I am currently working at a college in Norway, I am a blogger, I have a wife and two kids, I try to exercise at least three times a week, and I try to keep in touch with my friends. Therefore, being a good manager of my time is important.
In a series of articles, I’ll try to give you an aspect of what I believe to be important in order to manage my time, and how to get things done. I want to be able to plan my day effectively to accomplish what needs to be done, it’s important in order to ensure that no important details are forgotten.
Working outside of your home
If you are like me, and you are working outside of your home, you’re probably armed with a day planner or agenda of some kind. You know when you need to be in meetings or when the best time is to make phone calls. You know when your co-workers need you the most, and when you can take your lunch break and run quick errands.
As a parent, I try to keep everyones activities and appointments marked on a calendar in a public location (our kitchen). This permits planning around various sport practice and orthodontist appointments. Our routine is to set chores and errands. This way, we know when it’s best for planning outside activities. We know when the kids get home from kindergarten/school and when the baby needs her nap (well, at the moment both our kids are in kindergarten).
Working from your home
If your office is in your home, time management takes on a whole new meaning. Not only do the previous tasks apply, you now need to use some time management skills to find that perfect balance between work and household tasks, caring for children, maintaining a relationship with your partner and at some point in the mix you need to take care of yourself.
Here are five tips to help you manage your time
By considering some effective time management skills, you can have them lead you through your day. You will have the knowledge you need to keep you from forgetting children at soccer practice and showing up for a dentist appointment two hours earlier than needed. Here are some tips:
Set a schedule – By creating a schedule you have the most important item already taken care of. Knowing in a glance what you need to accomplish is the most important thing you can do to keep track of your family while remaining as productive as possible.
Choose office hours, and spread the word – This is a great way to prevent family and friends from wanting your time when it’s not ideal for you. Let them know they are important to you, but outside of your office hours is best for you.
Schedule your day with the kids in mind – When your children are young enough to be taking naps, this becomes your prime work period. Chores such as dishes or sweeping the floors can be done when little ones are awake. Get as much work done as possible during naptime. Learn to multitask by throwing a load of clothes in the dryer or getting supper started too.
Schedule regular breaks and spend some time with the children – It is important not only for your children but for you as well. Go for a walk, or sit and play at the sandbox with little ones. Show them that although you work from home, they are still most important.
Write a to-do list – Put the most urgent items at the top of the list and work down from there. The important business work will be done first, and cleaning your closet can be done another day.
Take time for yourself. You’re still only one person. Life happens whether your work is done or not. Take a bath, grab a good book or just sit with your wife for a bit. After all she’s the one you are going to receive the most help and encouragement from, so these little gestures will let her know how much you appreciate it.