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TIME AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT
We all have twenty four hours a day to use in some way. Time is one resource we all share. Locating ourselves in our environment with reference to time is an important part of time management. All our activities for example going to bed, getting up in the morning, having meals, playing, etc is based on the available time. Time and energy are closely related, the management and use of one affecting the other.
Time use is affected by the following factors.
1. Stage of family life cycle
The beginning stage is the period of establishment which starts from the date of marriage till the first baby is born, a period of approximately 0 to 4 years. The time demand will differ based on whether the home maker is employed or not. The second stage is the expanding stage where the demand for time will be more for guiding and being with children. The third stage is the contracting stage when the children leave home because of marriage or employment. The time requirement at this stage will be much lighter and they will have more time for participation in community activities etc.
The size and type of the house, the number of persons in the family, the age of the family members, work area, tools and equipment available affect the usage of time.
3. Who perform the household task
Whether the household tasks are performed individually or shared by the family members affect the use of time.
4. The attitude towards house work and whether the homemaker is gainfully employed also has a role in affecting time use.
Energy management is more difficult and complex as the energy that each person has to do various activities depend on physical and mental health. Like time the demand for energy will be less during beginning and contracting stage and more during the expanding stage.
The various efforts are needed to perform different household tasks. They are mental effort, visual effort, manual effort, torsal effort and pedal effort. Depending on the energy requirement tasks can be classified as below.
Light work - Eg. Sewing, Washing dishes, Dusting furniture, sweeping etc.,
Moderate work - Eg. Kneading dough, ironing, hanging clothes.
Heavy work - Eg. Bed making, mopping floor, laundry, carrying children etc.
Energy expenditure for doing various tasks depend on the mental approach, postural strain, muscle tension, concentration in work and the skill they acquire. Fatigue is a condition where the amount of work output would be reduced. This can be classified as physiological and psychological fatigue.
The reason for fatigue could be
1. The long period of mental or physical work
2. Heavy physical work
3. Working under pressure
4. Unfamiliar work
5. Non accomplishment of work
6. Monotonous work
7. Lack of motivation
8. Dislike for work
9. Desire to stop work
10. Failure of plans
Management of time and energy
The first stage of management is planning. The time and activity pattern of the family should be planned taking into consideration the daily, weekly, seasonal and special tasks, and the amount of time required for various activities. The steps is making the time plan are
Step I - This consists of listing the every day, weekly, special and recreational activities of the family
Step II - Making a plan for routine tasks considering those work that must be done at a definite time of the day. By this one will know the block of free time available.
Step III - Fitting the special and seasonal jobs into the free time block.
Step IV - Deciding who will do the various tasks in the family. This can be decided through group discussion.
Carrying out time and activity plan is the next step in managing time and energy. Change of plan may occur depending on the interruptions. Motivation plays an important role in carrying out the activity plans. Developing skill and use of work simplification techniques will reduce time and energy expenditure.
Evaluation should be done while making and carrying out plans as well as reviewing the results. Constant evaluation of performance and checking of accomplishments should be done to make sure that things are going on as planned.
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