This past month I have been dealing with many changes to balancing my work life with my home life and found that better time management has been the one area I have been struggling with for years. I was shocked when I sat down and measured all my works success and found that some of it came at the sacrifice of accomplishments at home.
One area I always enjoyed was sitting down for an hour late at night and tackling several hours of work in about 60 minutes. There was no distraction of phone calls or emails coming in allowing me to plan ahead for the next week of month any articles I was currently working on. What started at a two night a week thing grew to five nights a week, which was too much. This past month I scheduled my additional work hours around when either my family was not going to be impacted. The change is now one night a week I spend two hours instead of five or more hours a week.
From the hours of 12 noon to 1 p.m., the chances of reaches key contacts during the “lunch hour” has been very low. Instead of using this time to catch up on missed TV episodes or having a nap I have focused my energy on accomplishing tasks around the house that I would often put off based on “not having enough” time.
What have I accomplished with this time so far? Well I did a complete spring cleaning of the house and garage, which included purging items that were not used, we had no use for or projects I had tried to take on that would never get done.
Second thing I was able to free up was enough time to take on preparing nine out of every 10 dinners we have as a family. I even started to plan the menu ahead for the week, cutting down on the number of times we would run to a local burger joint to fill the kids up before one of many sporting events.
Third, I was able to free up some time to use on myself to get back into the rhythm of reading books, going for walks and enjoying music. I have made all this time management changes with little effort. I just need the drive to stick with it.
Chase is the director of marketing and client relations for the Construction News and Report Group as well as the associate publisher for the GTA Construction Report, Ontario Construction Report and the Canadian Design and Construction Report. He is chair of the Niagara Construction Association’s Young Leaders Committee.