Where are you spending your time? As much as I thought I knew about time management, it was a real eye opener when I did a pie chart of a typical 24 hour day in a work week. After getting 6-8 hours of sleep, working at least 8 hours plus our commute and lunch, there isn’t much time left over for meals, family, errands, hobbies, group activities, spiritual or educational pursuits, housework, and the other 101 things people need to get done every week.
Time management is more about how we manage tasks in the time we do have. Usually there are several things that could be done in any given hour. It is the choices we make about what we do in that given hour that has the biggest impact on our lives.
The bad news:There are no “Do Over” buttons on our days and years; once they are gone we can’t get them back.
The good news: Today we can start using the time we do have more wisely and make better choices by using great time management tools.
If you wonder where your time really goes try this exercise:
Do a personal time study. Write down all the things you spend your time on daily and how much time each task takes. Examples: commuting to work, washing the dishes, grocery shopping, watching TV, and sleeping. If you don’t know how much time a task takes, then time yourself over the course of a few days or a week to find out.
Now multiply the time for each thing you do by the day, week, month and year. You will probably be very surprised at how much time something you only do for 30 minutes a day adds up to over the course of a month and a year.
With this information you can now look at your goals and values, compare them to where you are spending your time. Now you can make adjustments based on the information from your time study.
What did you discover about how you are using your time?
Hints for being more organized:
Look at a monthly calendar with all of your scheduled commitments, then prioritize those commitments in order of importance to your goals and values. Ask yourself: which commitments are not supporting your goals and values? Next begin to gracefully turn over those commitments to someone else as soon as you reasonably can. Periodically evaluate where you are spending your time as goals and commitments change over time.
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