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: