Keys For Effective Time Management

time management

Time Management Is Not Prioritizing Your Schedule

In order to be a really effective manager of your time you must not forget this one thing. You should schedule your priorities, not prioritize your schedule. Most people believe that by using a calendar, and writing down what you need to get done is the key to effective time management, but what most people fail to look at is what you should schedule in the first place. If you are not scheduling the right things in the first place than many areas of your life may suffer. This is one of the habits that Dr. Steven Covey calls “Put First Things First”.

Find Out What To Put First

In order to begin using a schedule for effective time management you must look at several areas of you life. Make a list of the most important things in your life. Some of the things at the top of your list may be faith, health, family, friends, finances, and fun. When writing these things down go ahead and break all these things down into smaller areas. For instance you could break down your family category down to each family member. Once you have your more expanded list for each of the most important areas of life we move on to the next step. Schedule you priorities.

Scheduling Your Priorities 

One thing I have realized is that it is really fun to buy a planner. For me its fun to go out and find the planner that makes you feel good. Putting things down on it and looking at it on a regular basis will give you a positive feeling if you have prioritized correctly. Think about this, if you have only work things planned you will get tired of writing things down on your calendar real quick. It will be a phase that comes and goes. People operate on 2 things in life, pain and pleasure. If it is too much pain to plan and work and plan and work, and plan and work you will not continue this process, but if you schedule things that are fun and important to you as well as work you will enjoy planning.

So, lets get some of the fun things on that planner first. If faith is the most important thing to you in life go ahead and write down on your month calendar what days you are going to commit to an activity that will improve your faith. Next would be family. All those names that are important to you on the list of family go ahead and think about some quality time you want to spend with them that month. Do you want to take your daughter out to a movie. Maybe you want to take your son to a skate park. It may be something as simple as a 10 minute phone call to the family member to catch up. Next, get your friends list out and do the same. Some friends maybe you only want to connect with once every couple of months. Put their names down on the day of the month you want to connect. At this time you are not carving out specific time. A month calendar is more like getting an idea of how you would like the month to look. When it comes to finances go ahead and lay it all out. What financial commitments do you have. House, auto, insurance, ect. Put down the amount you need to pay on that day. This really helps you get an idea of a budget.

Can you start to see that prioritize your schedule, and schedule your priorities are different?

Scheduling The Month But Watching The Week

As you schedule your month it may look good and will make you feel better but as you learn real quick is that life happens. You can’t foresee what the future is going to be like until it becomes the present. So, what you are going to do is break it down a little closer to the present by watching the week. So, you first get what you want the month to look like but at the end of every week you want to try and narrow down a bit more of what you would like the week to look like. The closer it is the present the more we know how things are going to play out. I for instance, look at my planner every Sunday before bed to see what I have on my calendar for the week. Then I try to plan my week accordingly. I really feel that the week is something easy that we can get our minds around. It isn’t to far out so we can remember most of our schedules for the week.

Put Your Imagination To Work To Accomplish More With Your Time

Use your imagination here. Look at your commitments for the week and imagine how you would like them to go. If you have something planned and you picture yourself doing each of these things and completing them you are much more likely to actually completing them. Don’t skip this step and really use your imagination to complete your plan in your mind because even if you don’t believe it has an impact it will still work. Go back and read one of my other  articles entitled rewiring the brain.

Day by day you will get better and better at time management, and more importantly managing your time in a way that actually improves all areas of your life. Things will come up and you will miss some of your plans, but remember it is not perfect. Life happens and no one can complete 100% of the things that they write down. Some people are very successful in one area of life but really fail in others. This effective time management article should help you to have healthy balanced life.

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