Life is busy. Do you feel—like most of America—that half of the time, you don’t know if you’re coming or going? If so, I’ve got great news for you! With a few simple time management skills, you can take control of your schedule and actually accomplish more with a lot less stress. The fundamental step to making this happen—as I argued last week—is learning to budget your time. My aim in this post is to give you the nuts and bolts of time budgeting.
Plan How You Will Spend Every Minute
I know this will sound over the top, but I believe it is necessary. In Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey teaches you to name EVERY dollar; if you want to take control of your time, you must name EVERY minute. It is okay to have free time, just budget it as so.
You can do your time budget on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis; weekly works best for me. On Sunday evening, I plan out my entire week. The whole process takes me about thirty minutes (it will take longer at first).
Begin By Setting Main Categories, Subcategories, and Specific Tasks
Step one is deciding—and writing down—what major areas in your life deserve your time; these are your main categories.Within each category, you will then have subcategories. After these steps are completed, you will then allot a certain amount time to each specific task, until you have a zero budget, using up the 168 hours of your week. Finally, you will enter these specific tasks into a digital or traditional calendar.
*You will allow for at least 10 hours of interruptions in your week (even more recommended). When an interruption occurs, you simply move a task around with the interruption hours you worked into your scheduled.
- Personal = 111 Total Hours
- Daily Devotions – 7 Hours
- Church – 6 Hours
- Work Out – 6 Hours
- Meal Prep – 2 Hours
- Date Night with Spouse – 6 Hours
- Quality Time with Family – 18 Hours
- Friends – 2 Hours
- Personal Development –
- Podcasts – 3 Hours
- Reading – 4 Hours
- Hobbies – 2 Hours
- Sleeping – 49 Hours
- Dining – 5 Hours (Some meals included in family time)
- Reflection Time – 1 Hours
- Professional – 47 Total Hours
- Project 1 – 10 hours
- Project 2 – 8 Hours
- Misc. – 8 Hours
- Leadership Meetings – 5
- Phone Calls – 3
- Administrative -10
- Career Development – 3
- Distractions/Interruptions – 10 Total Hours
Use the Above Example as a Guide
The above is only a guide; fill your calendar with what is most important to you. After you make your plan, plug your tasks into your calendar and stick to it as much as possible. In my next post, I will talk about the importance of guarding your calendar. A plan is only as good as the degree to which it is followed. Until then, happy planning!