I think about time-management a lot because I'm very strategic about my days and weeks. Do you incorporate a workout whenever you can or never work out at all? How do you manage a week with social events, doctor's appointments, exercise, kid's events and a forty hour work week.
It's really hard, and I commend people who squeeze more into a day than I. I've talked with some friends about time and scheduling, and I realized that people take the day on the fly other than a few appointments they may have. The rest of the day is based on "what you feel like."
That's nice to be spontaneous, but too much spontaneity can allow life to spiral out of control rather quickly. Before you know it, you've put on weight, you're stressed, and you're angry at yourself for letting it all happen.
I learned with a little thought ahead of time, I can plan events into my week and make sure I get the things that matter most to me fit into my days and weeks. Here are a few steps I take to get more out of my time.
Step 1: Set Weekly Limits and Goals. I have a weekly goal of 5 workouts a week. I have a goal of two nights to do what ever I want and be spontaneous or go to a night class. I have a writing goal of two blog posts a week. Those are a few examples of my personal goals. I have a limit of one big dessert a week. I have a limit of one to two alcoholic beverages a week. When I hit a limit, I make a mental note of the day, so I know to wait for the next allowance.
Step 2: Prioritize. My number one priority is my job! I love my job and it requires most of my time each week. My job time comes first. Second, I layer over my 5 workouts. I schedule yoga classes and gym visits. Third, I incorporate various appointments and social events. Fourth, I make sure to get my writing goals met. Finally, I use the rest of my time to run errands, vegetate and be spontaneous.
Step 3: Plot it on your calendar. I put things on my calendar and move them around as some things come up and others are cancelled. This allows me freedom within a framework to maximize my time.
It took some practice to get there, and managing my time continues to take discipline to maintain the techniques. In the end, I'm delighted to create highly efficient and productive days that help me balance my life's loves and passions. I hope you'll develop your time-management and share some ideas that work for you today because you can!