Are you looking for practical time management tools to help you easily track your minutes, hours, weeks, and days during the busy week?
Do you want to better manage your time at home while relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon or completing chores on Thursday evening?
When it comes to improving your time management skills at home, you don’t necessarily need to buy expensive apps, equipment, or tools.
Top-of-the-line time-keeping devices aren’t a requirement to effectively track the passage of time.
If you want to be a wiz at managing those minutes, you can’t go wrong using simple, accurate, and easy-to-use solutions.
You can easily make use of a variety of common household items to help you better manage your time.
But in order to find the tools, you’ll need to keep your eyes open…and use your imagination!
In this post, I offer seven time management tools you can most likely find in your home.
Below, you’ll find a brief description of each tool, along with several suggestions to help you effectively use the tool in your daily life.
Time Management Tool #1. An egg or kitchen timer.
An egg or kitchen timer can be an extremely useful time management tool.
In fact, I bet you’ve probably got at least one egg timer or a kitchen timer perched on top of a counter or sitting inside a drawer in your home right now!
The beauty of these timers lies in the fact that they are meant to be used for fairly brief periods of time when preparing food or performing basic kitchen tasks.
In sum, their function is short and sweet, and extremely useful.
When should you use this type of tool? You’ll want to use it when you need to perform a short task or series of short tasks.
Try using an egg or kitchen timer when you want to:
- Make a series of routine, yet brief phone calls
- Delete emails from your email inbox
- Perform a household chore, such as shredding a small amount of papers or filing documents
- Challenge yourself to quickly brainstorm ideas for a project
- Bathe and groom yourself in a relatively short period of time
- Focus on a detailed administrative task
- Track your time when cleaning your home
- Briefly study information or materials
- Do a series of calisthenic exercises
- Perform a dedicated task or action related to a personal goal
Time Management Tool #2. The sleep function on a radio alarm clock or television.
If you’ve never used the sleep function on an electronic device before, you’ll definitely want to try it out!
And if you’ve been hesitant because of the learning curve required to learn how to use such a function…you can relax. The time you spend learning how to use this tool will be well worth it!
What is a sleep function anyway? The sleep function is basically a self-timer for an electronic device. You simply set or select a specific period of time on the device and after your selected amount of time has passed, the device automatically switches itself off.
When should you use this type of tool? You’ll want to use this tool when you want a distinct and clear transition from a segment of your day, or schedule, to another.
Try using the sleep function when you want to:
- Limit time spent watching television before work or school
- Limit television or radio usage during breaks from work or studying
- Track how much time you spend using a particular electronic device
- Work on a household chore for a period of time with some background noise playing in the distance
- Perform a new task or action without worrying about turning off a device
- Limit other household members’ use of a device
- Train yourself to be more aware of the passage of time
- Motivate or inspire yourself with your favorite music or show
- Listen to soothing music before falling asleep or while meditating
- Watch television in the evening and go to bed at a reasonable time
Time Management Tool #3. A smart phone reminder.
Smartphones and cell phones often have built-in reminders or alarm apps. These digital tools are extremely handy because you can set them up in advance and literally forget about them.
These reminders are great for brief tasks that need to be completed around the house and beyond. And they are particularly handy when you need to have to attend to household items and want to make sure you follow up in your work in a few hours’ time or later in the day.
No longer will you have to spend your time worrying about an item, worrying that you’ll forget a task, or trying to remember a bit of information. Pop in the information into your device the first time and your smart phone will “remember” for you!
When should you use this type of tool? You’ll want to use this tool when you want a timely reminder.
Try using a smart phone reminder when you want to:
- Remind yourself about an upcoming meeting or appointment
- Email a friend, acquaintance, or contact
- Perform a quarterly or seasonal task around your home
- Place a phone call query to a local business or organization
- Run a brief neighborhood errand
- Change a water purification device, check a load of laundry, or clean an air filter
- Feed, bathe, and/or walk pets
- Check on food or a recipe that is marinating, chilling, or setting in the refrigerator or freezer
- Make a personal appointment or reservation
- Find out the delivery status of a package, parcel, or postal mail
Time Management Tool #4. A wristwatch.
