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| Home Time Management The Organized Prioritization Running Errands
If errands stress you out, change how you tackle them. Schedule your time, plan your route, set an errand day, and organize the process. You'll get more done - and feel better doing it.
1. Make a schedule. Plan to do your errands each week on consistent days and write them on your calendar or planner. For instance, you might return borrowed items like library books or videos on Mondays, go grocery shopping on Tuesdays, go to the post office and the dry cleaner on Wednesdays, etc. With a consistent schedule each week, you'll always know what's coming up and you will be able to easier plan the remainder of each day.
2. What's on the way? If some of your errand destinations are within a few miles of each other, try to consolidate those errands into one car trip. For instance, if the craft store and the fish market are both right near your child's daycare center, perhaps you can pick up whatever you need after dropping your kids off at the center, or before picking them up.
3. Call ahead. Whenever you can call ahead and simply pick up what you need without waiting in line, you'll save time. We can actually call or send a fax to the local sandwich shop and pick up our order at the drive-thru window. You may be able to have the video store find the movie you want and they'll have it waiting for you when you arrive.
4. Make a list. Whenever you have to run one or several errands, make a list so nothing is forgotten. Your list should look something like this:
5. Avoid the crowds. We steer clear of our post office from noon until 2:00 as we know they will be packed at that time and we'll have to wait in line. We also try to avoid malls on Saturdays. If your time is important to you, learn when the crowds hit and go during less busy times.
6. Trade off with another parent. Errands can go a lot quicker if you're not lugging your kids around with you. If you can find another parent who is willing to watch your kids for an hour on certain days, and you could watch that parent's kids for an hour on certain days, you'll get your errands done is no time with less stress. Another possibility is to hire a babysitter for an hour a day, or every two days.
7. Tote it. Leave a tote bag on the back of the door you use to go into and out of your house most often and drop anything into it that you need with you when you run your errands, such as books that have to be returned, the dry cleaner slip, a plate you have to return to a friend, etc. When you're ready to run your errands, just grab the bag and leave.
by Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now!