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By Crystal Miller
My husband said to me the other day, "I wish there were 26
hours in our day, then I could get everything accomplished!"
I had to laugh because I myself had those thoughts; if we
just had more time we could accomplish much more or at the
very least we could actually get enough sleep! ~smile~.
Well since we have no chance to increase the hours in our
day we have to evaluate the time we have and how well we are
using it. We need to ask ourselves, are we being the best
steward possible of our time? Are we valuing our hours as a
vital resource and using them as wisely as possible?
With the 24 hours that we do have in a day we know that many
of those hours are already claimed. We need to sleep, eat,
shower, relax, spend time with family and husband etc. After
these hours are subtracted what we have left is what we have
to work with each day.
To make the most out of each day begin to view your time
differently. More time won't suddenly appear but being
conscious of how our time is used during the day will help
us to streamline and make better decision. I will share a
few of my time management tips that I use and maybe it will
help you in your goal towards better time management!
Become more efficient with your time. Take time to examine
how you do things and your methods and see if they can be
altered to be time friendly. Can you do more than one thing
at one time? Can you combine trips and have only one or two
days out of the house a week to run errands? Cook a double
portion of a meal and freeze one for another day, wipe down
your bathroom sink and counters at the same time in the
morning that you are getting yourself dressed.
Train your children to help you. In the long run this will
be one of the biggest time management helps to you. By the
time my children are 10 to 12 years old they are completely
responsible for their own rooms, their laundry, their sheets
and they have regularly assigned chores to do each day. Keep
everyone on a routine and hold them accountable for their
daily jobs. Do your chores at the same time as they are
working to help increase moral and make sure everyone is
staying focused. Don't forget to turn on some music while
you work! It does add to the enjoyment of what you are
Be aware of things that rob your time. Over commitment to
outside responsibilities is a biggie! Keep a list of some of
the more important goals you have and refer to this when you
are asked to participate in something. It may be a simple
reminder to you of your priorities and it will allow you to
see if a commitment made will be in keeping with these
The telephone is another time robber. I don't have a message
machine. The reason I don't have one is basically I don't
have enough time to spend calling people back. If someone
needs me they will have to spend the time calling me and
catching me at home. Plus there is always email! Obviously
that method won't work for everyone but it works well for
me. Unplugging the phone is another way to not allow time on
the phone to take up too much of your day.
Yet another time robber is too many activities for your
children. I once had a key chain that referred to mom as the
"taxi driver". After awhile I got rid of this key chain.
~smile~ I did not want to be a taxi driver for my children.
I decided it was more important to help them learn to be
content with more time at home.
Routines are my best time management tool. A routine helps
keep your day on track. If you want to learn to manage your
time effectively then a routine is a critical key to being
able to follow through with your daily tasks. There is a
difference between a strict schedule and a routine. A
routine is a set daily habit of accomplishing your household
tasks. Plan your daily routines to work for you. Don't
compare how someone else manages their day. Work to find
what will accommodate your life.
Have a minimum amount that must get done daily and train
your children to know what this expectation is. My children
know that before anyone goes to bed the dishes are to be
done, the floors are swept, vacuumed and washed (that may be
more than most people would do but living in the country
with a houseful of kids means that our floors require a lot
of attention), the bathroom is wiped down and in order,
laundry is going each day, the clutter is picked up.
One last thought on managing your time is to be reasonable
about how much can be accomplished in your life. Keep your
priorities in order and remember that neither you nor I are
super-moms! We are just women with a heart for our mission
in life to love and care for our families. Don't take on
more than you can handle, don't expect more from yourself
than is reasonable. Work on those priorities that have the
greatest importance in your life. There may be another time
and season for other things you may desire to do or
Obviously time management is a proactive work! The day will
go by no matter what. The question to ask ourselves is; did
we use the time as well as we should have? Is there room for
improvement in the way we use our time? Are my expectations
on myself to high for my season in life? Keep your
priorities straight and make changes to your routine to help
you use your time as wisely as possible.
Copyright: Crystal Miller, 2005
About the Author:
Crystal Miller ( mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) is
a mother of 8 children and enjoys her God given role as
wife, homemaker and mother! She has a homemaking and country
living web site called The Family Homestead
<http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/> and has a free
monthly newsletter called Homestead Happenings. You will
find sign up information on her website.