The Top 10 Tips for Time Management at Home (Podcast or Post #21)

How do you manage time at home? Here are the best 10 tips on time management so you can balance your time at home.

Managing time at home can be a challenge, especially if you have other responsibilities you need to balance time with, such as work, a family, or both.

But it is possible to manage your time well.

In this Podcast or Post, we’re going to discuss 10 tips and strategies so you can succeed with time management at home.

(Below you can read the post or play the podcast version- about 17 mins.)

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Grab our Free Sample Schedule Worksheets here. These will help you to figure out a good schedule and routine so you can manage your time better.

✅Get the Living Well Planner here. This is my favorite physical planner because it allows you to schedule your day/week in hourly time blocks. And it has sections for meal planning, budgeting, and setting goals.

✅This is the homeschool planner we use. Although some people don’t like that the pages are thinner than in previous years, I haven’t had any issues as a result of this. I personally still really like this planner because of the features and layout.

Play the audio for this podcast (above) or download it by clicking on the 3 dots to the right of the volume control. (Otherwise, you can read the post below.)

1.) Consider what your long-term goals are and what steps you’ll need to take to reach them.

woman writing down her long-term goals in a notebook so she can manage her time to reach them

If you have a goal that will take weeks, months, or even years to reach, it’s important to remember that goal as you develop your schedule and routine, so that you’ll eventually reach it. 

For instance, if you have a goal of losing a lot of weight, you’ll want to think about how you plan on accomplishing that.

Depending on the steps you personally plan to take, you may need to include extra time in your schedule for meal planning, grocery shopping, food prep, exercising, or other tasks related to losing weight. 

If you’re stricter on what you’re eating or adding more workout time to your weekly routine, you’ll need to block out sufficient time so you have the schedule to stick to your plan. This will make it more likely you’ll reach your goal. 

And while weight loss is just one example, the same principle applies to any type of goal you want to achieve. 

If you have a financial goal, career goal, a goal of learning a new skill or hobby, or a goal of homeschooling your child, you’ll want to think about the steps involved in reaching that.

Maybe you’ll need to block out extra time for additional courses, education or schooling.

So whatever your goals are long-term, you want your day-to-day lifestyle to make it possible for you to reach them.

2.) Use a planner and schedule each day with hourly time blocks, prioritizing important and non-negotiable tasks.

a planner

If you’re not sure where to start, I designed a free resource to walk you through making a regular schedule that fits your personal needs, called Sample Schedule Worksheets, which you can download here.

My Favorite Daily Planner

As far as planners go, I personally do better with physical planners over electronic/digital planners.

The planner I’ve used for several years now is called The Living Well Planner.

Out of all the physical planners I’ve ever used, (and I’ve used a LOT,) this is my favorite.

It has hourly time blocks and pages to plan out each month, week, and day. 

And it also has other helpful resources such as budgeting pages, yearly and monthly goal and project planning pages, space for notes, and room to meal plan for each day. 

I use my Living Well Planner every day to follow my own sample schedule. Even as a natural procrastinator, I do pretty well with getting most of my planned tasks done.

Because I’m a mom & stepmom to 4 kids and homeschool the younger ones and I’m pregnant and have a lot of prenatal appointments, I have a lot of tasks to do every day. 

My Favorite Homeschool Planner

Since I homeschool, I personally use a separate planner to plan out which lessons we do each day of the week. 

But I block off time for homeschooling in my regular planner in order to stick to my overall schedule, so I use both planners together. 

The homeschool planner I use is called A Simple Plan Homeschool Parent Planner, and it can be used for homeschooling multiple kids.

It allows you to plan for the whole year, quarterly, and weekly for each subject and has an attendance tracker too.  

**Just a side note on the homeschool planner, in the current version of it the pages are a little thinner than the one they had for last year, so some people don’t like that. But I personally don’t have an issue with that because I haven’t had any problems as a result.

I like all the features in it, I haven’t found any other brand that’s better, so this is still the one I use. Last I checked they have both dated and undated homeschool planners. And I think the undated still has the thicker pages, but I personally use the one that’s dated.

But regardless of whether someone homeschools or not, I do recommend at least using a regular daily planner to help you stick to a schedule and routine.

3.) Be conscious of your energy levels at the times of day that you schedule things.

a woman with low energy feels tired as she sits at a table with her laptop and her hand on her face

When is your energy the highest and lowest? When are you the most productive?

These are important things to take into consideration when scheduling out your day. 

For myself personally, I’m a morning person, albeit against my will. 

No matter how much I try to get certain things done in the evening, I find that I’m ready to crash when my kids’ bedtime approaches. And so their bedtime usually becomes my bedtime too.

Not working with my energy levels had a negative impact on my home at one time. Because I tried to copy what worked for another mom instead of working with my natural circumstances. 

