By Steve Brunkhorst
How often have you tried to manage your time in more productive ways, and found the process to be difficult and confusing? Perhaps you simply gave up on the idea. As one friend said, "Time management takes too much time!"
These tips will simplify time management with five important steps that can bring remarkable changes. They will allow you to easily customize a plan that will fit your specific objectives. Each action in your plan should support one of these five steps.
1. Prioritize Objectives and Actions.
Place a level of importance on each project or goal. Decide which actions are the most important for reaching your top-level objectives. Then spend the necessary time on those objectives first. That might seem obvious, but it requires thoughtful planning to prioritize time expenditures. It requires discipline to stick with the schedule.
Setting priorities also allows the mind to focus on desired outcomes. Time spent prioritizing projects, actions, and time expenditures is a wise investment of time.
2. Balance Time Expenditures.
Balancing time expenditures reduces stress. It brings success and fulfillment to careers and personal lives. Consider all the important areas in your life, and your values for each of them.
Consider areas such as family, health, career, relationships, spirituality, and relaxation. Take into account your responsibilities and activities within each of these areas. Balanced living brings contentment that is often absent in today's fast moving world.
3. Visualize Your Outcome and Feel Gratitude.
You've prioritized and balanced your time expenditures. What results did you want to achieve from each time expenditure in step one? Why are each of those results important to you?
See those results in your mind's eye each day. Then create the unmistakable feeling that those results have already been achieved. Most importantly, create a strong, silent feeling of gratitude that you have already received each result that you visualized.
4. Measure Results.
The only way to know if your efforts at time management are working is to measure the results. If you continue to feel stressed or do not see tangible changes taking place, it's time to re-evaluate what you are doing and make changes.
5. Adjust and Repeat.
Time and its winds of constant change are sure to bring surprises that intervene in your initial plans. One of the most frequent mistakes in managing time is neglecting to fine tune. First attempts at prioritizing and balancing often need a second look. If your results are less than you wanted, return to step one. Fine tune your schedule to make it more functional.
Time expenditures will always need to be reallocated periodically. Goals, needs, values, commitments, and responsibilities change. New projects and objectives will enter the picture. Unexpected events and new relationships will require flexibility.
Increase Productivity and Satisfaction
Daily actions that support each of these five steps can bring more work productivity and personal life satisfaction. With a schedule that must be flexible, I check and adjust my time expenditures weekly. This insures that my actions are supporting my career and personal objectives. These actions for effective time-management can support your objectives also.
Stop and think of a top-level objective that you want to reach. Ask yourself this question:
"If I could choose only one activity today that would take me closer to this objective, what would it be?" You've just started the process with step number one.
Keep practicing each of these five time-management steps by applying them to your situation. You will be pleased with the results.
© Copyright 2005 by Steve Brunkhorst. Steve is a professional life success coach, motivational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a popular mini-zine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and personal life. Request the next issue by visiting http://www.AchieveEzine.com
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