One of the toughest parts of the day is when get off work, pick up the kids, rush home to throw the chicken in the oven, deal with homework meltdowns, feed the pets, check personal email, and attend to your spouse’s needs. We are juggling multiple tasks in a very short period of time (usually 2 or 3 hours). Usually when we are hungry, tired, and in dire need for some relaxation. Getting behind schedule is a major factor which leads to the chaotic evening routine. This is a tough time of the day, but with these time-management tips you will be able to improve your early evening hours and enjoy your family.
Start with the end of your day in mind and work backwards. If your objective is to get the kids in bed by 8:00pm, you need to finish dinner by 6:30, which means the kids should be finished with homework and the food on the table by 5:45, and so on.
Not ‘To-Do’ List
If you don’t already have a ‘not to-do’ list, create one! This is a great list to have posted as a reminder of what you won’t/shouldn’t/don’t want to be doing, especially during the most chaotic part of the day. One example would be not to answer the telephone, but instead let your voicemail do the work.
Add Some Cushion
Always include a 10 to 20 percent time cushion for mini emergencies that cause a hiccup in your day and make you late. Those hiccups may be heavy traffic, a last-minute phone call, misplaced handbag, or parking headaches.
And, of course, PLAN
A man by the name of Victor Hugo once said, “When disposal of time is surrendered to chance, chaos soon reigns.” Start the day off with a ‘plan of action’. Make sure to not over-commit yourself. You can do this by having no more than 5-7 tasks on your ‘to-do’ list and adding some time cushion (10-20 percent) to each item.