- Insource – Identify everything you currently do for your family that they can do for themselves. Start with the low hanging fruit – for example from tonight everyone in the family is responsible for putting away their own ‘stuff’. No longer will you be the person who stalks the house each day collecting and repatriating shoes, iPods, iPads, phones, dirty clothes, clean clothes, school bags and sports clothes.
- Insource some more – Divide up the more challenging family based chores such as loading and unloading the dishwasher, taking out and bringing in the bins, vacuuming the kitchen and feeding the pets. Rotate these chores on a weekly basis. Write everything up on a whiteboard or A4 sheet and place in clear view to avoid arguments.
- Outsource – Think about any tasks around the house which you would be happy to pay someone else to do for you. For example, cleaning. If you are hesitant to pay someone to clean for you, think about what the task costs you in terms of your own hourly rate, or emotionally (do you spend the time yelling at everyone to help?) or physically (does vacuuming kill your back?).
- Rejects/ Do it Smarter – Some of the tasks you perform can be done a lot more efficiently. For example:
- Stop standing in front of the fridge each day wondering what to cook for dinner
- Start making a weekly meal plan on a Sunday night
- Stop popping in to the supermarket four or five times a week
- Start keeping a list of what you need at the supermarket and head there once, or better still, buy online
- Rejects/ Don’t do it at all – Some of the tasks you perform don’t need to be done at all as they are a big waste of time. For example:
- Stop ironing – buy clothes that don’t need to be ironed
- Stop running errands during peak hour
- Stop picking up after your kids
- Stop cleaning before the cleaner comes
By managing your time a little smarter, you can find and harness hours of lost time a month. The added bonus is that you can start to remove your mother’s guilt by spending some of that reclaimed time with your kids, not to mention a little ‘me time’ for yourself!
Kate Christie is a time management expert, speaker and the author of ‘Me Time: The Professional Woman’s Guide to finding 30 guilt-free hours a month’. To purchase your signed copy of ‘Me Time’ for only $20 plus postage and start your own journey to finding your lost time, go to www.timestylers.com and use coupon code TIME.