TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS

Time management is so important when you are trying to raise a family and hold down a job. There are so many responsibilities on families nowadays that it can be difficult and stressful just trying to stay afloat. Getting everything done can seem like an impossibility sometimes and finding time for yourself can seem like an unattainable goal. You know that getting organized can really help you to manage your time, but it can be hard to find time to get it done so that you can have more time for yourself and your family. Use these tips for getting organized so that you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just getting started and taking a step in the right direction will improve your outlook and motivate you to get things in order.

1) Make a "to do" list. It's overwhelming to simply sit around and look at what all needs to be done. Between the kids' sports, homework, doctor appointments, work, birthdays, and more, it's hard to imagine that you'll ever keep it all straight. Keep a running to do list on the desktop of your computer, on your phone, on a notepad in the car, or wherever you are most likely to keep up with it. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Don't worry about how long the list is. Prioritize what needs to be done the most and work your way down, one thing at a time.

2) Give yourself a stopping point. If you have a lot of errands and things like that, say that you'll be done after dinner. Don't do anything after that. Give yourself a mental break so that you can actually feel like you had some time off, even if everything isn't done. This will give you a sense of "getting off work" even if it is your life that is the work. Tackle the list again the next day when your brain is refreshed.

3) Do something daily that helps to relieve stress. Get up a few minutes early and take a walk around the block. Take a hot bath instead of a quick shower. You'll feel better and get more done in the short amount of time that you have available.

4) Get organized a little bit at a time. If you don't have a block of time to work on the house, try dedicating twenty minutes a day to cleaning. You'll be surprised how much gets done in twenty minutes. Do the dishes, swap out a load of laundry, clear off the coffee table, and be done. These little jolts of cleaning can help you to catch up on things that you normally dread and drag out.

5) Tackle the thing that seems to rob you of time. For most people, this is laundry. We let it pile up until we have to have a long laundry day instead of ten or fifteen minutes a day. Make laundry time go quickly and smoothly by putting a laundry basket in each room. Collect, toss it in, get clothes out of the dryer. Fold what you need to and then hang the rest. You can avoid a lot of ironing if you hang your clothes on hangers. You can save space by using clothing hangers that have clips, hooks, or cascading attachments that allow you to hang more than one thing on each hanger. Reserve wooden hangers for suits and coats and hang everything else on the appropriate clothes hangers. You'll save time because you won't be digging through drawers. You can hang things right out of the dryer and then simply place them in the right closet.