A wristwatch is a smart time management solution if you’re interested in practicing time awareness. It may not seem like it at first glance, but this tool truly has a place in today’s digital world. The tool has one crystal clear function: to sit on your wrist…and tell the time. That’s it!
Besides being practical, wristwatches come in a variety of styles and colors. It’s an easy way to make a fashion statement or complement your favorite outfits.
When should you use this type of tool? You’ll want to use this tool when you want to be more aware of time in your daily travels.
Try using a wristwatch when you want to:
- Remind yourself of your commitment to be punctual
- Check the time without being distracted by your cell phone
- Keep your hands free and unencumbered throughout the day
- Train yourself to be more mindful of the passage of time
- Start and end appointments and meetings on time
- Track your hours during the day
- Show others you are serious about time management
- Have a reliable timekeeping piece at your disposal
- Practice telling time using an analog clock
- Time activities using seconds and minutes
Time Management Tool #5. A monthly wall calendar.
A wall calendar is a convenient way to get a bird’s eye view of what’s happening during the month and beyond. It’s a handy reference that can be placed in a variety of convenient locations for your needs, such as near a light switch on the wall, above your desk, behind a door, and so on.
What’s more, there’s no end to the types of monthly wall calendars available on the market today. You can choose of many different calendars featuring different photos, paintings, subjects, and much more.
When should you use this type of tool? You’ll want to use this tool when you want a quick-glance at the month for activities or upcoming events.
Try using a monthly wall calendar when you want to:
- See the big picture when it comes to important dates, meetings, or appointments
- Gauge your busyness over the course of a series of days or weeks
- Have a large-sized physical representation of your schedule
- Track progress made on a daily progress or assignment
- Have an easy-to-access record of yearly events
- Conveniently display your schedule with others
- Reexamine past events during the year in a pinch
- Record timely notes and thoughts related to your work
- Practice writing appointments, meetings, events, and activities in order to better remember them
- Be more aware of an upcoming vacation or holiday schedule
Time Management Tool #6. A fitness tracker.
Do you own a fitness tracker? Some fitness trackers allow you to set alarms and reminders to help you reach your daily step or activity levels. This really is a two-for-one approach: you can improve both your health and your time management skills!
Again, it’s important to keep in mind that not all fitness trackers may have timer or alarm setting capabilities. It’s best to consult a device’s instruction to be extra certain.
When should you use this type of tool? You’ll want to use this tool when you want to be more aware of your physical activity levels and habits.
Try using a fitness tracker when you want to:
- Time the length or duration of an exercise session
- Stand up and take a break from sitting for long periods of time
- Sit down and take a break from standing for long periods of time
- Take a screen break from your computer or other electronic device
- Track physical activities using seconds and minutes in a split timer function
- Get in sufficient steps throughout the day
- Drink enough water during the day
- Track different physical activities during the week or month
- Have an up-to-date synchronized record of your physical activity levels
- Motivate and inspire you to break past records and accomplishments
Time Management Tool #7. A paper planner and pen.
A physical paper planner and a pen are simple tools, but they can really help you with your time management skills. Studies have shown that taking notes by hand helps with memory recall. Not a bad way to remember that haircut appointment at the end of the month!
If you really want to make the most out of a paper planner or schedule, you’ll want to carefully select the right planner for your needs. Check out my post for tips on how to choose a paper planner.
When should you use this type of tool? You’ll want to use this tool when you want to enhance your memory skills.
Try using a paper planner when you want to:
- Remember or recall dates, appointments, and meetings
- Focus your full attention on reviewing your schedule
- Reduce your computer or electronic device screen time
- Have a physical record of your schedule or calendar
- Improve your penmanship skills
- Keep your personal calendar offline
- Appreciate quiet time planning out your calendar
- Access your calendar without having to use electricity or the internet
- Get a better understanding as to how busy you are on any given day
- Use your favorite office supplies
How about you? What other time management tools can you think of that are commonly found in the home or office? Which tools are you going to use to help you keep time? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
Want to better manage your time? The Order Expert’s Guide to Time Management, is a hands-on eWorkbook that provides practical solutions to common, everyday time management problems. Click here to learn more.