Would you be willing to make a few small and simple changes if you knew it would lead more leisure time? Time management is essential for creating the freedom to spend time with your family without worrying about work or other responsibilities. It requires not only a promise to change your habits but also a firm commitment to reaching new goals.
Consider these ideas:
1. Coordinate all the calendars. Instead of managing multiple calendars from work, home, school, and other activities, combine them into one system.
- Pick one type of calendar and transfer all the information to it. Calendars come in many forms, online, paper and even sticky note versions. However, selecting one type that works for you is important to keeping all the data together.
- Combine data from family members and coworkers into one calendar. Instead of having a separate chart for your children’s football games, choir practice or dance practice, add everything together. This allows for easier scanning to find more leisure time or add it to the calendar.
2. Plan and Schedule time off. If you want more leisure time, you have to plan it. Include time for fun in your daily, weekly, and monthly calendars.
- Including leisure time in the calendar makes it one of your priorities. Start making appointments for you!!
- When you schedule time off in advance, you automatically start to commit to completing other tasks and meeting all the deadlines.
3. Start being more selective. The constant stream of emails and demands on your time call for being more selective with your tasks. Delegating tasks and rethinking your approach to work will help you discover more leisure time.
- The 80/20 principle is a popular way to manage time. Also known as the Pareto principle, it states that 80 percent of your success comes from 20 percent of your efforts. This is why it’s important to focus on important tasks first and delegate work to others.
- Batching like tasks together also improves time management by creating a stream of similar work without interruption. Selecting the key tasks is easier once they are in related groups.
4. Identify your hidden time wasters and remove them. Are you spending too much time checking Facebook messages? Do you log in to Twitter multiple times a day? Social media can be one of the hidden daily time wasters, and changing this habit will lead to more leisure time.
- It’s important to limit how much time social media takes up on your calendar. Get rid of the bookmarks to these websites, eliminate the pinned tabs, and only log in when it’s necessary.
- Hidden time wasters can distract you from important tasks and affect deadlines. By removing them, you’re back in control of your schedule.
5. Use a timer to stay on track. Certain tasks need to be timed to ensure you stay on schedule.
- A traditional kitchen egg timer is an easy way to keep track of tasks. It can be set up and left on a desk. Online versions of kitchen timers operate in a similar way, but they don’t take up desk space. They can be used to schedule tasks and help you stay focused.
6. Create leisure goals and include them in a calendar. Calendars can be used for more than just tracking meetings or phone calls. They can be powerful tools for tracking goals while providing daily reminders of what you want to accomplish with your time off.
- Creating a set of goals for leisure time will help you focus. Do you want to paint enough artwork to redecorate your entire house? Do you want to spend more time watching the kids play soccer? Each of these goals can be tracked with a calendar for better time management.
By streamlining how you handle your time, you can easily find more leisure time. Calendars will help you keep track of daily tasks at work and home, but it’s the commitment to creating positive change that matters.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor
Ps – If you have found these tips useful and would like some more you may like to consider joining my Facebook Group, The Time Management Academy. The group has over five hundred members who along with myself, are dedicated to sharing skills, techniques and resources in order to significantly benefit you in your journey to have more control of their time and a more balanced life.
Click here to join The Time Management Academy