Archive | September 30, 2009

10 tips to manage work and home time

Here is the article I submitted for the 1000 words essay competition. Did not make it to the winners list.
Anyways this is my first article and I am happy that i made the attempt. I am still a crawling baby with respect to writing skills.


Maintain To-do list
This is simple but effective means to track the tasks. I always maintain a stick note with the to-do list where I list down all tasks from preparing batter for Dosa at home to facilitating a meeting at office. I have it stick at refrigerator for personal use and have a draft mail/notepad with subject as tasks for office use. I revisit this to-do list often to make changes as and when required. Simple tip is to use pencils to accommodate changes easily.

Make a Schedule
Schedule dedicated day/time for certain task. For example, at home we always purchase grocery every Friday evening. I have inventory check/grocery list preparation on my Thursday to-do list. Now, my little kid can easily say we purchase groceries on Friday’s. Saturday’s breakfast will always be noodles. It’s a compromising situation where my kid enjoys what she wants and also I have better control on her in-take of junk food. At work conduct KSS every Tuesday. At one point we will become like well-oiled machine to do our tasks without dependencies. I setup reminder for everything including taking my pills. Challenge yourself for each task on how quick you can finish. Even when sleeping, my kid could list her routine for the evening. She will strangely look at me if I switch on television at early evening as she knows that television time is only after finishing her home work. Very importantly adhere to the schedule without a break until the schedule is well observed by you and especially with kids.

Prioritize work
This is a vital key to manage anything under the sky. We will end-up nowhere in attempting to focus on all items in to-do list. I had this problem in the beginning of my career by wetting my hands on everything but later learned this over time. At office the first thing in the morning should be to re-prioritize the to-do list. Focus to complete the top three tasks along with other ad-hoc requests. Be flexible to accept re-prioritizing anytime based on criticality. The rule for prioritization should be the deadline for completion rather than complexity of the work. At home cooking, kid studies and cleaning house are always top three in my list.

Pattern planning
Planning is a small word that makes a big meaning. Plan the tasks for evening when you commute back home. Plan what you should teach your child today, what is dinner etc. Planning in advance will help in a great way which I realized by experience. I would even suggest you to plan your relax time. Follow a pattern while planning so that you can easily remember things.

Avoid procrastination
Believe in your mind that just like brushing, bathing every day at home – cooking, helping kid with studies, keeping house clean , at office – adhering to schedules, meeting deadlines are the primary responsibilities of a woman. This understanding will not allow you to adjourn any work that you are responsible for. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the work is done though you might get help from others around you.

Sharing upfront
Do not hesitate to ask for help at home. If you feel tired and are uncertain about whether you can perform all work at home then call your better half and share it with them upfront. Delegate responsibility and convey him how you feel like and request for help. Again remember it as a help they are doing for you and still it’s your responsibility to complete the work.

Act professionally
At work be on time and leave on time. Lessen lunch hour and break time and practice to do more work at less time. The best tool would be concentration. Do not dive deeper into anything immediately. Take time for analyzing before starting the work. This will avoid confusions and rework. Believe in what you do and maintain good relationship with coworkers. Speak out boldly.

Self esteem
Maintain self esteem. Feel proud and talk to yourself often. Constantly look for improvements in time management. Compare yourself with the busiest lady you know and analyze how you lag on time management. Get up thirty minutes early than usual at least three days in a week and see how cool the day is. You will have ample of time for many things. Accept changes gradually and make one change at a time. Very importantly keep yourself physically fit. Subscribe to forums and look at how others handle different situations. Be ready to learn from others.

Encourage others
Maintain a positive vibration around you. Even saying “Good Morning” makes a big difference. At home encourage kid when he/she cleanup their toys, places their clothes in place or does any minor/simple work. Make use of the technology we are blessed with instead of trying to remember everything. I use my mobile calendar exhaustively. Be in touch with your friends constantly that helps you for a personal space. Surprise the family with new recipes when you have leisure time.

Reward yourself
Enjoy small things in life. Wake up late on a weekend. Give rest to kitchen for a day in a month. Know your interests and stick to a hobby. I maintain my own blog to write about interesting daily happenings. Always remember that the power relies on what you think and not how you work. Mind is powerful than body. Reward yourself as if you finish all work before 8 pm then you can relax an hour. The moment you think about relaxing an hour the speed of working increases and you will not feel the tiredness. It’s all about responsibility, ownership, willingness and self esteem. Hope this write-up helps at least one working parent. Eat healthy, serve healthy and encourage people around you to drink lots of water.