Welcome to House of Light, a blog produced and managed by the staff of Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz ("house of light" in Spanish) is a locally owned and operated hospice, serving the city and surrounding communities of Tucson, Arizona. Through this blog, we hope to offer education, information, and support about caregiving and hospice care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For more information, visit the contact us page.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Time Management Tips to Help Family Caregivers

They're called the sandwich generation. They're family caregivers who are caught caring for two generations of family--their elderly parents and their still growing kids. They're probably also working outside the home.

When it comes to busy, today's family caregivers are the very definition, and that's why we're offering a few thoughts on time management today. We hope you'll find these tips helpful in getting through your to-do list.

1. Write it down. Use a calendar or planner and create a schedule. Write down your regular appointments and meetings to give yourself a clearer picture of your time commitments.

2. Ask for help. Do your care duties include cleaning up after your teenagers? Are you responsible for cooking the nightly meal every day? It's time to delegate some tasks. Ask others to pitch in around the house. Have a sibling spend a few hours with Mom and Dad. Look into options for hiring assistance. Contact an in-home care service provider to assist you with your elderly loved one.

3. Prioritize. Look at your to-do list and determine what's important and what's urgent. In an article on Time Management from Sue Chapman and Michael Rupured, they suggest focusing and spending more time on activities that are important. "Focusing on these important activities allows you to gain greater control over your time and possibly reduce the number of important tasks that do become urgent."

4. Organize yourself. Gain more time back by spending some time organizing your life. Do you lose time looking for items or documents? Do you just have too much clutter? Take a few minutes each day and see if there's something you're holding onto that you can toss. Make the effort to organize important documents, such as birth certificates, living will, advance directives, and insurance information.

5. Say no. Every time someone asks you to do something for them or go somewhere with them, it takes away a little bit of your time. Don't be afraid to say no. Make commitments that you're interest in, are of value to you, and can meaningfully contribute to your life right now.

Sources: Time Management: 10 strategies for better time management by Sue W. Chapman and Michael Rupured, The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
Time Management from Family Caregiving 101
Time Management Tips from Holden Leadership Center at The University of Oregon

Information compiled by Carrie Bui

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