Hunt for shortcuts. Find ways to do some tasks in less time. For instance, throwing dinner in a slow cooker before leaving for work in the mornings can make after work time less harried. Many appliances—such as dishwashers, oven, slow cookers, and clothes washers—have timers that can help you manage household tasks better.

Learn to work in increments. Train yourself to be productive in small amounts of time, because sometimes that’s all you get. Being able to start and stop projects quickly is a handy tool to being productive.

Schedule busywork, both job- and home-related. With any job, there’s “busywork”—those housekeeping tasks like checking and responding to e-mails, returning phone calls, filing and bookkeeping. Every household has some of those tasks, as well. Block out specific times to check e-mail or put together a mailing project. Set a timer to keep on track, so those tasks don’t become time wasters.

Organize your day the night before. One of the easiest ways to lower daily stress is to get ready for the next day the evening before. The day goes much smoother if the morning is not rushed.

Develop a relaxing bed-time routine. Experts say going to sleep at the same time each night and waking at the same time each morning is the best for your body. Resist the urge to stay up late working or being online. Set aside 20 to 30 minutes of “downtime” before crawling under the covers.

Timely Thoughts

Keeping uppermost in our minds that our time is on loan from God will help us become better managers of that time. “I remind myself throughout the day that, not unlike the dollars and coins I spend that belong to God, the minutes and hours also belong to him,” says Hamlin.

“Remember that no one gets it all done,” Grubbs points out. “We only have to do the things God wants us to do—no more and no less.”

Sarah Hamaker is a certified Leadership Parenting Coach™ through the Rosemond Leadership Parenting Coach Institute. She’s also a freelance writer and editor. Sarah lives in Fairfax, Va., with her husband and four children, and she often speaks on time management. Visit her at www.parentcoachnova.com.

Publication date: February 28, 2013