There are numerous strategies for making the most of family time. Inquire with your family about their favourite activities and set aside a few days where you can all spend quality time together as a family. Maintain a sense of order and prioritise your time both at home and at the office. Preparing meals ahead of time or ordering takeout will allow you to avoid being confined to your home kitchen. Look for ways to save time at work by dealing with emails and projects first thing in the morning before your family gets up or late at night after they have fallen asleep.
Method 1 Structuring Your Schedule
1. Make a list of the things you need to get done. Organize your responsibilities into three categories: “Do,” “Don’t Do,” and “Delegate.” Instead of attempting to complete every household task, prioritise which ones must be completed immediately (your “Do” list) and which ones can wait (your “Don’t Do” list). If there are things you could delegate to your partner, your children, or a hired hand – such as washing the dishes, walking the dog, and so on – put them in your “Delegate” section of your planner.
If you do this, you will be able to better balance your family’s time so that you all have more time together rather than you and/or your partner taking on a disproportionate amount of housework and chores.
When evaluating your time, be realistic and honest with yourself. Don’t add something to your “To Do” list just because you’re feeling guilty about something else.
Organize your work tasks as well, so that you can distinguish between those that must be completed and those that can be delegated to a colleague.
2. Make a list of everything you own. You can waste a significant amount of time searching for misplaced keys, remote controls, and other essential belongings, time that could be spent with your family (or on yourself) instead. Choose a location that is convenient for you to keep your wallet or purse, your keys, and your spectacles. Accustom yourself to placing these necessities – particularly those items that you seem to misplace on a regular basis – in the same location each day.
For example, you might decide to keep your glasses by your bedside and your keys near the front door.
3. Make use of all of your available resources. Look for opportunities to save time and take advantage of them whenever possible. For example, if your dry cleaner provides free pickup, or if you can have your pizza delivered rather than picking it up, take advantage of these conveniences. This will allow you to make the most of your family time.
If you are a student at a university, you should use the campus gym rather than travelling from school to the gym and then home.
4. Make goals for your family’s time together. If you are the type of person who thrives on a challenge, setting and achieving specific family-related objectives may be beneficial to your development. Set a weekly minimum for the amount of time you will spend with your family – for example, 15 hours per week. Alternatively, you could set a qualitative goal, such as making your child smile during dinner.
Change your family-time objectives on a regular basis to keep the contest interesting.
5. When you’re at home, unplug all of your devices. When you get home, instead of checking your email, working on projects, or texting friends or coworkers, turn off your phone and shut down your computer. Your family will benefit from your undivided attention in this manner. You can log back in after your children and partner have fallen asleep.
The importance of this is especially apparent during family outings and meal times.
Use your computer and phone first thing in the morning, when your children and partner are still sleeping, if you want to be productive.
6. Don’t measure yourself against others. Some people become discouraged because they believe that they will never be able to maximise their family time in the manner in which their neighbour did. This is defeatist thinking, and it will not assist you in making the most of your family’s time. Instead, make the best use of your time by organising it as efficiently as possible without judging yourself.
Keep in mind that no one can spend their entire life with their family.
Method 2 Talking to Your Family
1. Bring your family along for the ride. Maximizing family time is only effective if everyone involved is committed to increasing the amount of time spent together. Encourage your children to participate in no more than one or two extracurricular activities per semester. In order to maximise family time, you should encourage your partner to improve their time management skills and implement the same strategies that you do.
“Please limit your afterschool activities to one or two per school semester so that we can spend more time together as a family,” you can tell your children.
“I’m cutting back on my screen time, organising my belongings, and looking for other ways to make the most of my family time,” you can tell your partner. I’d like to assist you in doing the same. Let us work together to achieve our goals.”
2. Make time for your family. Calendars and personal planners are excellent tools for organising time in a systematic manner. Many people believe that because spending time with family is not a formal obligation, it does not necessitate the inclusion of a time slot on the calendar for it. In contrast, if you don’t set aside a specific time for spending time with your family, it’s possible that it will fall through the cracks. Set aside a few hours each day for your family in order to make the most of your time together.
When filling out your planner or calendar, make sure to include specific family events as well as general “family time.” Date nights should be scheduled at specific venues and restaurants, and family outings should be planned to specific baseball games or fairs with your children.
Set up automatic reminders in your phone or email to help you remember to spend quality time with your family.
Make use of your vacation time to spend more time with your loved ones.
3. Reduce the amount of time your children spend in front of a screen. If you allow it, your children will become engrossed in their television or computer screens. Establish rules to limit the amount of time your child spends watching television or using the computer for recreational purposes. Every day, one hour of television and one hour of web surfing should be sufficient.
Explain to your children that limiting their exposure to television and computer screens not only allows them to spend more time moving and playing outside, but it also allows you to maximise the amount of time you spend together as a family.
Simply instruct your children to spend no more than one hour per day on their phones, computers, or in front of the television. You will have more time to spend with your family as a result of this.”
4. Create new customs and traditions. Everybody gets together during the holidays, but you should make an effort to spend at least one night a week with your loved ones. For example, you could designate Friday nights for pizza and card games with your children. Make sure that everyone in the family is participating by prohibiting the use of phones and tablets during the scheduled family time. Other customs and traditions that your family might enjoy are as follows:
Dining out at a new restaurant together
Seeing a new movie together
Going for a family bike ride
Having a Sunday brunch together
Method 3 Saving Time
1. Look into ways to make your daily commute more efficient. Riding public transportation is convenient because it allows you to use the time to respond to emails, read work-related materials, or work on your laptop while on the move. If this is true, you’ll have more time to spend with your family when you’re at home than you would otherwise.
