Planning and preparation are a huge component of successful time management. They enable us to not have to rush to get things completed and reduce or even eliminate both the chance of error and of forgetting something important. When you plan and prepare ahead of time, you can also get your kids involved at an age appropriate level. This allows them to learn responsibility and raises their self-esteem by making them an integral part of the team. It also demonstrates successful time management skills— setting an excellent precedent for their own time management challenges in the future.
- Planning meals in advance is one way to help you with time management. Once a week, plan out what your meals will be or the upcoming week. See what ingredients you already have on hand vs. the ingredients you will need to pick up. This allows you to get the ingredients you need ahead of time— so there’s no more scrambling at meal time.Whenever possible, prep the meal— or parts of it— ahead of time. This practice allows you to get to both cooking it and serving it faster and frees you up to spend more quality time with your family before, during and after the meal. You could even devote one day a week to meal preparation for that week, freezing or refrigerating the prepared food, so at meal time all you’ll need to do is defrost and reheat the meals.
- Use this same principle when planning for school lunches or lunches for work. Involve your child in planning and preparing school lunches. That involvement will often offer your children the encouragement they need to actually eat their sack lunches!
- Another way to help prepare for your day and better manage your time is to lay out both yours, and your child’s, clothes for the following day the evening before. This can almost eliminate morning arguments about what your child will wear to school— and that will save a lot of time!
Planning and Preparation allows for less thought and more action at the start of your day, when many of us are still groggy. For those that like to exercise, journal, do yoga, meditate, or other activities in the morning— planning and advanced preparation free up extra time in your mornings for you to spend doing those things you enjoy!
Keep your eye out for my next blog about the second key to successful time management— “Patient and Calm.”
©Sharon Birn, Possibilities R Infinite, August 7 ,2015