Life can sometimes feel like a never ending to-do list. There are just so many things to get done and only so many hours within a day to do them. A person must really learn how to schedule their time in order to get the most important things done in any given week. Everyone has a different method of organizing their time, so here are some ways that I organize mine to really get stuff done.
-List and Rank Priorities
In a perfect world I would get everything I wanted to do done all day everyday, but alas I live in the world where my time and energy are finite. This is where listing and ranking my priorities really helps. Once I list out what I think are the most important things that I want to get done then I can rank them from what I consider to be the most important to the least. I always try to get at least the top three important things done since usually the rest can be postponed to another time if I am running low on energy or time.
-Pick A Block of Time To Measure
For me I find that a week is the perfect block of time for my lists. In my moleskine notebook I will use a full page and list out a one week to-do list, appointments list, meal plan, blog posts, workouts and budget. A week is just an easier time frame for me to keep up with instead of listing things too far ahead as it can start to feel like it’s too much and start to clutter up my mind and feel overwhelming.
-Actively Manage Time
This is where discipline really helps. There are times that I would certainly rather be laying on the sofa and zoning out to Netflix, but in order to do things that really matter I have to keep myself motivated and disciplined to keep on top of those important things that I listed as a priority. Writing out or scheduling time blocks to do certain things helps to keep things simple and to even open up more time later to do those fun things and relax. It is far easier maintaining something rather than falling behind and having to do a lot of catch up work.
-Budget Time, But Be Flexible
In order to create my days instead of reacting to them I go through what needs to be done and budget time accordingly. For example, I know that on a workday I need one hour in the morning to shower/get ready and one hour for breakfast/coffee and quiet time, so I budget two hours first thing in the morning which also lets me know when I need to set my alarm to wake up. I have several examples like this such as for lunch I take 30 minutes to eat and 30 minutes to take a walk (or run an errand), I take 30 minutes after work to go for a run or do a strength training workout, etc. I budget time like I budget my money to know where it is going. If I find something doesn’t work then I change it. I am also flexible in that if something more important needs my time at any given moment then I of course change my time budget to take care of the current priority.
-Measure The Return on The Time Investment
Just like money I also do my best to make sure that my time is invested wisely in what will bring me the most return. To spend my time that is not either enriching my life, doing something that I find fun, maintaining daily life and health or benefiting me in some other personal way is really just a waste. Time is very precious to me (as I am sure it is for everyone). It is the one thing in this world I am sure to never get back and therefore I must give it my utmost attention to every detail. I must make sure that I am spending my time according to what I value (this is also where making that priorities list comes in handy). Things such as working out, cooking a homemade meal, traveling, cultural moments, visiting with a friend, date nights, working and learning on the job, reading and alone time for contemplation and rejuvenation are my biggest returns on my time investments.
If you are not already a fierce protector of your time then I hope that this post at least gave you some motivation to think about doing so. We all have those daily life things that needs to get done and those things that we want to do for fun and there is a fine balance between them both, it’s just about fine tuning our schedules to accomplish them.