, washed up, put on load of washing so it could go out just before we went to school and put the meat out to defrost in time for dinner (way before the wonders of the microwave!)
These days, even with all the many wonderous gizmos that make life so much easier and less time consuming, I still find myself doing all I can so to alleviate as much stress and panic as possible for the morning rush. If I am working the following day, I will put on load of washing after all the showers that night, will make lunches for the next day, (which includes 16 slices of bread), get something out for dinner for the following night, prepare what I’m going to wear the next day so as not to bang around in the dark, get boys uniforms ready, pack the little fella’s backpack for kindy and lay out his clothes and all of this is done after dinner starting from 7.30pm. I must say I am not as bad as my mother. I think she packs a week before coming to see me because “You can’t plan life, life plans you” and she needs to be ready for anything even though she retired 5 years ago.
I watch every morning as my husband runs around to get ready, find the sheets of paper he needs, pack up his laptop, swear a bit, kiss us all goodbye, grab his lunch and bolt out of the door. Every day, no matter what time he gets up, it is the same routine…….a domestic version of groundhog day and it’s been going on for years. Unfortunately, he still hasn’t fine-tuned his morning. Probably a good thing because he would find something else to conquer if he thought he had spare time. Lucky for me, it gives me some precious time with him we don’t have very often.
My tips for time management;
- Plan ahead – don’t wait until last minute
- Do it when it needs to be done, don’t put it off… don’t procrastinate, just get it over and done with
- Use any ‘spare’ time to your best advantage
- Leverage time (girls seem to be better at this).. this means if you can do two things at once, do it!
- Do the most important thing that needs doing first