It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to getting the big and important things done, especially when you are caught up in the mind-boggling number of day-to-day tasks of running a household and balancing your personal and professional obligations. It’s time to tackle these 20 things in your marriage and at home:

  1. Tackle that one room, drawer or cupboard (you know which one!)

The garage isn’t going to reorganize itself and that glitzy, poufy jacket is never going to make its way to an awards ceremony or date night. Throw away items that you no longer need and organize that kitchen drawer, which is filled to the brim with everything from cable ties and straws to napkins and plugs!

  1. Compile your will

Death isn’t an easy or comfortable topic, but your death will have a major impact on your loved ones. Ease their burden by making sure your final wishes are in place and that all the major financial obligations have been planned for.

  1. Exercise

You don’t have to morph into the fitness couple that only eats kale and quinoa, but exercise is a great way to spend time together and it will lift your mood. Consider enrolling for a dance class or go for a walk after work. This also creates the perfect opportunity to take a long, hot shower together afterwards . . .

  1. Tell him exactly what you like

Your husband may think he has all the right moves (especially if you’re making all the right noises), but if your thoughts are continuously wandering off during foreplay, then it’s time to sit down and show him exactly what you want. Order sushi for two and pour each of you a glass of wine before telling him how you want your foreplay sessions to pan out. Even better, show him right then and there in the kitchen!

  1. Plan your budget

Who wants to contemplate all the money you don’t have to spend? While this sounds like a dull and depressing exercise, it will help both of you to get a hold on your household’s spending.

  1. Talk about alcohol use

While you may be quite content with a glass of wine during dinner, perhaps your husband is more eager to have several beers. Besides the negative health consequences of alcohol abuse, it can also lead to conflict in relationships (especially if one person often drinks too much at social gatherings). Have an open and honest conversation about how you feel about each other’s alcohol habits.

  1. Discuss child rearing with an expert

Many couples have different opinions regarding disciplining their children, what constitutes age-appropriate activities and media use, curfews and other important issues. Speak to a child therapist or a knowledgeable expert to get external input about the issues that you two don’t agree on as a couple.

  1. Turn off the television and your phone

Diarise certain times when you turn off your phones and the television to spend time together as a couple or as a family. No media is allowed (and no exceptions!). Sit back and enjoy each other’s presence and the conversation.

  1. Book an appointment with your gynecologist

The most common reason for booking an annual appointment with a gynecologist is cervical cancer screenings and prevention, which is seen as a silent killer that affects far too many women. There are also a number of other bacterial and fungal issues that can cause vaginal discomfort and impact your sex life. Don’t procrastinate, book your appointment today!

  1. Communicate about your work obligations

You understand each other’s careers and you may know a few of each other’s colleagues, but how much do you really know about your partner’s day-to-day work activities, looming projects and career stressors? Take time to communicate about your work obligations so that you can be more sympathetic when your partner comes home late (again!), or if he or she seems particularly withdrawn or stressed at times.

  1. Pay a visit to your child’s teacher

You know your daughter is battling with maths, but everyone keeps avoiding the problem. Phone her maths teacher and make an appointment to go and see her, so that you can discuss a plan of action to improve your child’s performance in this subject.

  1. Don’t ignore bad debt

Unfortunately, bad debt doesn’t simply pay for itself or go away. Take a look at the various lines of debt that you have and pinpoint the credit cards that have higher interest rates. Try to pay back more than the minimum amount every month. Talk to a debt counselor if you are struggling with this task.

  1. Create a chore calendar

Everyone is tired when they get home, but the household doesn’t run itself. Create a chore calendar and schedule that assigns different tasks, such as taking out the garbage or folding the washing, to specific people on certain days. This will lighten the burden for overworked parents and get the entire family involved in running and maintaining the household.

  1. Address problems with the in-laws

Many people have lingering problems or bad feelings towards in-laws. They are a part of your family now and you have to make it work. Remember tip number 5 in Stephen R Covey’s book, The seven habits of highly effective people: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

  1. Plan your day to avoid tardiness

Obviously, nobody plans to be late, but you hit the snooze button a few times, forget to feed the dog, get caught in a traffic jam . . . and before you know it, your whole day is disrupted. Take control of the chaos by installing a map or route planner on your phone (preferably one that can give you real-time traffic updates so that you can avoid congested routes). As a golden rule, allow 50% more time than you normally would.

  1. Tell your partner what you want to experience in the bedroom

Maybe a bit of erotic play is exactly what your marriage needs! Talk to your partner about what you want to experience in the bedroom. Don’t do this while you are having sex – wait until you are relaxed and comfortable in each other’s company before approaching the subject.

  1. Discuss your parents’ future

Everyone’s parents will eventually get old, and some may need medical care and financial support. Discuss your expectations surrounding caring for your parents and how you will deal with the situation as a couple when it arises.

  1. Learn how to change a tire

Whether you have roadside assistance or your husband is always prepared to leave work and help you if you have car problems is beside the point – it’s good to know how to change a tire yourself. Ask him to show you how to do it, judge your tire-changing skills and reward you if you complete the task correctly!

  1. Enroll for a first-aid course

First-aid courses are affordable and it can save lives. This is especially important if you have young children at home.

  1. Create a security plan for your family

What happens if burglars enter your home in the middle of the night? Does your family know what to do, who to call and how to react? Security companies can give you a consultation on things that you and your family should do in the event of an emergency.