Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Blog, Time | 6 comments

Managing Your Time: Share Your Brilliance

Managing Your Time: Share Your Brilliance

We have yet to meet a parent who says they have enough time — that they aren’t periodically (or frequently) overwhelmed by the sheer number of work/home demands. That they don’t wish for more hours in the day. That they haven’t daydreamed about a clone. We totally get it because we’ve felt that way, too.

And while we can’t solve your time problems overnight, our Time chapter includes lots of great big picture and tangible action steps to help you figure out how to prioritize and minimize. And now we’d like to hear from you. Share your brilliance on any or all of the questions below; we’re looking to include not-already-covered nuggets of wisdom from the community! If we include one of your ideas, we will of course quote you appropriately!

So, our questions for you today:

1. What are are your most effective time management strategies?

2. How do you track your family calendar and to-do’s? What is your favorite calendar/to-do system?

3. What are your favorite time management resources (e.g., books, blogs, etc.)?

We can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Image credit:


  1. 1. What are are your most effective time management strategies?

    2. How do you track your family calendar and to-do’s? What is your favorite calendar/to-d0 system?

    My husband and I both work full time with 3 & 5 yr olds at pre-k/daycare. we use outlook meeting requests to keep our schedules on track (which parent is out of town/ who has to pick up kids, etc). we have found it is extremely important to now have separate calendars from work because they are so intertwined (i.e. if hubby has an 8:00 am meeting on Monday he can’t take the kids to school or if he does he has to leave 1 hr earlier). Our calendars are also available on our smartphones too. I schedule EVERYTHING even travel to and back from events and I include my husbands events if he is taking the kids somewhere (I code it yellow and mark it as free time so it does not mess up my calendar).

    I handle all to-dos for me and the kids and I use a rolling to-d0 list with all my work items too. I save the list on drop box so it is available anywhere and any new items that pop into my brain I send an email to my work email which I know will get looked at and added tot he list.

    3. What are your favorite time management resources (e.g., books, blogs, etc.)?
    I love David Allen and his book Getting Things Done, I follow him on twitter too and read his blog. I also love reading Lifehacker. I recently started reading Minimalist Parenting and hope to get more organized at home. I can’t wait to read your book!

    • *not have separate calendars from work (typo above). We each have our own calendar but family stuff is an appointment on both calendars (which is why my husbands family appointment shows up on my calendar (not his work unless he will be away or out to dinner before or after business hours.

      • Ali, I agree — I rely on Outlook for calendar stuff! I also use Outlook for my to-do’s but the problem is that it doesn’t sync up on my phone (or, as far as I know!) so I’m going to think about using Dropbox! Thanks!

  2. This is a tiny one but we don’t have an answering machine or voicemail on our landline, which has proved to be a huge relief and a real time saver. Anyone who really needs to reach us has our mobile numbers or will text us. It just adds to evening peace to not have to return phone calls or check messages in that crazy period after work and before bed that is our weeknight sprint. We also don’t check email or use smartphones during this window. If a phone rings, we check caller ID and answer if it’s important. Otherwise we just stay in the family time moment.

    Here’s my other time management strategy – for work or home: don’t wait until you feel like doing something to get started doing it. Otherwise the guilt and delays mount. Tell yourself you don’t have to finish it, but you do have to start it, whether you feel like it or not.

    • Cynth, I like the way you think. Interesting argument against the answering machine. I find the various “information piles” draining as well, and I’m going to think about what you’ve said here. Thanks.

  3. Question #1: Many of the organizing clients I work with have time management issues as well. Turns out, organization is as much a time management issue as it is a “stuff” management issue. What I find works for them (and me too!) is to realize that we tend to overestimate how long an unpleasant task will take while underestimating how long a pleasant task takes. As a result, we procrastinate on the boring stuff (“It will take too long!”) and lose all track of time while having fun on our projects and activities.

    So I have timed myself doing those unpleasant tasks, like unloading the dishwasher, and found that it really only takes about 7 minutes. The next time I dread having to unload the dishwasher, I tell myself, “Hey, it only takes 7 minutes out of my day and then it’s done. I can do anything for 7 minutes.” It provides me with just the motivation I need to get boring, nasty stuff done.

    Another tactic I use to manage time when I feel like procrastinating is to realize that in all of the time I spent dreading that activity and actively ruminating on how difficult/boring it will be, I could have had the activity done. We tend to devote way more time worrying about getting stuff done then the amount of time it takes to actually get it done.

    To combat the loss of time while engaged in pleasant activities, I figure out how much time I can devote to that activity. Then I set a timer to go off on my smart phone 10 minutes before I have to be finished with that activity, so I have enough time to PUT IT ALL AWAY! I have found that’s the secret to keeping a home office or craft room organized.

    I have nothing to add to questions 2 and 3, because I think others have said similar things to what I would have said.

    Hope that helps!


  1. Self-care: How to fit it in. Share your brilliance! | Minimalist Parenting - [...] so far. Want more brilliance? Check out other “Share Your Brilliance” posts on: time management, decluttering, school and learning, occasions…

Leave a Reply to Asha Dornfest Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *