Work life balance is definitely a challenge in today’s fast-paced world. Busy families with many activities going on tend to run out of time, making everyone exhausted (and maybe irritable) by day’s end. What if you could find ways to save your family time and in turn, save all your sanity? Would you be interested? I think you would be! Here’s how you can go about starting to achieve this goal.
- Get your family in the habit of maintaining the organization. You may think that it’s impossible for your family members to hop on board with the organizing efforts you’re working so hard to achieve. This is not true! If you ask and explain, and more importantly, show confidence that they can do it, your family is very capable of respecting your no junk on the counter policies, making their beds in the morning, etc. Give them a chance!
- Sort the laundry out as you fold it. Make a stack for each person and if they are old enough, have them take that stack to their bedroom to put away into drawers or hang up in their closet. This also alleviates that all too common question: “Mom, where is my t-shirt? I can’t find it.” The answer: “Well, where did you put it?” It works!
- Put your kids to work in the kitchen. Learning to cook can be fun and having your kids participate in some way can save you some time in the kitchen. There are also other benefits, such as teaching your kids kitchen skills, having them appreciate what goes into making a meal, and having quality time together—laugh, have fun, and celebrate the moment!
- Maintain an organized calendar of events. This is the best way to reduce stress about worrying if you are forgetting something and to let everyone know what is going on. Kids love activities and most parents want their kids to be involved, but it takes some cooperation on everyone’s end to make it happen with fewer hassles. Hassles are time wasters. If your kids have dance or sports, make sure they have their bag packed and water bottle ready for when it’s time to go.
- Have a paper shredder. Shredding papers that are no longer necessary is a great way to save on clutter and also save time for when you need to locate the documents you do need. No one (and even the IRS agrees) needs that bank statement from 10 years ago. At minimal, if you are addicted to keeping documentation, simply keep a year end record of the entire year instead of a month by month recap.
- Plan your menu and groceries out for the entire week. This is a great way to save time, maximize your trip to the grocery store, and make it so you don’t have to evaluate more than once a week what you’re going to have for dinner on any given night. If you’ve never done this, you’ll really appreciate how much it relieves stress and the wasted time of contemplation.
- Keep an ongoing shopping list. When something is low, write it down on a list immediately instead of hoping that you’ll remember it when you make your official grocery shopping list. Encourage your family to do the same thing—if they get something from the kitchen and notice that it’s the last one (or near the last one), have them write it down on the list. This practice will keep everyone happier when it comes to the foods they enjoy most!
Time management is important because, more time for our families gives us more out of our lives.