In our busy lives, it seems that we can never have enough time! Between morning routines, evening routines, journaling, hot yoga, and whatever other social media-endorsed "essentials" for effectively using our time, there might never be time to even get a good amount of sleep (which is 7-9 hours, btw). Time is our most valuable resource, perhaps even more valuable than money. Money can be regenerated, but once you’ve spent your time, you will never get it back. With this mindset, it only seems wise to plan ahead with how we’ll handle time, in the same way that we do with money.
Here are four tips to create a time management portfolio.
Get a calendar. We love this weekly time management sheet from Cornell University. You can enter your details right into the pdf or print in out and handwrite them in (DIY Idea - laminate it to reuse each week!). You can also use an online resource like Google Calendar.
Schedule your time. Block out your fixed time slots. These are chunks of time that you know you’ll be using, like your commute or weekly touchbase meeting. Once you block out these in your calendar, then you know what you have to work with for your flexible time slots. These are independent activities, like answering emails or going to the gym. It’s important to schedule these too; it will help you procure realistic goals for the week. Pro-tip: Just like you set aside money for a rainy day, it’s never a bad idea to set aside some spare time for unexpended delays, meetings, or projects.
Change your strategy with the “market.” If new obligations pop up in your life - from the small to the life-changing - review your time management plan and rearrange your time accordingly. Perhaps the new task of driving your son to soccer practice means you’ll need to multitask by taking some calls during the drive.
Reflect on what’s important. If someone who had never met you were to look at your calendar, what assumptions would he or she make about your priorities? If the answer is far-off from what you actually care about, it’s time to reevaluate your time management portfolio. If enjoying the summer with your family is significant to you, then schedule it in! Remember that scheduling your time should not feel constraining, but rather freeing in that it allows you to embrace the hours to reflect your life’s vision.