Time management for family life

What is true for the workplace also applies to family life: effective time management is half the battle. Various strategies can help to maintain balance on a daily basis.

Certain principles of time management can be copied over almost directly from occupational to family life. For example, recognising that not everything needs to be done straight away and that prioritisation is important. "Is what I consider to be urgent really important?" and "Are the important things really urgent?" are questions we should be continually asking ourselves. Many tasks are neither important nor urgent and can be placed temporarily on hold. Questioning the urgency and relevance of tasks is an important step towards a relaxed family life.

Go for a walk rather than cleaning the house

There are many things we do automatically because we believe they are absolutely necessary – such as cleaning the house before the mother-in-law arrives. Things don't always need to be perfect – particularly if you have children – and there will always be jobs to do in the home. Going out with the kids, even if just for a short walk, is more important than a spotless house.

Learn when to say no. If someone comes to you with a request, tell them that you need to discuss it with your wife or husband. That way, you can both later decide whether it fits with your family schedule or whether there are more important things to prioritise.

Ask for help

Remember: you don't have to do everything yourself. Learn when to delegate. Consider whether there are any tasks you can give to others, such as "mini-jobs" you can give to the children. Decide whether a child minder, home help, a cleaner or a gardener would make your life easier. Some cantons offer relief services for families, while certain companies support their staff with family services. To find out whether these are available to you, ask your employer, local authority or canton.


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