Time management can seem like a never-ending trap. You’re strapped for time, so there’s no time to manage time, but if you don’t manage time you’re still strapped for time. You’re running faster and faster, to stay pretty much in the same place.
Stop. Focus and take a breath.
It’s time to get off the treadmill.
What if you could see your real schedule? Not the one you planned, but what really happened. What if you could use it to improve not only efficiency, but also your personal satisfaction? And what if this were a simple, straightforward process you could actually find time to do, in spite of your crazy, 30+ hour work day?
Find time to tackle and complete that big project you’ve been meaning to do, but which keeps getting pushed into the future. You might make room for strategic planning, setting a solid vision and launching into the future. Or you may find time for an extra bedtime story or two for the kids. The possibilities are endless. How would you spend a few available hours?
Get started now.
Before you can manage time, you need to know how you’re really spending it. Take a realistic look at your day, and find your personal opportunities.
- Track your activity. For one day, from rising to sleeping, make a note every 15 minutes of what you did. Click here for a simple time log form.
- The next day, take 10 minutes to quickly review your record.
- Did you spend time on critical activities, or less important ones?
- Are you spending time on things you love, or things you hate doing?
- What took longer than it should have?
- What were your time wasters?
- How is your work-life balance?
- What are your opportunities?
- Make a note of three things you want to do differently. Possibilities may include:
- Reviewing emails at set times only
- Delegating tasks to others
- Eliminating tasks
- Blocking out time for critical activities
- Streamlining or restructuring
- Just saying “no.”
- Implement your three changes.
- Repeat the exercise every few weeks, Monitor progress, Identify new opportunities.
In reviewing your activity, consider both the importance of the action, and your satisfaction. Effective time management balances both these factors.
Time management is personal and unique. Each person has different opportunities, and a different balance. Act now, find your opportunities, and make time for the things you really want to do.