Delegate Kids love coming home from school and jumping straight on the computer, games console or TV.
If it drives you round the bend that they aren't helping out round the house, get them into the habit of seeing 'computer time' or 'TV time' as a reward (for helping you).
Start by only letting them on the computer after helping you with a chore.
They'll soon be queuing up to clear those dishes.
Make it fun Whatever you need doing, get the whole family interested and involved by having fun.
Even things like redecorating needn't be a chore - kids love pulling down wallpaper.
When their bedrooms look like a pigsty, hold a competition to see who can fill a bin-bag or the laundry basket first.
If you're trying to get them to tidy their rooms promise them a game of twister or a board game in their bedroom - but only once the floor of their bedroom is completely toy-free! 3.
Teach them as they help Even little ones can be encouraged into things like sock pairing - this involves colour and size-sorting and it's educational too.
The same goes for putting groceries away after a shopping trip.
One child can put away the frozen food, or tins and packets in cupboards.
This is not only great for saving you time, but it shows that what they eat doesn't get conjured up out of 'nowhere', so it teaches them appreciation too.
Get your man on-board Arguments and discussions about the right way to do things waste valuable energy and time.
It's no good you laying down rules that the other one doesn't stick to.
This will only cause problems like, 'Daddy always lets me sit in the front of the car and you won't', or 'Mum always lets me have biscuits before bedtime'.
Agree on boundaries with your partner and stick to them - the time saved by having to talk about it afterwards can be used for a little me time.
Agree a deal Why not trade a weekend away on your own or with your girlfriends in exchange for your partner doing the same? You'll come back refreshed and revitalised and when it's your other half's turn - so will they! If you don't have a partner to share the children with, try kid-swapping weekends with friends.
But however you do it, get that time away.
Just make sure you're happy with who you leave them with, as you don't want to spend your time away from them worrying! 6.
Know what you want Make a list of 'time-treats' - little things that you know you'd love to do for yourself if only the day were long enough.
A 10-minute time-treat might be sitting down and reading a magazine or a couple of chapters in a book, a 30-minute time-treat might see you catching up on your favourite soap (if you've got two week's worth recorded you're never going to catch up otherwise!).
This way when free time does crop up, you'll know exactly what you want to do and won't waste it.
Ask for 'me-time' as a present If you've got a birthday round the corner and people ask what you'd like, don't be afraid to suggest something that little bit different.
Maybe you've always fancied going to London to have a treatment at a well-known hairstylist? Or you want to go out for a meal with friends instead of doing the cooking.
It's important to try and carve out that little space in the day that's especially for you.
Beware the time thieves We all love chatting with friends, but there are always people who keep you talking that little bit longer than they should do, certain parents outside the school gates, people in shopping queues or colleagues at work who eat into your time when you don't really mean them too.
If you're serious about claiming time back for yourself then think imagine you're on a 'time-wasting diet' where hanging about too long listening to other people's moans is the same as a calorie-packed doughnut! 9.
Don't do what you don't really have to do Have you found yourself ironing T-shirts that were only going to be worn under jumpers, or sweeping leaves that were only going to pile up again? Well don't.
Some women find it impossible to stop and the minute a chance comes to relax they ignore it and look for the next task.
If this sounds like you, then slow down.
Look for the gaps and spaces where you can get away without being so busy and use some of that for a bit of me-time.
Make it count We all know kids are exhausting but they grow up unbelievably quickly, meaning that your chances to build special memories together don't last all that long.
The key is to find something that counts as quality time for both parent and child.
Something as simple as a bike ride in the country can suffice.
Just make sure you're fitting in quality time for everyone.