For many working mothers, contract workers and others involved in part-time and temporary employment, good time management is particularly essential. This is because, on top of spending time working, most part-timers also have home and family obligations.
Keeping a balanced schedule is essential, allowing these workers to commit to work, family and even have some valuable time off. Clearly, a healthy work-life balance depends heavily on time!
How can you improve a hectic schedule without dumping your obligations, yet make life easier? The answer is time management. Here are three points that can help manage your time.
Identify the Time Hole
Firstly, find out where there is room to manoeuvre. Use a diary to identify where your time is going. For example, you might think you don’t watch much TV, but accurate note keeping could surprise you. Watching some lunch-time TV, from 12pm-2pm, then in the evenings from 6pm-11pm, translates to 7 hours per day, or 35 hours per working week. Couldn’t that time be spent more productively?
Part of the problem is that you can take on too much. This is especially true for freelance or temp workers, who often believe they can’t afford to turn away new clients. This can be counter-productive. By politely turning a new client down, time is retained for existing work and obligations. The schedule lightens and the time pressure lifts, leaving the way clear for new work when time is available.
Multi-task with Technology
Finally, use the power of modern technology to multitask and get more done in less time. We know this sounds so obvious, but the question is how effectively you’re already using technology. For example, instead of taking time to go into town to pay utility bills, you can pay online. These bills are then paid in minutes, leaving you time to get something else done. This can be particularly useful when a contract worker has irregular hours and can’t always get to the bank, or for working moms who have to care for a young child at home before a sitter comes to watch her children while she goes to work in the evening.
Once you have taken these three steps towards better time management, you’ll be surprised how much more manageable everything becomes. Stress levels fall and more free-time becomes available, and with that work-life balance is improved immeasurably.