Family Time Management
Family time management can enhance the quality of your family time.
Research suggests that one of key components of spending quality time together is being unrushed and focused on the activities together.
This can be difficult to do in a fast-paced world in which parents are often very time poor and kids easily distracted by the latest video game.
Setting family goals improves family time management
What I find helpful is family goal setting. When setting goals as a family, it important to get together.
However, before this family meeting it is important that the parents make some objective decisions about family priorities.
This can be based on the family values that you are instilling, the finances and commitment levels of the other family members. Some questions to ask yourself are:
Do you concentrate more on school?
Will the demands of school change?
What about your job?
Do you want to have alot of free time or fill up you time with many activities?
What are the needs of the different family members?
When asking yourself these questions, consider that it is always a good idea to have time to be filled by reading, quite personal time and spending time with friends.
When you have determined the overall priorities of the family, now it is time to have a meeting with other family members to discuss their goals and priorities.
Sometimes other family members will have a hard time in figuring out what is important to them. If this is the case, simply get them to rank which one is more important to them.
Alternatively, see my review of this goal setting book for children.
See our activities to construct your family goals. Then allow the family members to share their priorities and why they chose them.
When setting goals for your family, a goal setting plan will maximize your chances of goal setting success.
Family goals clarify what is important for you and your family. It is a key component of family time management
Spending your time on priorities
Once you have written your goals and know the tasks that you need to do to move towards your goals, create a schedule of how you are going to achieve it.
This will greatly boost your family time management.
For example, you may have a goal to spend more quality time with your family. One task for this would be to spend more time helping the children with their homework, or taking your partner out for dinner.
Make sure that you schedule these high priority tasks, so that they don't get crowded out by less important and more urgent tasks.
If you want to explain this concept to children, you can get a large glass/plastic container, some rocks and sand, and explain with this concrete example.
I find that using a family calendar is an especially important tool for setting the family schedule.
Family time management is about making sure that you do the important things in your family life.
However, when setting a schedule keep in mind that the typical thing about a family is that there is no typical day.
Kids get sick and need to be picked up from school, or soccer games get washed out.
So make sure that you have a flexible schedule. Remember that you are not a slave to your schedule, but rather the schedule is there to guide and serve you.
Reduce time on grocery shopping can improve family time management
For most families weekly grocery shopping can be a chore. I find that online grocery shopping is the way to go. It not only saves me plenty of time each week but also means that I resist impulse buying.
Reduce TV time for better family time
As a family you may have a set of priorities, such as ensuring your kids are healthy, well educated and that you are spending quality time with each other.
One of the biggest timewasters in our society is our overindulgence in watching TV. While TV can be entertaining, at a society level we probably watch too much.
If you find that you aren’t spending enough time on family priorities, then using a TV more effectively could be beneficial.
Put limits on the TV viewing each day. However, this is easier said than done, but instigating routines can help here.
If you really must watch that show, then consider using technology. Technology can reduce your TV watching by 30% without missing out on the program. It is really quite simple - record the show and watch it without ads.
However, this does another more important thing - you watch the TV on your time, not when the show is on. So this means that TV does not interrupt important family time.
Time Management Poll