Time Management for the Homemaker

Our family just finished a training series on time management.  It was a course that my husband went to when he was working in the corporate world and said that we would be going through it at home as a family with him.  At first I was having a very difficult time relating the information to my own life because home life is nothing similar to corporate life.  However, as we were finishing up the course yesterday, I had a light bulb moment and was able to sift through the corporate junk and relate some important time management truths to home management. 
Here is what I came up with: 
Most everyone has heard of the time square quartered into quadrants. 

  • Quadrant 1:  Important/Urgent, which is the quadrant of necessity. 
  • Quadrant 2:  Not Important / Urgent, which is the quadrant of leadership. 
  • Quadrant 3:  Important/Not Urgent, which is the quadrant of deception or distraction. 
  • Quadrant 4: Not Urgent/Not Important, which is the quadrant of time wasting. 

 Ideally, I want to spend my time in Quadrant 3, important but not-urgent.  This is where the planning, prevention and preparation activities take place which will help prevent the excessive amount of Important and Urgent tasks, as well as discourage the non-important and non-urgent time wasters.  When I find my self too often running in the important and urgent category, I burnout and become overwhelmed quickly.  Obviously, quadrant 1 is also going to be a big portion of a mothers life, however, the goal is to prevent as much as can be. 
Can you imagine if you never had to worry about supper?  There seems to be a breakdown time every day and for our family it is around 4 to 5 pm.  Just when I am preparing supper.  I am tired.  I have been going all day and am ready for a break.  The babies are whining and difficult.  The toddler boys are rowdy and literally bouncing down the hallway.  Sound familiar? 
However, many of these scenarios can many times be prevented by taking some time in the meal planning department.  If you had supper in the crockpot or just had to pull it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven, life automatically becomes much easier and peaceful. 
I would say that one of the greatest helps to a mother of several or many young children is to put some time and effort into meal planning.  It is amazing how much this one area, once well organized, contributes to a peaceful home. 
Here is a look at what I came up with when applying time management to home management: 

Home Making Quadrants

4 Comments

  • Catherine says:

    I took a similar class when I was working prior to becoming a mom, and I have also tried to fit homekeeping/mothering into the quadrants. It really does help me to try to stay in quadrant three as much as possible.

  • Candace says:

    Bethany,
    Boy, do I ever know what you mean about the 4-5pm crash! That’s the time when I’ve run out of gas, the kids are whiny, and I’m praying to make it to their bedtimes. My husband is a Fire fighter so he’s gone for 24 hours every other day. Of course, the 24 hours he’s home is wonderful because he helps out with everything, but when he’s gone, my evenings are a struggle! Fortunately, my efforts into mealtime planning have definitely paid off. I’ve always been a menu planner, but would try and think up different menus every two weeks. That got old! I decided to put the menus on the computer and save them. I came up with four different menus which take us through two months of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) plus made a grocery list that coordinates with each menu. Mealtime and grocery shopping have become a breeze. Every so often I will incorporate a new meal and make the adjustment to the shopping list. Whenever something I need goes on sale, I stock up on it. I do plan to make two more menus though. It seems as if we cycle through the four menus so quickly. Anyway, with two older girls who cook many of the meals AND with my menus, this area of home management has helped us tremendously!
    Thanks for the time management chart……I’ll have to sit down and make my own list!
    Solus Christus,
    Candace
    sabofamdynamics.blogspot.com

  • sarah walston says:

    Hey Beth,
    We went over this quadrant in a Konos Support Group I was attending for a while. I still have the information. The leader gave us a package of information on how to organization and planning goals, etc.
    I obsessed about it and burned out on trying to divide my life into quadrants and so I put it all on the shelf and haven’t thought about it again until now.
    LOL!

  • […] Over this next month, our family will be preparing to move to our farm.  My computer blogging time is limited, but after we get settled and my quadrant 3 activities are organized (Ha), my blogging format will be changing.  You will have to stay tuned to see what we have up our sleeve.  However, in the mean time, blogging will be sporadic.  […]

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