Taking back time


Do you feel that you are constantly under time pressure? Could delegating parts of your life give you back some of the family time you crave? Ian Child, author of newly-published Your Own Personal Time Machine*, has some tips and advice for parents desperate to claw back some quality time!

Time journal

Until you can see how much time you’re spending on what, it’s hard to spot the obvious places for grabbing back some time. A time journal lets you see precisely how you’re spending your time, and it nearly always throws up some surprises. You don’t need to do it for long – just keep an hourly, high-level journal for a fortnight, and you’ll quickly get a handle on where most of your time is going, and how much is family time. The results may be a shock.

Prioritise family time

Have you noticed how you somehow manage to get everything done the day before you go on holiday? You’ll beaver away, you’ll delegate, and you’ll defer. But you always somehow get away on holiday! So, to make a family event something that is always guaranteed to take place, make it an immovable, non-negotiable object in your diary. You’ll be amazed at how you’ll automatically do everything else that genuinely needs to get done if you take a non-negotiable stance on prioritising your family time. The delegating may also clarify opportunities for outsourcing for the longer term.


Imagine all the many things you could be doing with your kids if only you had the time. Then weigh up the benefits of a little outsourcing so you can start to fit these activities into your family life. If outsourcing gets you back some all-too-precious family time, who’s to say it’s not a good investment? The trick is not to think you’re saving money by doing these tasks yourself, but that instead, you’re buying back some family time. And what price would you put on that? It is almost certainly priceless.

*Ian Child is the author of Your Own Personal Time Machine: a guide to getting your life back, available exclusively from amazon.co.uk. in paperback and e-book.