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As the world of technology evolves, there are more and more devices to make life easier for us. Think of all the time we save with things like garage door openers, snow blowers, remote controls, dishwashers, elevators, high speed internet, digital everything, laundry and cleaning services, gas powered mowers, online shopping…
It seems like no matter how many time-saving tools we have, people just keep getting busier. We work, sometimes more than one job, go to night school, have families, pets, belong to book clubs, volunteer, and more. If saving stress and finding time for fitness sound like good ideas for you this year, here are some tips that time management experts offer for busy parents…but you don’t have to have children to benefit from this great advice.
Do a Realistic Time Audit
Time management experts stress that before you can make needed changes in the way you manage time, you need to look at how you spend your time now. What activities or tasks are taking up the biggest chunks of your life? What items do you hate or put off most? Are you allowing others to dictate uses for your time that aren’t productive or don't fit your agenda? By doing a brutally honest assessment, you can begin to change the way you manage yourself in relation to time.
Personalize your to-do list
Some people thrive using a daily to-do list, which they construct either at the end of the previous day or first thing the next morning. Some people combine a to-do list with a calendar or schedule. Others prefer a "running" to-do list that is continually being updated. Or, you may prefer a combination of both, whatever method works best for you. Don't be afraid to try a new system — you just might find one that works even better than your present one!
Don't waste waiting time
Waiting is inevitable, but you can find ways to put even a few minutes of waiting to good use. Whether holding on the phone or waiting for play practice to end, you can make lists, sort mail, go over your schedule, and complete other small but necessary tasks. At home, sort the laundry or the mail while catching up on the news, talk on the phone while preparing dinner, etc.
Stock up as much as possible
Save time by keeping items on hand so that you don’t have to make constant special trips to purchase them. Examples include not only items such as postage stamps, greeting cards (buy several at a time with assorted themes), and wrapping paper but also nonperishable groceries and household goods in quantities to last at least 2-3 months. Your supermarket visits will be reduced to quick trips to pick up fresh items, and you’ll be surprised at how much time is saved.