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Managing Your Time

Take control of your time and make more time for you and your family. Even the youngest family members can take part. Organize space at home. Make a planning book or chart. Design a calendar. Decide which tasks are most important and do them first.

Record your plans

Use a planner book, or chart. Choose or make one with lots of space to write. Your calendar should show one week rather than just a day. Kids can help with design and decoration.

Name the projects and tasks that must be done. Mark the things that are most important. These are the "must do" items. Try to be realistic about these. "Doable" tasks are likely to get done.

Mark the tasks on your planner or chart and on your calendar. Some things take more time to complete. Mark the days you plan to work. Note the day you want to finish. Some families even use pictures instead of words.

Keep the planner or chart and the calendar in a place where it will not get lost. Be sure it can be seen by anyone who is part of the plan.

Focus on the Job

Clear and organize space to do the task. Try to remove things you know may distract you. If possible have the needed tools and supplies ready before you begin.

Start small. Break up a large job into smaller pieces. Work on finishing each piece. When the whole family works together, each person can work on a task that is appropriate in size.

Get enough sleep when a big project is planned! Go to bed earlier if possible. Take a nap during the day (Keep it short—10 to 15 minutes for adults).

Limit Interruptions

Tell visitors or callers clearly, right away, that you have a task to complete. Learn to say no to people who ask for your time or talent during this task. You can be polite and still be firm.

Teach children that you need time for yourself to complete tasks. Kids, too, have the right to time for their planned projects.

Celebrate Success!

Praise family members for finishing each piece of the project. Even completing a routine task may be cause for celebration. Success at managing time can make all family members feel confident.

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