Making Your Time Count
Do you ever look back and try to figure out where the day went? Have you ever wished for more time to accomplish all that you need to get done? Since we can’t actually add to the number of hours in the day, we want to explore what we are spending those hours doing. Get ready for a quick exercise to learn how to really make your time count!
Think about the answers to following questions:
• What are my top five most important things to do?
• How much time have I spent focused on those things over the last two months?
• Am I on the right track, doing the right things now?
Our time can be divided into three categories. Let’s title our first category, “No Matter What.” These are the number one, top priority things on our lists. They may vary from one person to the next, but can include career, faith, family, health, etc. These are commitments that we should make certain to set aside time for each day, no matter what. List out what you feel should fall under this category. It is best to try to limit it to five items. Yes, it can be done!
The second category, “Need to Do,” will also include important tasks, but many of these will not occur as often as your first listing. Again, each person will have their own, unique list, but a few suggestions may include social events assisting with your career goals, extra activities in your community or church, vacations and down time, etc. This list will likely be a bit larger but should be manageable, keeping in mind that a lot of these are not everyday tasks.
Last, “If Time Allows,” lists the things that really have no lasting value. If we are not careful, we will push this list ahead of everything else and get so wrapped up in it, that we leave little or no time for what really counts. For me, social media and television fall into this category. I’m sure there will be days that I watch my favorite television show, but the discipline is in only allowing for these activities if everything else is done. We should also only say “Yes,” to new tasks if time allows. If something comes up which doesn’t permit you to do what you’ve already committed to, don’t do it. Consider whether you really have time for it and ask yourself if it’s even worth doing or if it creates any value. We can’t make time for what matters most when we are always adding to our lists.
This only begins to scratch the surface of the many topics that could be shared about managing time effectively. However, it’s the first step in the process and if we will fully commit to what’s important and set aside quality time for those things, we will be able to see clearly to work on other aspects of time management. Step one to better time management….let’s start today!