You see, back in the ‘bad old days’ when I was failing miserably at keeping my house clean- because, well, it constantly looked like a disaster, I asked a friend for advice whose home is always clean.

I asked how she kept it that way as a single mom who had raised multiple kids.

She told me that she cleaned up at night before bed.

Now, that worked well for her personal circumstances, because she was working during the day and she somehow had the energy to do housework in the evening. 

And that type of routine can work for a lot of people.

However, it didn’t work well for me when I tried it.

I didn’t work outside the house at the time. I had a flexible schedule working from home, and my energy level is highest in the morning. 

As silly as it sounds, it took it me a while- longer than it should’ve- to figure out that what worked for someone else wasn’t necessarily the best solution for my circumstances.

Because I feel more motivated in the morning, I do better with cleaning in the earlier part of the day. And I’m also more productive when I work in the earlier part of the day.

Once the late afternoon hits, I start to lose momentum. So it’s not the best time for me to plan tasks that I’m already struggling with motivation to do. 

But I have no problem doing self-care, having a date night with my husband, or reading to the kids later in the day. So I plan out my day according to my circumstances and energy levels.

If you have a set work schedule and you’re the main person or only person doing housework, you’ll have to decide for the days you work if your energy is higher before you go to work or after you get home when it comes to tasks for managing your home.

Take care of your home during the days/times of day that you’re most likely to follow through and actually do it.

4.) Eliminate or limit time-wasting habits that don’t serve you or your goals.

a woman spends hours watching tv at night

I’m all for taking time for meaningful self-care, (which we’ll discuss in more detail in the next tip.)

But there’s a difference between doing things that bring you joy and refresh you and fill you up versus just doing things that waste time that you don’t actually enjoy that much.

Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of the TV for hours, but you aren’t watching anything you enjoy?

Or have you wasted large amounts of time scrolling through social media or watching videos on your phone? 

I found it surprising when I actually checked the screen-time usage on my phone.

I was spending way more time on apps that I realized. And it wasn’t bringing me joy or helping me be productive.

So personally, I try to only check social media once or twice a day. I’ll check the news briefly at that time too and I google the weather when I need to know it.

I don’t really watch TV except for a movie night every so often with my husband- usually once a week. I’ll always say yes to that whenever he offers.

I listen to podcasts or YouTube videos while I’m cleaning so it doesn’t take away time from anything important.

I used to watch TV a lot more, but the truth is, I don’t miss it. It’s just not something that fills me up. 

If you find yourself wasting time with habits that don’t serve you or are getting in the way of your goals, limit or eliminate those habits.

You can reduce time spent watching TV or delete apps that are just wasting your time. 

Use a screen-time timer or set a timer on your phone when you do certain things so you manage your time better.

5.) Regularly set aside time for meaningful self-care.

a woman practices self care reading a book near a fireplace and drinking a hot cup of tea

Now that you’ve limited or eliminated things that are wasting your time, replace some of the time spent in those habits with self-care that puts a smile on your face.

You don’t need a ton of time to do self-care.

It doesn’t need to be extravagant. Sometimes it’s the small things in life that bring us joy. 

For myself, I love drinking hot caffiiene-free Chai tea. Or I’ll read a chapter in a book I like. I might color a page, (or part of a page,) in an adult coloring book.

I’ll play a video or computer game for 20 minutes. And I’ll give a friend a call or send them a text.

Now that I’m pregnant, sometimes my self-care is a nap. 

These are some smaller things that bring me joy, they aren’t time-consuming, and they’re all inexpensive or free.

You may have different activities that bring you joy, and that’s okay.

Make your own list of a couple dozen things- big or small that bring you joy- and take a little time for self care each day.

Self-care is something I schedule in my planner because it’s important. 

When you take a little time to fill yourself up, you’ll have more joy doing things you may not like. And you’ll bring more positive energy to your family and others you interact with. 

I used to tell myself I didn’t have time for self-care, but I was wrong. You can always make time.

Most days you can take 20 minutes or even 5 minutes here and there to do something for yourself.

The key is to plan the time in advance when you make out your schedule. Then you won’t feel guilty or like there’s something else you need to do at that moment.

6.) Get to bed on time so you get enough sleep.

a woman lays in bed after she goes to sleep on time

Looking back at the time in my life when I was bad at managing my time, (which to be honest was most of my life,) I wasn’t getting to bed at a decent time. 

While staying up late was fun as a child, it wasn’t serving me as an adult.

Remember, as I mentioned before, I’m naturally more of a morning person.

Mornings are the time of day I’m most productive. And on top of that, the last decade-plus of my life, I’ve usually needed to get up early. 

When I was working outside of the home, I had to get up around 4:30 or 5am.

