Planning your time wisely

Planning your time wisely by creating a written structure to your day or week or even longer periods is an excellent way to develop time budgets. Each person is allotted 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in each week. No amount of hard work, reduced sleep, or faster movement is going to stretch that time by even one second. However, by planning ahead to use the time in a manner that will allow time for all aspects of your life, you will find a better quality for your life.

Time budgeting needs to include time set aside for five different types of activities.

Sleeping (42 hours) – six to eight hours during each 24 hours period is usually adequate for most people. It’s helpful to plan on sleeping during the same hours each day. That will vary, depending on your lifestyle. Some will get the hours by sleeping 6 hours at a stretch at night. Others may choose to sleep less time at night and take a nap during the daytime. Even brief ‘power naps’ can be very effective.

Food and hygiene (21 hours) – allowing 3 hours daily for meals, bathing, dressing and all the activities which go along with an American lifestyle is usually enough so that you aren’t rushing through your meals.

Work (50 hours) – This segment of time includes an eight hour work day plus two hours for commuting five days per week. Schedule your work tasks using the same concept. You will need transition time at the beginning and ending of each day. Your work day logically could begin with writing down specific daily tasks, staff meetings whether formal or informal and assigning duties to your self or others.

Household chores and maintenance (30 hours) – This is the time spent loading the dishwasher or the washing machine, vacuuming the living room, mowing the lawn and all the odds and ends of things that keep your home running smoothly.

Personal (25 hours) – It’s important to schedule some time for your own enjoyment each week. Some will use this time as a day of worship and focus on spiritual activities. Others may choose to spend the time reading or watching television, walking in the park or attending the home team games. However you choose to use your personal time it will reflect your own interests and desires.

This time budget should be written. That is not to say that there should be no flexibility in the schedule, but by putting the budget in written form, you will begin to see patterns in how you spend your time. You may be able to more effectively use commuting time for example as your self-improvement or personal time. You may determine that paying someone to do at least part of the household chores will free up additional time which can then be moved to another category. The actual time, with the exception of sleep time is not so important as the fact that you have planned it.

Writing down your time budget also helps you to better see whether you realistically have time to take on that special project either in your personal life or on the job. Make a point of not accepting a new project until you have looked at your time budget and determined where that project will be housed.


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