4 Useful Ways to Reclaim Your Time

It's 10 p.m., and your to-do list is still as long as your arm. You can't magically add hours to the day, but you can make the most of the time you have. Try these useful ways to reclaim your time and enjoy more hours relaxing with your family.

Keep and Share a Calendar
Image via Flickr by perzonseowebbyra 

When you find yourself jotting down important dates on sticky notes or the note app on your phone, it's time to get more organized. Write down your family activities and errands in a calendar. Use an app to share dates and times with your partner and children.

Everyone will know when you have free time to schedule other items and when the day is already full. The half-hour you spend planning the week ahead will make you feel organized and reduce stress. An easy first step is to use the calendar app that comes with your smartphone.

You can also try a family calendar app, such as the Cozi Family Organizer, if you want more features. You can keep your schedule, shopping list, to-do list, and recipes on the free version of the app. Use Cozi on Apple and Android devices and your computer. Everyone can log in to the app and start planning activities together.

Plan Your Workday
Once the kids are off to school, your workday begins. Balancing your priorities and goals along with the projects your boss delegates to you can be challenging. At the end of each workday, build your schedule for the next day to ensure you'll be productive. Learn how to tactfully set boundaries with your supervisor and schedule enough time to complete each project. Work with your team and pass on smaller tasks to others. Plan to spend a few minutes at the end of the week for a quick meeting to celebrate wins and catch up on larger projects.

Outsource Routine Household Tasks
Sometimes you shouldn't try to do everything yourself. Why not outsource routine household tasks? A full-time cleaning service may not fit into your family budget, but you can treat yourself to maid service during super-busy times like the holidays.

Other routine maintenance tasks, like an HVAC checkup, can also eat up your time. Hire a technician to clean the air conditioning vents and change the filters so you don't even have to think about it. Consider hiring someone to manage your landscaping and outdoor painting projects, too.

Schedule Time to Reflect
Take time for yourself and relax. The way to make sure this happens is to schedule it like your other responsibilities. If your days are packed, wake up 10 minutes earlier. You can pray, meditate, or reflect on the previous day and focus on what makes you feel grateful. You'll wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the day's challenges.

Aim to take back at least an hour of each day. Have some fun with your family planning how you will spend that time. You can schedule a long family dinner to catch up on the day's activities or play a video or board game together.

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