Time management tips can literally transform your life! Perhaps you have created exciting new goals as you gain confidence in your time management skills.
But before too long, something happens. You feel crowded and stressed, as if you are carrying a burden you can’t shake. What went wrong?
Perhaps your goals need rethinking. Then, as you revise them, your time management strategies can gain traction. And that stress you feel can be converted back into excitement!
3 Easy Steps to Realign Your Goals
1. Create an easy-to-scan list of your goals.
How happily can your goals coexist? Perhaps they jostle one another, competing for your time. You will never be fully effective if your goals are in conflict! And you will always feel under pressure. Not a good feeling.
So, your first step is to create breathing space. Jot down a master list of the goals that drive your daily plans. Then, prioritize them, using these 3 keywords:
You want to make sure you are viewing all your goals. So let the list develop over a few days, as you review your To Do Lists, schedules and plans that circle in your head.
As you assign due dates for your goals, check to make sure that you can realistically follow through with the necessary action steps.
Which of your goals seem to add energy to your efforts? Circle those. Which ones make you feel rushed? Put those in parentheses. This will help you assess which projects will sustain your vitality and reduce your stress.
2. Fit your goals to your current situation.
If you find it difficult to reject an attractive prospect, remember that you only have so much time and energy to budget. What is your current allotment of time? It is very important to be realistic about how much time each project actually takes. Don’t “should” yourself into a corner…
If there’s any possibility that a desirable project will overextend you, consider the following options as you review your master list of goals:
* Stay close to the core.
Clearly identify which goals are your core, essential goals. These are the goals that keep you healthy, grounded, and congruent. Always accord these goals top priority!
Next, select complementary goals that balance you. Let’s say your day revolves around competitive outlays of energy, like eight hours of creating presentations for prospective clients, followed by a challenging set of tennis. If you rarely let down, consider adding a balancing goal that allows you to relax and receive through self-nurturance. Balancing is often a powerful de-stressor.
* Schedule a seasonal review:
It can be helpful to remember that you can revisit and revise your goals. This is especially straightforward if you have built clear end points into your current goals. Every so often, maybe once a season, conduct an overview. How well do your current goals serve you? Adjust them, as needed, to remain motivated and supported.
3. Turn your top goals into fully functioning goals.
Remember, a truly effective goal will have action steps leading to an end point. Otherwise, it’s not really a goal at all. So if an outcome is important to you, take time to develop a workable plan.
* Move forward by going backwards.
If a deadline exists, start with the due date and work backwards to the present.
* Chart your success on the calendar.
Note each set of manageable, sequential tasks on your project calendar.
* Tap your creative imagination.
Envision the successful outcome as clearly as possible, using your full range of senses. Feel your shoulders relax as you open to welcome your next achievement!
* Line up a reward.
Plan how you will reward yourself, and make sure to follow through… Small gifts you give yourself keep you focused, alert and positive.
So just ask yourself, “How will you simplify and celebrate your life with smart time choices?”© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.