If you're like most parents, you probably struggle to balance work and family on a daily basis. How do you finish the proposal your boss requested and still make it to Johnny's soccer game? How do you enjoy a romantic evening with your spouse if you're busy thinking about all the e-mails you need to answer when you get back to the office? How do you prepare a nutritious meal for your family if you can't make it home before 7 pm?
In most cases, working parents can reduce their stress levels by learning a few simple time management techniques. Getting organized, learning how to delegate important tasks, and avoiding time-wasters such as excessive television viewing can help you make the most of every available minute!
Time management training is available from several different sources. The type of time management training that's right for you depends upon your preferred learning style, how much time you want to spend, and how much money you want to invest in acquiring new organizational skills.
- The easiest way to get time management training is to visit your local library or bookstore to check out the selection of organizational books. Some helpful titles to review include Ruth Klein's Time Management Secrets for Working Women, Julie Morgenstern's Time Management from the Inside Out, and Linda Mason's The Working Mother's Guide to Life: Strategies, Secrets, and Solutions. If you're self-employed, you might also want to pick up a copy of Dan Kennedy's No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs.
- If you prefer to learn in a more formal environment, you can ask for support in the workplace. Ask your human resources manager if the company offers any counseling or training services for employees. For example, many Fortune 500 companies offer special seminars to help employees who feel overwhelmed by the demands of balancing work with the care of a sick child or an elderly parent. However, even smaller companies often have opportunities for employees to develop their organizational skills.
- Enroll in a course at your local community college. In many cases, community colleges have non-credit courses that cover personal enrichment topics such as time management, conflict resolution, and developing stronger communications skills. These courses are short, affordable, and focused on helping students find practical solutions to their personal problems.
- If your schedule won't permit attending an organized time management course, you may want to discover the benefits of online learning. These courses require a fair amount of self-discipline to complete, but they offer the benefit of additional flexibility. MindTools is one of many websites that offers courses on time management, problem solving, decision making, and other business-related topics.