What comes to mind when you hear the words “time management”? Do you shudder and think you’ll never be able to successfully manage your time? Do you even know where to begin when it comes to time management?
I want to assure you that time management is not all that complicated. In fact, it’s just a simple process of learning to tell your time where to go. Just like a financial budget helps you allocate dollars to different priorities, time management can help you allocate time to achieving your goals and priorities in life.
I know it sounds almost too simple, however I’ve narrowed down the process of time management to three easy steps.
1. Plan your time by the day, not the week or month.
I have wasted a lot of time and energy over the years thinking I could make a solid weekly plan and be able to stick with it. However, I’ve learned that trying to plan how I’m going to use my time for a period longer than a day is usually a recipe for disaster.
For instance, I used to plan how I would use every minute of my days for a week. I would fill in appointments then block off time to complete various tasks each day. Inevitably, though, something would come up that was unanticipated that would throw off my entire schedule. The result would be chaos and discouragement.
We cannot predict what is going to happen every day. So it is best if we just try to plan one day at a time.
I usually make my plan for the day the night before or first thing that morning. It seems weird for a planner girl like me to not have a more solid plan sooner, however I find making my plan right before my day starts gives me the information I need to make a plan that will most likely succeed.
When I make my daily plan the night before or morning of, I already have some sense of possible time disrupters or distractions that I will have to deal with. I’m able to work around those things better because I already have a feel for how my day is going to go.
2. Plan your time with your priorities in mind.
If we’re not careful we can spend all our time managing the urgent instead of the important. That’s why we should be diligent about planning our time with our priorities in mind.
My current priorities are spending time with God, supporting my husband, taking care of my kids, taking care of my home, and running my own business. Based on recent events, I am sure I’ll be adding the priority of helping to take care of my parents in the near future.
Because I know my priorities, I can make better choices about how I will spend my time. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever to anything that is not a priority. It does mean, though, I will make every effort to ensure my time is mostly spent on these priorities.
Not sure what your priorities are in this season of your life? Check out this blog post for ways to determine your priorities.
3. Plan your time to help you achieve your goals.
We all have some kind of goals in our lives. Some may be trying to lose weight while others are focusing on creating more income.
No matter what your goals are, you should allocate some time each week to achieving those goals. Even 5 minutes here and there can add up to great results.
Check out this blog post for tips for setting goals you can actually achieve.
I hope these steps will help you focus more on your days and will increase your productivity and satisfaction in life.
Comment below and share your favorite time management tips.