Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Well, you aren’t alone. Even I feel that way some times!
When you have a lot of commitments and lots of things to get done, sometimes it can be hard to narrow down exactly what needs to be done.
If you are a values driven person like me, you’ll probably find that the following will help you a lot. Whether you consider yourself values driven or not, you can substitute “values” for “commitments” if that will be of greater use to you.
Create a spread sheet, a Word document with columns, or just make four columns on a piece of paper. The first column will be “Value/Commitment.” The next column will be “General Priority/Desire.” After that “Detailed Priority/Desire.” Finally “Next Action” or “To-Do.”
Start with a list of values or commitments. Some examples of values might be family, friends, self expression, health, work, security, adventure. Some commitments might be: work, church, volunteer service, annual fund raiser, PTA meetings, soccer team, writing group.
Next: create a general priority or desire. If you are working with health for example, your general priority/desire might be improve my health. Do this for every value or commitment you listed.
In the Detailed column, get more specific. In keeping with the health theme you might come up with lose 10 pounds or change my diet.
Finally, in the Next Action column – what’s the very first thing you need to get the ball rolling (after all this great planning, that is!)? It could be run a mile, join the local gym, or buy from fresh fruits and vegetables.
You’ve now figured out what the most important things are in each of the areas you are committed to. To determine what to work on next, figure out what is most time sensitive. If your lights are about to get cut off, it might be more important to get online or on the phone to pay that bill right away…and then maybe buy those apples tomorrow afternoon.
You don’t need to map out every minute of your day, but figuring out what your priorities and next actions are is a great way to get yourself on the right track to managing your time and getting things done.