This article is based on questions sent to me by “The Mod Mom” Maureen Kyle maureenkyle.com
Peter, first and foremost, can time-management skills you teach for businesses be applied to households? Is it apples to apples?
Most all of the time-management skills that you can use to deal with business issues are the same ones you can use to deal with the household time-management issues.
Let’s say a family is struggling to make life run smoothly, for example, always running late getting out the door in the morning, household chores never seem to get done, dinner is rushed, etc., what steps or exercises would you recommend in identifying the problems and then making changes?
To end the time-management struggle, the first step is to identify the root cause of the problem.
Common root causes causing family struggles with good time-management are overcommitment, the inability to say “no,” lack of planning, trying to do everything yourself, excessive perfectionism, underestimating how long it
takes to do something, setting the wrong priorities, and waiting until the last minute to get something done.
Is there one habit that serves as a major roadblock to effective time management?
The main bad habit is overcommitment.
The other day I was having a conversation with the person sitting next to me during an airplane trip. When she found out that I was a time-management expert she started to tell me how overwhelmed she was with all the work that she had to do.
I asked how she got into that situation. She said the main reason she’s overwhelmed is that she starts more things than she can finish. She knows she shouldn’t do this, but keeps doing it anyway. She constantly overcommitts herself and takes on more than she can possibly handle.
She needed to be aware of her limitations and say “No” to herself and to others, or at least say “No, not now.”
Many people trying to manage a household get overcommitted because they try to do too many things at once and try to do too many things for too many people.
Time management is behavior management. Keep doing what you’ve always been doing and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always been getting. For you to approve your time management you need to change your behavior.
Getting necessary chores/work done is one thing. How would you recommend making time during the week for fun, relaxation, etc.?
Sometimes you have to plan and schedule the time for fun and relaxation. Wishing is not a plan.
If you don’t block out the time, the time will be filled with other things. Having high quality “goof off” time is as important as some of the “chores” we think are critical.
Make fun and relaxation a top priority and schedule it in. People who have high quality time in their personal lives don’t have it happen by accident. They plan for it and make it happen.
You may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this Time Tips article as long as you credit the information to Time Management Expert, Peter Turla