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Relaxation-at-Home #52 - Better Time Management - Less Stress
January 19, 2012

January always makes me want to start anew and improve myself, so I like to set up goals for the year... but I often end up feeling overwhelmed with too many tasks to accomplish.

Do you ever feel like you've got too much on your plate and not enough time to get it all done?

That's how I used to feel… until I read a book that prompted me to measure my time and see how I was REALLY spending it over the course of a full week (168 hours).

Helpful Time Management Task

This time management task is quite simple: you have to track your time for a full 168 consecutive hours and sort it into categories.

For example, I chose the following categories:

  • Sleep
  • Commuting
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Exercise
  • Meal preparation, eating and cleanup
  • Other household chores
  • Work (except email)
  • Email
  • TV
  • Video games
  • Reading
  • Children - play
  • Children - care (diapers, bath, doctor's appointment, etc.)
  • Time with partner

Please note that multi-tasking doesn't earn you extra hours in the week! If you multi-task, enter your time in the most important category only. For example, if you eat while watching TV, "Meal prep, eating and cleanup" should be used (as opposed to TV).

At the end of one full week, add up your time per category and see where you've spent it.

You can learn more about the process and download a spreadsheet here:

If you have a Mac, you can track your time with this free App: For Windows users, you can try the free version of this software:

I'd love to hear if you were surprised by the results.

I know I was.

You can read all about my 168-hour surprises and how I ended up freeing 4 hours each week on the following page (scroll to my non-fiction review): Time Management Review.

You can also share your comments at the bottom of the same page, using your Facebook account.

How Much Sleep Should You Get?

While you're tracking your time, you may want to compare how much sleep you're getting versus what is recommended for you and your children.

Discover how much time you should sleep each night here.

Book of the Month

Unsure what to read next month? Check out my latest book of the month recommendations:

Book of the Month for January 2012

More Relaxation Tips Next Month

That's it for now.

Please like us on Facebook! Visit Relaxation at Home and click on the Facebook icon in the right column.

Remember to make time for relaxation on a daily basis and I'll be back next month with more relaxation tips.

Caroline Begin
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