David Wray

Goal SettingPrioritiesSkillsTime ManagementTipsValues

Too Much on the Go – Prioritizing Your Time is Easy!

Credit: freepik

Background

Are you juggling a full-time job, taxiing children to and from events, managing aging parental needs, household chores, carving out time for your significant other and trying to eke out time for yourself?  

The covid19 pandemic has turned it all on its head with most priorities doing a “180”. Many people are fighting for basic needs (shelter, food, health) with social commitments virtually evaporating overnight. The temporary “crazy” we’re in will pass. We will once again be pulled every which way and wonder how to finish our growing “honey do list”.

Prioritizing your time is a skill you cannot afford to be without! 

What can you do to help yourself?

Companies spend millions teaching employees about “Time Management Skills” – another way of referring to prioritizing. What if you could build this into a personal toolkit yourself (and then teach your children these same valuable skills)? You can!

Let’s start by showing what most people typically do today (left) and the what we’re aiming for (right):

As-is versus desired state of managing priorities

To contextualize this a little more – it helps to identify some typical activities in each of these areas:

With this illustrated, we can move onto talking about overcoming this common problem.

How do you do it?

Many techniques are widely available; however, I find one approach particularly effective. It involves three simple steps:

  1. Identifying your values
  2. Setting your goals 
  3. Make decisions about “things” that come up from both of these perspectives

This blog focuses on the third item – the decision-making process when “things” come up. This is the crux of managing your time. 

We start with life goals – broken into annual goals and then further into monthly and finally daily goals (to the extent that more detail is helpful for you). It looks something like this:

Relationship of goals to activities

Using this approach, your daily tasks then produce the most benefit from the time spent. In other words those “things” that align to your monthly, annual and life goals (and values):

  • Urgent and Important: do these activities as soon as possible
  • Important, but not urgent: schedule these commitments in your calendar
  • Urgent, but not important: give these tasks to someone else
  • Neither urgent nor important: trash these “things” from your day as soon as you can

The key in prioritization is a willingness to ruthlessly manage your time. Your time is a precious and finite gift. Following this simple model will help you achieve both short and long term success.

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Give it a go!

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