Time Management: Where Does Our Time Go?
Time management is a big concern for a lot of people.
I keep hearing, “There are just not enough hours in the day…” or “Where does my time go?” Face it we all live busy lives. Work, family, and other commitments keep us all hopping. To utilize better time management, it’s important to recognize what the specific problems are. Is it not having enough time for you or your family? Maybe you are not sure where all your time is going and just want to account for it. Or you could have a full schedule that you are having a hard time keeping up with. Whatever the reason, time is a precious resource that most of us need to use to its fullest.
The most important step in time management is evaluating our schedules.
Write your "typical" week on a paper, using your current schedule, you may see where greater time management could be applied. Ask yourself why you are feeling unsatisfied with your schedule. Make a list of what you want to change and what you want to make room for. Do you want more time to pursue your interests? More time to be with your children? Or just more time to get everything done?
After you have done this take a piece of paper and draw three columns.
In the first column, list your commitments, such as daily, weekly, or monthly events that take place at a specific time. Such as work, club meetings, or standing doctor’s appointments. In the second column, put your “flexible” tasks, such as grocery shopping, and house cleaning. In the third column put “occasional” appointments such as doctor appointments, a school play, or an old friend coming into town.
Then use a calendar (preferably one with large spaces for the days). Or label a notebook page with a day or two, depending on your daily or weekly goals, for effective organization and task management. Organize items in your notebook, prioritizing "set in stone" commitments first, followed by occasional tasks. Leave flexible items for last, fitting them around existing obligations.
The objective is to balance out your days and to maximize your time.
Why make a separate trip to the pharmacy when it is on your way to your son’s soccer practice? Optimize your schedule by grouping appointments in the same area on the same day, minimizing travel time and maximizing productivity.
The biggest thing to consider is: Are you doing too much?
No matter how well time is managed there is such a thing as an overload of commitments. Time management is not just about structuring your week so that you can get everything accomplished. It is about creating a manageable schedule that will give you time for the important things in life. So, before looking at your time management skills look at what you are trying to juggle.
Include things that you want to do but just don’t seem to have time for in your day.
What is the sense of managing your time better just to t in more work? A part of time management is balancing so that you can have time to enjoy the fun stuff in life too.
If your schedule lacks dedicated time for family, your significant other, and self-care, it's crucial to seek help and reduce commitments. Being run down and worn out will not assist you in better time management, in fact, it will hinder it.