I was listening to Click & Clack on NPR one Saturday and they were talking about the finite number of RPMs in the life of an engine – and the finite number of beats in a heart. With each beat you get closer to the end. So, if there is a finite number of beats, how do you make the best use of them?
Consider this: You have a limited amount of energy to accomplish what you need to do in a given day. The way you allocate your energy will affect how fulfilling your day or week or month or year is. Your objective should be to ensure that you spend your time wisely and in ways that are fulfilling and energizing.
But there are probably many things you do that are psychologically draining. So, the first step in managing your time is to address them. To get started, identify the main things you do that drain you. For example, your list might include these:
- Clean the house from top to bottom and keep it clean
- Return/retrieve items on loan
- Throw out/give away unused or unneeded “baggage”
- Fix things that are broken or in disrepair
Now that you have identified the main activities that drain you psychologically, address them by:
- First identifying things that you can simply stop doing altogether. An example might be to stop eating a late-night snack and replacing it with juice. In any event, you can minimize or quit doing those things that deplete your energy.
- And then allocating a manageable amount of time each day (or over the course of a week or a month) for the items that remain. Schedule an amount of time that limits the amount of energy that gets drained on these things, so that you reserve your energy for things that you enjoy and that are fulfilling.
Once you’ve established a goal or two, or three, you can begin to specifically identify behaviors or specific tasks necessary to reach them. For example, to enhance your relationship with your partner, you might schedule an hour of quality of time with her or him every Wednesday at 9 p.m.
Finally, with draining tasks under control, and fulfilling tasks identified, you can create daily to-do lists that represent a balance of activities that protects and renews your energy and ensures that you progress toward the fulfilling achievement of your goals. For example:
- Spend time talking to my partner about how much I appreciate him or her, etc.
- Take books back to the library & see what they have about Hawaii
- Read another article or chapter about Hawaii
- Pick up the kids at 3:30
- Buy groceries before 5:00
Your new, balanced daily to-do lists will help you allocate time and energy for those personally fulfilling endeavors that enrich the quality of your life.
|Copyright © 2015 by William A. Johnson|
William A. Johnson is a consultant and life coach who has taught time-management seminars throughout the country.