I don’t know about you but life is hectic even on the best of days. Juggling your family, your job, sports events, church events, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, camp, daycare, meals, house repairs and needs, health and even goals and dreams can take a lot out of a person each day. Time management wasn’t something I was taught in school on any level, so how do you succeed when you aren’t sure how to make the most of your time? You choose your priorities first!
It is possible to master the calendar and your time with a few basics to set it up right.
What must happen every week – To get a grasp on your time better you have to start with the things that happen every week at the same time. Work is one of those things, you have to be at work by a certain time, breaks and lunch are at a certain time and getting to go home is at a certain time. It’s a start to a routine that helps you not go crazy. Earning a living is a priority. If you have children it is getting them up for school by a certain time, then to school and picked up by a certain time. These are two examples of what must happen every week. In order to make the most of this you need to place these items in your calendar. Huge blocks of time are now taken up by what must happen every week. That’s good because now you can review that calendar and see what you have left.
Family Obligations – we all have families and with them come birthdays, anniversaries, holiday gatherings and special surprises. Go through your calendar and put in these events that you know happen each year with your family. Some things can’t be planned as regularly such as weddings or engagement parties, but you normally get some time to put that in the calendar once you are made aware of it by other family members. Don’t forget your immediate family to schedule a fun night to watch movies, play games or go to some event together. It’s just as important to spend quality time with them as it is with your larger family. Another aspect of family you shouldn’t forget is your spouse or partner. Pick a time each week to have date night. Even if you have kids you need time alone together to discuss your marriage and what you both need. Your family should be one of your priorities.
Seasonal Items – Not only do you have holiday events but you also could have seasonal items with your kids depending on what activities they are involved in. Your daughter may have dance class and recitals throughout the year. Your son may be playing softball and soccer. Any sport or activity they are involved in you know a schedule ahead of time so you must plan for it in your calendar.
Down Time – This could be a couple hours just for you each week so that you can recharge and find inspiration or some trips to get away from the usual and have some fun. This is important because if you run at a fast pace day in and day out you will eventually burn out. To prevent that you need to make yourself a priority and create some time for you.
Social Events – If you belong to any clubs or go to church then you will have social events to add from time to time to attend throughout the year. Some things you will know about in advance but others may come up that you have to incorporate into your schedule. As long as they are important to you (a priority) then put them on your calendar and enjoy the time.
Goals and Dreams – If you have always dreamed of doing a particular thing then you have to decide to first do it, then set a date to hit to complete it and then work in time to accomplish it. To make any dream or goal come true you have to make it a priority in your life. Once you have all your commitments taken care of each week in your calendar you can then review it and see where you may have time to work on your goals. Maybe you want to learn to paint or write a book and each will take time based on your calendar. If you have half an hour then that’s what you have, just be consistent with that time you have set aside. Create an environment so you don’t have to ‘setup’ the area each time you wish to work on your goals. Designate a space and get it ready so you can just walk to that place and begin the task. This saves you time overall and eliminates the excuse that you used all your time to set up and didn’t get any time to really work on the goal.
Things to Do List – When working a job you have a list of tasks you need to complete to make the bosses happy. You need to do the same for your personal life and goals. I try to keep my list to 4 things I know I can get done that day. I have a master list for the month of everything I would like to accomplish from home projects, changing the filter on the house, washing the car, yard work, pet items and more. I also have a master list for my goals, and one for things I need to learn to help with my goals. When I create my list of four things each day I pull from these lists and whatever my family needs are on that day. If I have been unable to complete all four things every day for a week, I change it to three. As long as I’m moving forward that is the key. The things you put on your daily to do lists are what you make a priority.
Time management shouldn’t be so difficult to master but for some reason it is the one area most people struggle with and feel the most frustration. The unexpected seems to throw people off. There will always be unexpected things come up and you have to know that if it knocks you off of your schedule that day you just get up the next and go for it again. Some days will go smoothly according to your calendar and plan and other days start from the moment you wake up… late. It happens and instead of getting frustrated and overwhelmed, laugh about it and do what you can on that given day. You are making memories each day and feeling good about what you have achieved, so theirs no need to scold yourself for missing things on a day or two. It happens. Just get back up and start over the next day with your list of priorities.
You want to feel good about your life, where you are going, how you are getting there and making memories in the process. Experience your journey and everything will be more enjoyable in the long run.
Leave me a comment if you have any secrets to prioritize your time and calendar that keep you on track. Please take a moment and share this with anyone that you feel it could help too. Thank you so much for reading. Have a blessed week.