All new parents can use a refresher on time management.  In fact you may have been a master of time management in your paid job, so now as a new parent or parent to be, you just need to transfer those skills over to a different set of circumstances.  Good organisational skills are key to becoming a master of time management.  Everyone has the same 24 hours in every day.  So why do some people seem to accomplish more than others?

Time management is all about taking time to make time.  This starts by being aware of where your time goes each day.  Before you can manage your time, you need to know how you spend it.  A good way of doing this is by keeping a time log.  This log will form the foundation of your time management strategy.

A time log is simply a running commentary of what you do throughout the day.  How much of that time was productive and how much was filled with interruptions and distractions.  Start by writing down everything you do in a day.  Don’t make it complicated, just brief entries such as check emails or morning coffee, going for a walk, doctors appointment etc.  Do you get the idea?  Do this for a week.

Did you do everything you needed to do? 

Did you have enough time to do the things that you needed to do?

Were you rushed?  If so, why?  What’s the message here?

What times of the day were you most productive? and what times of the day were you least productive? 

What did most of your time go on? (yes I know for all you new parents exactly what your answer will be, the baby of course!) 

How much of your time could you have used in a more constructive way? 

This helps to identify where change is needed.  How do you know if your time was spent wisely?  This might depend on what your goals were for that day.  Everyone should have daily goals, or a list of things to be achieved on that day.  Without a goal or a list, what direction do you head in?  It’s like driving in the fog, not really knowing where you are going or how you are even going to get there.  So goals are like a roadmap to effective time management. 

We set goals in order to have something in life to aim for.  This is also true of our list of things to achieve in a day.  It’s vital that we always strive to acheive something each day and move forward in our lives.



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