Tag Archives: Time management

Managing your time when you are at home…

There were lots of things that have changed now we have moved house.  Most of them I was expecting.  The animals behaviour changed quite a bit, the hoover seems to over heat if you clean more than three rooms at a time, there is a lot more dust because it is an older building.  But some of the things that are different have surprised me.  The biggest of these is the fact that all my personal time management skills seem to have taken an extended holiday!


I am not even sure why this is.  It might be that it is the excitement of living in this lovely house, or it could be that there is just a mountain of jobs to do in the house, or it could just be that I am a teensy bit overwhelmed with it all at the moment.  Whatever the reason, I need to sort myself out and sharpish.


There are lots of theories of time management.  If you read any management textbook they will talk about prioritising to do lists.  That is okay for people who can see that they give themselves too much to do.  But if they are anything like me, I give myself loads to do and get annoyed with myself when I don’t achieve it, even though the to do list would have made Superman weep.  The management books also talk about  delegating things to others.  Well, for most of the day I am the only person in the house.  Although the dog would like to help me, her lack of opposable thumbs is a bit of a problem.  I am pretty sure the cats would tell me where to get off, so, I am left with the fact that all of the jobs need me to do them.

to do list

I always have a to do list.  Sometimes it actually fits on one page.  I usually put the most important things at the top and try to attack them first, using the great “Eat that Frog” principle dreamt up by Brian Tracy.  Seriously, if you haven’t read this book, pick it up and have a go now.  It is a really good book, and contains some great anti-procrastination advice.   Basically, he suggests that instead of ruminating on those big jobs that scare you and you think will take far too long, you just get on and do them and you will find that they actually don’t take nearly as long as you fear.


I did that yesterday with the three big jobs I actually managed to get done.  Unfortunately, it left sundry smaller jobs undone because the big nasty three had taken up all my energy.  So, what to do about them?


Well, today, I am going to attempt to use the power of the 15 minutes.  Flylady, an online organisation and home cleaning guru, states that you can do anything for 15 minutes.  I know from previous experience that this is true.  So, today, I am going to set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and see what I can get done from those silly little jobs which have to be done, but which I have been skillfully avoiding.


What have you got on your to do list today?  Will the 15 minutes trick work for you too?


Time flies. Actually, I think it runs away and hides.

In this modern world, most people are overwhelmed and under resourced.  So many competing priorities for our time, it has become our scarcest resource.

time management

In my own life, with the responsibility for running the house, progressing through adoption, redecorating with a view to moving, family and friends to stay in touch with, garden to make productive and Church commitments; sometimes you just want to run away and hide.  I can’t help feeling that Time Management is a life skill we simply cannot afford to be without.


Of course talking about Time Management is actually a misnomer.   You can’t manage it – you can only manage the events in your life in relation to time.  How you use the time in 1 day (1,440 minutes, if you are interested) is entirely up to you.


This is where Life Coaching comes in.  Life Coaching is about helping people find a way to fulfil all their goals and aspirations, helping them break through any self imposed blockages and obstacles they may have put in place.  It is about the present and the future and about getting to a place you know you want to go.


In my research for this post, I found an article online.  https://www.fcs.uga.edu/ext/pubs/time_management.pdf has 10 strategies to manage those 1,440 minutes in the day, and I will briefly touch on them here.

time log

The first thing you have to do is know how you spend your time.  Keeping a time log is a good way.  Find out what types of things use up most of your time.  When are you more productive? Where is most of your time devoted?  Once these areas are identified, do you really want to keep doing them?  If not, then take the power away from the time thieves and get rid of them in some way.  More about that later.

Important vs urgent

You need to set your priorities.  The first thing is to learn the distinction between important and urgent.  Go through your inevitable to do list (I bet it has a field of gravity all by itself!) and decide what is important and urgent and do those things.  Everything else, is negotiable.


Use a planning tool.  I love lists and I love my calendar and diary, but if you have your smartphone about your person all the time, check out some of the amazing free apps that you can use to management your time.  Use whatever work for you.  For me, if it isn’t on a list, it doesn’t exist!


Get organized.  Sounds easy, but I know it isn’t.  The key to it is to get rid of clutter.  You can’t organise clutter, so work through each room in your house, or your desk at work and use 3 boxes.  Keep, Give Away and Toss.  Everything gets sorted into these three boxes.  Then put the stuff you want to keep away appropriately and give away or throw out everything else.  Remember to file in an easily understandable system.


Schedule your time appropriately.  Make sure you do your most challenging tasks when you are alert, or when you have the most energy.  Remember also to only schedule about 75% of your time each day.  The other 25% needs to be reserved for creative activities like planning, dreaming, praying, thinking and reading.  Or Knitting.


Don’t think you have to do everything yourself.  Delegate some tasks to other people.  Even if it is “Taking the Bins out”, or “Drying the Dishes”.  Anything that takes the pressure off you.


Stop Procrastinating.  In the words of a famous sports manufacturer – Just do it.  Generally, the task you are procrastinating about will take a lot less time that you though it would is you just did it and stopped fretting about it.  I also like to use the 15 minute rule.  You can do anything for 15 minutes.  So, tell yourself you are going to do the most horrible job, but only spend 15 minutes on it, and you will probably find it will only take 15 minutes to get it done.  Or, if it doesn’t, after 15 minutes you are so absorbed, that you just keep going until it is done.


Managing external time wasters is vital to Time Management.  These are things like telephone calls, unexpected visitors, meetings, email and the computer in general and family obligations.  There are so many different ways to manage these, it could be a blog post all on its own.  But the first step in all of these is the simple “No”.  Or rather “I am really sorry, I can’t right at the moment…”  It is hard to do, but essential.


Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking is NOT the key to successful time management.  Do one thing at once.  Concentrate on what is in front of you and do not hop from one thing to another.  If you do, all you will achieve is half finished bits and pieces and nothing actually completed.  If you require proof of this, you should see my craft box.  Full of half finished projects.  I really need to sit down and tackle these.

stay healthy

And finally, stay healthy.  When you have good energy levels, you will be able to manage things much better.  Relax, keep yourself fit, reward yourself for managing your time properly.  Though perhaps stay away from the ice cream!