Time Management Tips For Families

09/07/2009 11:11 | Updated 22 May 2015

Debbie WebberI have to admit to being slightly scared of women who seem to manage their families and homes as if they were managing a multi-national company.

And while I'm confessing, I have something else to admit to: I don't have a time management system. I'm not sure I know anyone who does.

However, I think I need one. With five children in four different places come September I shall go mad without a system in place. And so will my children if they don't end up with the right kit, at the right time in the right place.

I'm the first to admit I need some help in this area and am perfectly happy to steal the ideas of others' if it means family life runs a little more smoothly.

The first person I've turned to is Kathy Peel who is actually styled as The Family Manager. Here are her thoughts on getting a system in place.

There is no perfect system: I think I knew this but I am a little disappointed. So no system is foolproof but having one will set me free. I can't wait.

Not having a system is just plain crazy: Oh dear. I knew this too. While no system is perfect I could do with some pointers. Luckily Kathy has devised the Hit List, which is a to-do list split into categories downloadable from her site. I've also taken notes. I just hope I remember where I've put them.

Be flexible: I don't think there are any worries here as I am good at being flexible. Probably a little too good. So schedules and plans will be ruined occasionally by burst water pipes or the puppy eating the remote control. Roll with it.

Prioritise: I've learned from Kathy that while a to-do list is useful, so is connecting and communicating with your loved ones. The ironing, as we all know, will still be there. Or in my case, will still be there until it topples over onto the muddy utility room floor and will need washing again.

Think rhythm rather than balance: According to Kathy, achieving a perfectly balanced life is impossible so focus on its rhythm instead and life with children is all about rhythm. One minute you're lugging around a suitcase sized bag for a ten-minute trip into town, the next you're having to note where the public loos/handy trees are for small bladders that can't hold on.

Recognising these rhythms is easier if you're prepared, especially if there are times when you know you're going to be stressed, like getting everyone fed easily and quickly before doing the Brownie drop-off.

I'm starting to realise a lot of the art of successful time management is common sense. Which is hard to remember in the hurly burly of family life. Actually, what I need is for Kathy to move in. Just for a month or two. I think I could get organised then!

Do you have any time management tips? Do you make a daily to-do list? Please share them (I could really do with the help).


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