By Kelly Reark
Do you want a sense of accomplishment? Do you want to be a highly effective person? Are you feeling like there are just not enough hours in the day?
With all the fun ways to waste time every day, it is imperative to learn time management. I used to think that by sitting down once a week to plan my week was a waste of time. Now I know from practice that it is the biggest benefit to my time. Like many of you, I have a smartphone where I keep my schedule and it kindly reminds me of where I need to be when I said I needed to be there.
My smartphone is just the tip of the iceberg. I use it for appointments and commitments. However, I have a full-size day runner that I keep with me at all times. I have yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily goals. Each month, at the end of the month, I make a list of the projects and goals I have for the coming month. I review my past month and grade myself with imaginary gold stars on all I have accomplished. Anything I did not accomplish becomes a priority for the following month.
Each week on Sunday night, I block out my time and tasks for the week. Solid blocks are set up right away for each of my lives. Your lives may be different than mine, which include my family life, health life, artistic life, spiritual life, work life, social life, and financial life. Some of these lives I only address once a week or less. Some have daily blocks of time committed to them. Whichever the case, I make sure I have time for the things that are important for my life to remain balanced by blocking them in first.
What I find when I block in my time is that I have a lot more time than I thought I did. For example, during my work life, there are hours of time for clients, showing property, website updating, blogging, facebooking, prospecting, and education that I didn’t even know I had until I began to write it all down.
On the flip-side, I didn’t know how much I had committed to until I wrote it all down. Now I have a much clearer picture of my work load and can make effortless decisions about taking on volunteer work and other tasks. It is easier to be stress-free by avoiding over-commitment than it is to try to please everyone.
I’m not suggesting that you manage every moment of every day, only that you get a general idea of where and when you will accomplish different parts of your life. In fact, you must remember to leave short gaps in time where you can shuffle items around in case of an unexpected priority. Taking the time to write your activities down in categories of priority and deadline will make each item a real task to complete. It gives tangibility to an otherwise long list of unorganized to-do’s.
Give yourself realistic time frames to complete each task and goal, and stick to only doing that task in the allotted block of time. Is your phone ringing? During this hour block of time, let your phone go to voicemail so that you can concentrate on the task at hand. Giving tasks your full attention often creates something amazing: TIME. Because you are focused, you accomplish the task in less time, giving you extra time to do other things!
Kelly Reark is a native Floridian and e-PRO REALTOR® with Gasparilla Properties, Inc. in Boca Grande, Southwest Florida. Visit her Web site: www.MyBocaGrandeAgent.com and her blog: KellyReark.blogspot.com.