Monday, September 14, 2009

Using your time wisely

The more business a man has to do, the more he is able to accomplish; for he learns to economize his time.
~ Sir Matthew Hale

I am a big believer in using time efficiently. Time management is such an important skill to have and I believe it comes easier to some than others. However, everyone can learn the skills with some planning and effort. Here are some tips I use to most effectively use my time.

1. Make a weekly schedule - Create a schedule that you follow each week, see example below. As you can see, I know the things I must do every day and I know that every Monday will be my cleaning and laundry day and every Tuesday I will grocery shop. I can then fill in my other days and open times with other things that need to be done or that I would like to do.

Daily - Tidy kitchen, exercise, reading/personal study time, make dinner

Monday - Clean kitchen and bathrooms, wash sheets, laundry, make weekly menu and shopping list, make a weekly to-do list, family night

Tuesday - Grocery shopping


2. Make a to-do list - Every week I also make a to-do list. This may include things such as getting the oil in my car changed, returning library books, mailing a package, preparing a Sunday school lesson, phone calls, activities with friends, etc. I then plan which days I will do these items so I know they will get accomplished.

3. Make time for hobbies/projects each week - We all have hobbies we enjoy. I think it is important to find things you enjoy doing in your life. As you are planning out your weekly schedule make sure to find a few hours each week to work on a project or hobby you enjoy. I selected six projects in my New Year's Resolutions this year that I want to accomplish. These are what I focus on in my "me" time. I find it is easier to just work on one project at a time or focus on one hobby each week. If I work on too many I usually don't end up finishing any of them as quickly because the starting and stopping makes you forget where you left off. So I try and pick a hobby and focus on it each week.

Last week was a reading week for me, so in my "me" time I read. When I have a free minute I know I will read, so I don't waste any time deciding what to do. Next week I may focus on sewing my quilt. Since I am focused on sewing all week, I won't have to put all my supplies away each day. That will save time and the project will be fresh in my mind so I won't have to remember where I left off.

I like to give myself a time line for accomplishing my projects so I make sure I make them a priority and don't too much of my time doing unnecessary things, such as being at the computer way too long! Accomplishing something you enjoy makes you feel good and happy. Life isn't all about work we need to make sure we find time to do the things we enjoy.

I have always liked the motto of Brigham Young,
"Eight hours work, eight hours sleep, and eight hours recreation."

Although these days, it seems like the average work day is at least 9-10 hours. However, there still should be some time for recreation and doing things you enjoy if you manage your time well.

How about you have any time management tips you'd like to share?

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