Time is a topic that receives a great deal of attention, but rarely will you find someone who feels that they manage it well. How are you doing in this particular area? Do you find that you have more than enough time to get things done? In a world of complexity and competing priorities, it can often be difficult to get everything done and that is especially true for things that matter most to us. Living a full and meaningful life begins with improving your utilization of the precious commodity called time.
Time utilization is a concept that is frequently discussed, but rarely is it seriously considered or taught. Time passes very quickly as our minutes, hours, days, months and years seemingly “fly by.” We just concluded 2017 enjoying a blessed Christmas season and celebrating the start of 2018. However, if we’re not careful, 2019 will soon be upon us; we will start another year all over again. We often begin the year with New Year resolutions focused on things such as losing weight, getting a promotion or saving a certain amount of money. Rarely do we make resolutions related to better managing time.
“Time is the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. “ – Thomas Edison
Getting serious about better utilizing time can lead to personal fulfillment and living a life of more meaning. You will find that you are able to focus on things that matter most to you. To do this well, you should begin by considering the important areas of life such as family and home, spiritual|ethical, financial|career, mental|educational, physical|health, and social|cultural. These areas can be considered priorities and components of a “Wheel of Life.” How are you currently allocating your time among these important areas of life?
It is possible to improve our utilization of time and renew our focus on important life priorities. To do this well, we should think of time as investing a precious and infinite commodity. The three points below are things to consider as you intensify your focus on this important concept.
- Prioritize Priorities – Rank the six areas in the aforementioned “Wheel of Life” from the most important to the least to you. This is important because it involves obtaining clarity around which of the priorities you value the most.
- Set Goals and Develop Action Steps – Goals should be set in each area of life along with a few action steps that may be necessary to accomplish the goals. Focus on setting daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. The goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic and time bound.
- Plan Daily – Your calendar will play a very important role here. Regardless of whether you use an electronic calendar or a “Franklin Planner” type tool, it should be utilized frequently. Plan at the beginning of each week for the upcoming week. You should also plan at the end of each day for the upcoming day. Priorities should also be scheduled on your calendar.
Getting comfortable with this process will take time. Nevertheless, any time invested in improving in this area should yield great results. You will find yourself working on and allocating time to priorities that matter most to you. This will lead to a higher level of personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg
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