Smartypantz, taking it one day at a time.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Take charge of your time.

Prioritize Your Life
Healthy Living with Ellie Krieger

It seems as if no one today has enough time to take part in the things he or she really wants to do. Most of us carry around a long to-do list every day and then spend weekends checking tasks off the list, only to have new ones spring up in their place.

If you always feel frazzled and it seems as though you're spending all your time doing the things you have to do — rather than what you want to do — it's time to learn how to prioritize and manage your time better. You can do this with four simple steps:

  1. Take a look at your life.
  2. Consider how long you spend doing different activities in a typical day. You needn't account for every second, but make a list and estimate as best you can.

  3. Consider your priorities.
  4. Now make a list of your priorities, in order. Include things like spending time with your children, spouse, and/or other family members and friends, your job, your community or volunteer activities, exercise, hobbies, and so on. Obviously, some things will be priorities out of necessity, but others will be things you don't want to live without.

  5. Compare the results.
  6. Now take a closer look at the total amount of time you're spending on each of the activities on your first list. How does the time spent on those activities correlate with your priorities?

  7. Start making changes.
  8. With your priorities list in hand, look at how you're spending your time and consider ways in which you can change your schedule. Consider moves like grouping errands together, brown-bagging your lunch, carpooling, and limiting TV time to a few favorite shows. You can also try to combine some of your priorities, such as making a standing exercise date with a friend so you can get fit while you catch up with her.
We all get the same 24 hours in each day. Today's small change is to take more control over how you spend those hours.

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