chores and children


Dealing With Time From A Different Perspective
by Susie Glennan
The Busy Woman, Inc.

I was going over our schedule with my two younger children, when "it" started! I had a light bulb moment and oh what a moment. Let me show you the discussion…

Child: “It's too hard!"
"It takes too long!"
"I can't do it."
"I won't have any time left to play!"

Mom: "Ah HA! So that's the problem."

"If I prove to you that you'll have plenty of time to play, will that make you feel better?"

Child: "What? HOW?! Whine whine whine… How are you going to prove it to me?"

Mom: "There are 288 Five minute increments in one 24 hour day."

"That means you have a LOT of time to get things done. Here's how."

"How long do you think it takes you to empty the dishwasher?"

"I'm going to time you for each chore today so you can see how much time you have left to play when you DON'T spend your play time whining about your chores."

Believe it or not, the kids and I had a good time seeing just how long each chore took. Here's a semi list...
Emptying the dishwasher - approx. 5 minutes
Loading the dishwasher - approx. 7 minutes (if there were a ton of dishes)
Now this could go down if the kids keep up on the dishes.
Emptying all of the small trash cans and putting in new bags - 4 minutes
Picking up after the animal - approx. 5 minutes

I will get to the adult part of this article in a moment, but let me share with you how it ended with the children.

Mom: "So you see kids, if you would just buckle down and do your chores, you'd have over 250 Five minute increments left to play." 

Child: "But moooom, I do have to sleep ya know. So sleeping takes up MORE of my time."

Mom: "Oh, you're right. Let's see how many Five minute increments you're using when you sleep."

"If you sleep 8 hours, you'll use 96 Five minute increments."

"You will still have 192 Five minute increments."

Now the reality of all children understanding reason is not probable, but it's a good start in teaching them how to effectively manage their time.

With all this in mind, let's see if we can apply this to our often hectic and overwhelming days...

How many tasks can you think of that only take about Five minutes? See if you can list them for each day, week or month. Then attempt to insert those short tasks into your schedule. If you don't have a schedule, then at least grab a sheet of paper to start writing down the Five-minute tasks. In doing this you can count how many Five minute increments you'll need to complete everything and start from there.

It's all in your perspective. If you see a lot of tiny tasks it can be overwhelming. But when you know you have about 192 Five-minute increments in your entire day, you can insert small tasks and then insert the larger ones such as making dinner. I know this may sound TOO organized. But once you try it and succeed, you'll cherish YOUR playtime and be happy you tried.

©2000 Susie Glennan

Susie Glennan has been happily married since 1982, is mom to 3, and is a Home Maker, Nurturer, Teacher, Author, Professional Speaker, Toastmaster, President of The Busy Woman, Inc., DBA - The Busy Woman's Daily Planner®. She teaches time management seminars, offers FREE consultations with your order, and will help you set up a schedule that's right for you. 

You can reach Susie at or 800-848-7715. Visit her website for great organizing products at:

This article provided by the Family Content Archives at:

(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by the Caton Family is for informational purposes only, and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites' content.)

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chores and children


chores and children