The following steps provide the building blocks for effective time management:
- Identify your goals
Identify your professional and personal goals with realistic short-term and long-term time frames for attainment. After listing your goals, assign each goal a priority number or letter in order of importance. This can be done for each new list you create.
- Review your time allotments
Review your time by keeping a daily log for 1-2 weeks. Make entries into the log consistently during the day to ensure accurate recall of events and avoid relying on memory.
- Align your time allotments with your goals
Structure your schedule with a focus on goal attainment. Strategic planning serves to eliminate or minimize your most precious resource: time. Differentiating between what needs to be done and what can be done helps in prioritizing.
The priority template involves assigning one's activities into four categories. Assign each activity to one of the four quadrants.Prioritized tasks are placed in four categories:
1. Essential and now-job, school, family, etc
2. Essential but not now-friends, pets, manicure, etc
3. Not essential but now-chores, refill medications, etc
4. Not essential and not now-socializing, facebook, TV, etc.
The goal is to shift high-priority activities to the second quadrant. This shift is accomplished through anticipating your needs with a focus on minimizing emergencies and establishing realistic deadlines.
- Proactive Measures
1. Plan out your meals for a few days at a time
2. Stay flexible
3. Self care: deep breathing, meditation, exercises, and hygiene.
4. Play time with friends, family, and pets.
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