Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's About Time! Part 3

So far in our series on Time Management we’ve talked about the first step to take and setting priorities and goals. Today, lets get in the nuts and bolts topic of actually scheduling and managing our days!

With our list of priorities in hand, we’re making a plan of action for the day, based on what needs to be done. Remember, we have 24 more and no less!

Make time for the most important things first. Eating, grooming, sleep...these things and others are essential for you and your family every day. Don’t take time from these vital things in order to accomplish the non-essentials. Remember the priorities?

Even the basics may look different for everyone. For me, the essentials looks something like this: Sleeping, showering, grooming, eating, room cleaned, dishes washed, and of course a daily coffee. :) But the list might have some variations for you. For instance, you may have a person in your home with health needs. Part of your essentials list will include administering meds or something similar for that person. Schedule in each and every essential, and then you won’t be left wondering where the time went!

A side note; You might be saying, “A schedule isn’t practical for me. Every day is different and unexpected!” I believe everyone can have some semblance of scheduling, so hang in there with me, ok? We’re going to talk about variations to the schedule more next week.

Once you’ve prepared for the essentials in your 24 hour time slot, its time to take the time that is left and decide how best to use it. Remember how last week we took our goals list and gave everything a number? This is where the #2’s would come in!

In the eBook Tell Your Time, Amy has a great system for delegating your time slots and filling them appropriately, with the most needful things. I would highly encourage you to head over to her site and get her book for this next step. I personally will be filling out her “grid” this week and determining how to best use my time with her method, but I can’t write the whole thing out for you here, because it is her book. :) It is only a $5 eBook...but worth so much more if you apply the principles and glean from her wisdom in this area.

Regardless of whether you get the book or not, you must determine how to best fill your time with the #2’s and #3’s from your list of goals. Is there something that isn’t vital (such as eating) but is a responsibility you have (like the promise you made to volunteer for a certain event)? Plan for that time so it doesn’t catch you by surprise!

As you begin to schedule out time for each activity, slowly your 24 hours are going to diminish or be depleted completely. It will start to look something like this;

Start: 24 hours

8 hours for sleeping
3 hours a day for cooking/eating/clean up
1 hour for self care
1 hour for personal devotions
1 hour a day cleaning

After these essentials, we are down to 10 hours in a day. Lets add the #2’s on our goals list:

3 hours volunteering at a local nursing home
2 hours of blogging/online/social media
1 hour of reading
½ hour of exercise
2 hours of sewing/work

Finish: 1 ½ hours, which is a great cushion in case something unexpected comes up!

This is just an example of how my days might be meted out, with ballpark figures. And every day might need to be different. But it gives me an idea of how I need to distribute my time throughout the day in order to not put any more on my plate than I have time for.

Your tasks will be different. Your numbers will be different. But following this basic principle of filling out 24 hours, no more and no less, will help you to not become overwhelmed by what isn’t getting done. Adapt it to fit your needs, and see if it doesn’t help you on your time management journey!

Some books I’d recommend:

Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews
Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George
Emilie Barnes’ 15 Minute House and Budget Emilie Barnes :)

Do you already schedule out  your days? Or have you tried it before? I'd love to hear what did and didn't work for you!

***Note: post contains affiliate links

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