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8 Time-Management Hacks for an Efficient Household

Maximize your family's efficiency with best organizing practices and time management for families. Create a family schedule with the best time management apps.

8 Time-Management Hacks for an Efficient Household

Now is the perfect time to organize your life and turn your household into a smooth-operating machine. The best way to get on the path to productivity and stress-free living starts with effective time management. You'll want to begin by putting a plan in place that organizes how much time you should designate for certain activities, helps you prioritize tasks, and allows for leisure time with family and friends.

Here's a look at time management tips and advice to maximize your family's efficiency.

1. Do a time audit

Before you can set priorities and schedule tasks, you need to know how you've been managing your time thus far. Conducting a time audit reveals where time has been wasted or not effectively used. Time management is especially essential for parents to maintain a lifestyle that includes fitness and recreation. Are you out of steam for that 30-minute Pilates class by the end of the day? Switch it up! Try to schedule exercise in the early morning and save household chores for later in the day or week.  

Track your daily activities for a week to learn:

  • How much you can (realistically) accomplish in a day
  • Which areas are time robbers and should be adjusted for maximum efficiency 
  • Which activities to prioritize

2. There's an app for that!

Between meetings, work deadlines, after-school events and dinner, much-needed relaxation sometimes takes a back seat. But everyone needs downtime. Make it a must-do task! Use time management apps to help prioritize non-work time, too. 

Here's how time management apps can help:

  • Create and share calendars with a family scheduling app so everyone's on the same page.  
  • Create shopping lists and To-Do lists that you can delegate to family members.
  • Create meal plans and organize your favorite recipes for the week.
  • Capture special family moments with a journaling app that's super handy when it's time to write birthday cards and make holiday gifts!
  • Prioritize tasks and schedule activities that include relaxation and family time.

3. Free yourself with a routine

Believe it or not, having a routine gives you more freedom and creativity for doing all the other fun things you want to do. Having established routines allows our minds to perform tasks without much thought, saving energy for more creative outlets. 

Here's a list of routines to help you start your day stress-free:

  • Hang jackets and backpacks by the door so everything is right where you need it each morning.
  • Keep a money jar filled with coins and extra dollars for last-minute cash needs. (School field trip lunch!)
  • The night before, lay out the clothes you plan to wear the following day.

4. Delegate tasks to other family members

Don't be afraid to ask for help. By sharing household responsibilities, every family member contributes so it's not all on one person. Decide which tasks or activities are best suited for each family member. Assign everybody one easy weekday chore and a more time-consuming one for the weekend. For example, have the kids feed the cat every morning before school. Then on the weekend, they might rake and bag leaves or fold and put away their laundry.

5. Prep now for an easier tomorrow

At the end of the day, set aside a few minutes to prepare for tomorrow. Pack lunches with non-perishable items to save time in the morning and enjoy a family breakfast! In addition, refill your monthly calendar at the end of the current month with scheduled and routine activities or notes that you need to remember. You'll have a better sense of what needs to get done and be able to pivot quickly if things change.

6. Keep a to-do list and group activities together

Even the best organizers know that nothing beats having a pen and pencil handy to jot down important information and reminders. Keep a magnetic pad on the refrigerator and one on the kitchen counter that people can add to as needed. Make sure everyone knows to add their requests to the shopping list before your scheduled grocery store trip. 

When possible, group errands into one day and general area. That saves time and gas. And be organized and ready for a shopping trip with these 2 tips:

  • Use a notebook with pockets to store your coupons and sort them according to your grocery list
  • Group your shopping list by aisle so you're not running back and forth:
    • Cheese and milk products
    • Canned goods-Vegetables, soups, and fruits
    • Meats
    • Snacks and chips
    • Fresh produce

7. Be ready to jet

If you have babies or children, keep a bag packed with essentials so it's easy to grab and go. Pack extra diapers and wipes or snacks, water and coloring books for older kids. Set the bag by the door or leave it in the car where it's handy for last-minute outings. Does your family often take weekend road trips to the grandparents? Pre-pack overnight bags to spend less time prepping and more time visiting with loved ones.

8. Make the internet your BFF

Using the internet to help you organize your day is as easy as 1-2-3 when you take advantage of the numerous ways you can save time. Consider these tips for utilizing the internet:

  • Save time by using online bill pay and automatic monthly payments straight from your bank account.
  • Shop online to save time waiting in long lines at the grocery store. If your local stores offer pick-up services, order ahead and schedule a pick-up time to save another hour or two in your day. 
  • Consult your calendar for upcoming birthday parties and holidays and order gifts online several days (or weeks) in advance. You'll have birthday gifts already wrapped or packaged in gift bags well before the party!

Put yourself at the top of the list

By weaving in these simple time management tips, you'll get a lot more done and have more energy at the end of every day. Remember, don't be afraid to ask for help.  And schedule time for relaxation, even if it's the final minutes before bedtime. Save time for reading your favorite book or meditating to soft music. Reserve a 10-15 minute batch each night. Add calming bath scents such as lavender or chamomile. You'll notice the benefits in your mood and how your body feels each morning, but best of all, you'll be ready to tackle another day!