Effective Time Management Techniques
Do you have enough time in the day? If you utilize effective time management, you will find enough time in your day!
Effective time management sounds 'fancy' and even makes some of us feel guilty for the way we really spend our time. It really just means we need to take a good look at how we spend our time. We can find more free time for us. Our free time gets eaten up when we spend too much time on the computer, watching T.V., running to the store at the last minute because we didn't plan our dinners and needed tortillas and or cheese at the last minute.
You get the point. Good time management systems require some simple planning. For example, I utilize a calendar that I write everything down in from doctor's appointments to what we're going to eat for dinner that week. On Sunday night, I take a look at the calendar and plan my week around what's going on. Of course I remain flexible since the best plan can blow up and change the course of a day.
I have a big life filled with kids, a spouse, and a business. In order to manage it all, I utilize good time management systems with an awareness of how I spend my time. Below are great examples of the time management systems I use to keep life sane.
Use a calendar
A great time management system is a calendar/planner that I carry everywhere. This is what I put in my calendar:
- my oldest child’s school tests (I remind her to study and I follow up on grades)
- sporting and school events
- everyone’s appointments (hair cuts, doctors, you name it)
- birthdays and anniversaries
- reminders to follow up on stuff
At the end of the year, instead of throwing out the old calendar right away, use it to review the year and transfer important events to the new calendar such as anniversaries, birthdays, and annual bill due dates (life insurance, car registration, etc.).
Multitasking is a great time management system and women are the best at it! First think about what you have to get done and then prioritize. Get the laundry going, make kid’s breakfast, unload the dishwasher while they eat and the coffee brews, etc… you get the idea!
To gain more time and get more done, look at how you spend your time. Do you like to watch TV? Great, fold clothes while you watch your favorite show.
Multitask your way through the day and always be on the lookout for more ways to multitask. Multitasking is an effective time management system that allows you to get more done at once.
Procrastination is the enemy of good time management, so don’t fall down this slippery slope. Just pick yourself up and start breaking projects down into small manageable pieces and keep working!
The best way to work at overcoming procrastination is to just dive in and start working.
Take control of procrastination and turn it around by setting goals and delegating responsibilities to achieve your dreams.
Again, look at how you’re spending your time, I can’t stress that enough! Are you watching too much TV? Look at what benefit that TV show is giving you. If you really like it, then great, watch it, but if it’s a rerun, your time may be better spent giving yourself a pedicure or going to bed early for more sleep. Doing small things like this will help you gain better control of how you use your time.
You will kill the bad habit of procrastination within yourself and ultimately achieve your goals.
Good time management includes setting goals. Once a year my husband and I sit down and write out our personal, professional, spiritual, and physical goals. We keep our goal lists where we can see them daily. These goals keep us focused and aware of how we spend our time and money. These lists make us ask if our actions are in line with our goals.
A great time management system is to delegate age appropriate activities to children. A pre-teen can do some cleaning, vacuuming, and folding clothes while the a toddler can start learning to set the table and will love to help out doing various age appropriate tasks.
Start early by giving your children chores and tasks to complete so when they're older, it’s not a shock to do chores and they will be more willing to do their share. Chores teach kids they are part of a family and each member of a family is expected to pitch in and help.
Once you learn effective time management and the many benefits it brings to your life, you’ll never want to revert back. Use these tips to evaluate how your time is spent to start building a more positive and productive life.
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