And after I got married, I had to drive my stepkids to school on the days we had them. And my biological children naturally get up early so I have to be awake to take care of them. 

On the other hand, my husband is a night owl, and he functions fine staying up late. But even he gets to bed at a reasonable hour on the days he needs to get up for work.

Something that helps us get to bed earlier is to put our phones down at bedtime. And we often put them in airplane mode so we don’t have any distractions. 

(I leave my phone on because I have an alarm set, but I stay off of it when it’s bedtime.)

7.) Use a countdown timer to be more productive while doing certain tasks.

kitchen countdown timer

Earlier we discussed briefly how a timer can be used for limiting certain things, such as social media.

But a countdown timer is also valuable for helping you to focus on the things you need to do, such as cleaning, organizing, or cooking. 

Racing against the clock will motivate you to be more productive in the time you have.

It also prevents you from getting carried away and spending too long on certain things. 

For instance, certain organization projects will take me multiple sessions to complete. So I’ll set a timer and get as far as I can in 15 minutes.

If I don’t set a timer, I’ll feel like I’m working on an endless project.

And I’ll also spend more time on it than I should. Because even though the project I’m working on is important, I have other things to do that are more urgent. 

8.) Take into account travel time and time it takes to get ready when planning for certain activities.

woman driving car

When managing your time, it’s important to realize that certain tasks- once you include travel/preparation time- will take up more time than just the actual task. 

For example, I have a lot of doctor’s appointments between prenatal visits and going to the chiropractor.

The appointments themselves are not long.

However, it takes about 15-20 minutes for me to get ready, then another 15-20 minutes of travel time each way. So an appointment that’s 15 to 30 minutes long is actually going to take around 1 1/2 hours total, after factoring in travel time and getting ready for it.

So I have to allow for at least that much time blocked out of my schedule.

9.) Give yourself a little extra time for tasks.

woman cooking

While I have separate time blocked off specifically for cooking on certain days, (I’ll make enough for leftovers so I don’t need to cook every single day,) I usually allow an hour for meals, which allows time for reheating food.

(And I may give different people in our house different foods depending on what we have and what they like.)

It gives me time to actually sit down and eat, which is important as a busy mom.

Sometimes we need to just take a break from the rush of the day and all the things we need to do and actually sit down to enjoy our food.

I always allow extra time for any activities we do outside the home, because there’s always the chance of traffic.

And there’s a possibility we may go someplace else while we’re out and about.

I never want to feel stressed and rushed, especially if we’re doing something as a family and decide to go out to eat or take the kids someplace fun. 

10.) Reward yourself for your accomplishments.

woman eats fruit to reward herself after following her schedule

Specifically, rewards work well, at least in my experience, for completing tasks that were hard, time-consuming, or that you didn’t want to do, but got done anyways.

Rewards can be big or small.

I personally will do something on my self-care list as a reward or I’ll put a sticker in my planner when I accomplish one of the tasks that was a lot of work or that I didn’t want to do.

And it may sound silly, but I like planner stickers. It’s just a simple way to acknowledge something I’ve accomplished.

After I finish my cleaning routine for the day or at least have cleaned for the full time I planned, I’ll put a sticker on my planner.

It’s an easy, inexpensive way to reward myself for my hard work. And it motivates me to finish that and other tasks. 

While I talk a lot on these Podcasts or Posts about cleaning and organization, I’m not naturally inclined to do these things.

But I’m living proof that procrastinators and people who are not naturally organized can succeed in managing a home.

I don’t do it perfectly by any means. But I do it well enough for our home to be livable/functional for 6, soon to be 7 people. 

And if a sticker here or there gives me a little boost of motivation, then hey, that’s what I’ll use.

I used to reward myself with snacks.

But since I gained weight before my pregnancy, (which I was starting to lose before I got pregnant,) and since I’m not really craving anything during this pregnancy and eat relatively healthy, I decided stickers were a better option.

Do whatever works for you.

These are time management tips, not weight loss tips. And there’s always the option of healthy snacks too if you do use food. 

And there are also many other creative ways you can reward yourself as well.

You can spend a designated amount of time doing something on your self-care list that we talked about earlier.

So those are the top 10 tips for managing your time better at home. 

Don’t forget to download our free Sample Schedule Worksheets.

These will walk you through making a weekly and daily schedule that fits your circumstances. 


Next time on our Podcast or Post we’ll discuss how to get motivated to declutter your house. 

A person’s success with decluttering, in my opinion, often hinges on being motivated to actually do it and get started. 

So if you’ve signed up for our Sample Schedule Worksheets or if you’re already subscribed to our email list, we’ll let you know when that Podcast or Post is published.

I’ve been trying to do a new one about every 2 weeks. (This one took me a bit longer, so sorry about that.)

Thanks so much for listening, and have a great day!


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