Alternatively, you could look for alternate routes and short cuts to your destination. Place a map of your municipality on the table in front of you. Draw a route to work on a map to see where you’re going. Look for alternate routes and give them a shot if you have the opportunity. If they save you time over the route you’ve been taking, take them instead of the original route.
2. Look for ways to improve the efficiency of your workday. There are several ways to streamline your workday so that you can spend more time with your family. You could alter your working hours, your working methods, or your working environment.
Working from home will allow you to spend more time with your family because you will have more free time. Take advantage of your downtime to spend time with your family.
Work from the comfort of your own home. Many productive and enjoyable occupations can be carried out from the comfort of one’s own home. It is possible that you will be able to convince your employer to allow you to work from home – or even start a business – if you are an artist, writer, graphic designer, or graphic designer.
Before approaching your boss about the possibility of working from home, speak with someone in your company’s Human Resources department to determine whether such a request can be accommodated.
Reduce the amount of time you spend travelling for work. Inquire with your boss about the possibility of participating in conferences that you would otherwise have to travel to via an online webcam programme such as Skype. Volunteer for shorter trips that will not require you to be away from home for an extended period of time rather than longer trips that will require you to be away from your family for an extended period of time.
Encourage your boss to delegate some of the travel responsibilities for work-related activities to other employees.
Make sure to respond to emails and complete projects first thing in the morning before your family gets up, or late at night after they have fallen asleep.
3. Online shopping is convenient. Shopping can take a significant amount of time. Purchasing items online can help you save time by reducing the amount of time you spend shopping. Neither travelling to and from the store nor standing in line are required. Additionally, there is no time wasted browsing the shelves for what you are looking for. Online shopping is quick and convenient, and it can help you make the most of your family’s time together.
To shop online, simply go to the website of your favourite retailer and make your purchase. For example, if you enjoy shopping at E-Mart, you can simply go to the store’s website, pay for the items you want, and then wait for them to be delivered.
In some cases, the additional costs associated with shipping may make online shopping unaffordable for some consumers. Before making the decision to shop online, carefully compare prices.
4. Preparing meals ahead of time is a good idea. Generally speaking, preparing twice as much food does not take twice as long. As an alternative to cooking dinner every night, make double batches of certain recipes that you can reheat the next night or even the night after that. For example, if you prepare a large pan of lasagna or a large pot of stew, you should be able to feed your family for several nights.
Any meal can be stored in the refrigerator for at least two or three days.
If you prepare a large quantity of chicken, turkey, or most vegetables, you can easily freeze them for up to three months.
5. Get it out of here. In general, takeout meals are not recommended because they tend to be higher in calorie content and less nutritious than home-cooked meals. However, if you live near a high-quality diner where you can get salads, wraps, and other meals to go when you’re on the go, take advantage of the opportunity. Simply put, don’t make ordering takeout a habit.
Even when you’re pressed for time, avoid eating fast food. In terms of nutritional value, fast food is high in sodium, sugar, and fat, and it does not promote overall health.
Method 4 Choosing Activities
1. Encourage people to be spontaneous. When spending time with your family, don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. You should be open to hearing and acting on suggestions from your children and partner, as well as being flexible and willing to try something completely different if your family wishes to do so. The greater the amount of enjoyment everyone has, the more likely it is that they will make family time a priority in their own lives.
2. Find out what activities your family enjoys doing. You most likely already have a general idea of what your family enjoys doing together. However, interests and preferences change over time, and your children or partner may discover a new hobby that you could all enjoy together as a family. Perhaps there are some activities that your children or partner would like to participate in but haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet.
You could ask your family, “What would you like to do during our scheduled family time?” or “How would you like to spend your free time?”
3. Your family may benefit from your suggestions. Your family is listening intently to what you have to say about it. You should feel confident in your ability to make suggestions for activities to do with your family. However, do not impose your preferences on others. You should make certain that you and your family have a pleasant conversation about possible options and that you reach a consensus following that conversation. You might consider the following:
The park is on the agenda. It is possible to ask your family, for example, “How about going to the park?”
Taking a stroll (For example, you might ask your family, “Would you like to go for a walk?”)
Inviting others to play a game (for example, you could ask your family if they would like to play a game).
Water sports such as canoeing (for example, you might ask your family, “How about taking the canoe up the river?”)
Hiking (For example, you could suggest to your family that they go on a hike in the woods).
Taking a trip to a local museum (For example, you could say, “A new exhibit has opened at the museum. Let’s take a look at it together.”)
4. Take part in some outdoor activities. Don’t let yourself get trapped inside. It is acceptable to spend time together indoors watching movies and playing games with the family. However, if the weather permits, you should take advantage of the opportunity to go for a walk, ride your bike, or engage in another outdoor activity with your family. For example, you and your family might enjoy the following activities:
Swimming at the lake
5. Take advantage of lazy mornings together. Instead of rushing out of bed in the morning, allow yourself to sleep in a little longer at night. You and your family might also enjoy a traditional pancake breakfast in a restaurant setting. After brunch, take a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood. Those few extra minutes you spend with your family will add up over time, strengthening the bond between you and your loved ones.
Creative Commons License