This is Part 3 in the series How To Create A Time Management System That Works For You.
If you missed part 1, you can read it here.
If you missed part 2, you can read it here.
So far, we’ve talked about Awareness and Elimination.
To create a time management system that works, you first have to be AWARE of where you spend your time. Then you need to ELIMINATE the time-wasters that take up WAY too much of your day.
This week we are talking about PRIORITIES.
Once you know where your time is going, you can look and see what’s working and what isn’t.
Once you know what you no longer want to do, you can focus on the things you DO want to do.
Set Your Priorities
If you did the time tracking exercise, you probably found a lot of “wasted” time. Prior to doing the exercise, you felt busy all the time. But after tracking your time for an entire week, you now see how much of your day gets taken up by “busy work” “filler” … things that do not move you toward your goals.
Once you’ve made an assessment of your current situation, and eliminated the obvious time-wasters, it’s time to set your priorities. I find it very powerful to write these down. Rather than just having them in your head, writing down the words brings power to your intentions and strengthens your resolve to actually get things done.
I’ve created a worksheet that will help you with this exercise, which you can get here.
Step 1: Do a brain dump of all the things you want to accomplish.
Step 2: Sort these tasks into Business or Personal.
Step 3: Now that you’ve decided what to do for your business and for your personal life, it’s time to pick which tasks you will do this week, and which day you will get them done. Write each task under the day that you will perform the task.
The important part of this exercise is to commit to taking action and to follow through. All the lists in the world won’t help you if you don’t DO what you say you are going to do. Make a promise to yourself and keep your word.
If your goal is to spring clean your house, break that down into bite sized pieces. Instead of “spring clean the house” as your task for Monday, put “spring clean kitchen” then Tuesday “spring clean living room”, etc.
And if THAT feels overwhelming, break it down even further… under “spring clean kitchen” you could create sub-tasks: wipe down counter tops, empty cupboards, sort items into categories: keep/donate/trash, etc.
The key to time management is giving yourself reasonable goals and achievable wins. You do that by keeping your “to-dos” bite sized. If you start to feel overwhelmed, break down your task into EASY to-do sub-tasks.
Successful time management is possible. You just need a good system in place.
In Part 4, we’ll talk about TIME BLOCKING.
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