Finding Time for What’s Important

 Are you a busy bee?

We all lead busy lives; especially while we are trying to keep up with writing relevant content for a website, while trying to learn the ins and outs of internet marketing. Though I’m retired, Wealthy Affiliate, and the rest of my life, keeps me pretty busy.

 

Sometimes our life becomes a balancing act. It is hard to find time for what is important to us.  That can lead to stress; and mental, emotional and physical problems.  So how do we find time for what is important so we have less stress?

 

List what is important and prioritize

 

 

I have found it helpful to make a random list of everything I find important in my life. Then I begin to decide what is most important, second most important, and so on.  I just put numbers beside the entries; and then I make a new list with my interests in the order of the priority they hold in my life.

 

This list will be different for each of us; because we are unique.  We are all interested in different pastimes and they vary in importance with each person.  There are some things that most people will have in common on their lists.  Things like family, relationships, religion, health and nutrition, exercise and recreation, etc.  They will still vary in importance for your own individual list.

 

Make a pie graph

 

 

I find it helpful to make a pie graph to decide how to divide my time.  There may be many variables that decide what amount of time is allowed for each interest.  For instance; if you work full time outside the home, you will most likely have to allow at least a nine hour block, or more if you have a longer commute for “work”.

 

Family time may vary from day to day, so an average could be taken to find the amount of time per day.  Or, you could make a different chart for weekdays and weekends.

 

 

Draft a daily schedule

 

After deciding the amount of time allotted for each interest; we are ready to make a daily schedule.  It is important to make an attempt to follow this schedule as closely as possible; but we also need to be flexible.  There are times that our priorities need to take a back seat to what is happening in our life.

 

It isn’t as important that we follow our schedule to the letter every day; as it is that we have a schedule to follow, for these reasons, and probably more that are not on my radar at the moment   🙂 

 

 

1.  We can see what needs done quickly. 

2.  We have a time allotted for each interest.

3.  We may accomplish more; because of a set time limit.

4.  Schedules enable us to see our accomplishments.

5.  We may feel more in control of our time.

 

 

Schedule breaks

 

 

Don’t forget to schedule breaks for rest, meals, exercise, etc.  Sitting at the computer for long periods of time is as bad for our bodies as sitting in front of a television.  We need to schedule in breaks to go for a walk, do some exercises, or just recline if we are tired.

 

 

 

It is best to schedule breaks for our meals, healthy snacks, and drinks, also.  Our body needs fuel to function properly.  Sometimes we can get so busy that we forget to stop to eat at a regular time.  Then we find our meal schedule is not working out properly.  We missed lunch, and it’s not dinner time yet.  Or we missed our evening meal and now it is too close bedtime. (been there; done that)  Try to stop for breaks at least close to the time allotted. 

 

Schedule some free time

 

It’s best to schedule in an hour or more of  free time.  We never know when something unexpected will interfere with our schedule.  Scheduling free time can minimize the impact the interruption will have on our schedule.

 

These interruptions can be managed, somewhat, by letting friends and family know your plans for the day. For instance:  I will be busy between 8am to 12pm; and would appreciate not being interrupted, if at all possible.  Or let people know you will not be checking email or answering phone between 2pm and 4pm.

 

You may even want to select certain days for posting to your website; and let friends and family know you won’t be available, except for emergencies, between 8am to 4pm those days.  Or whatever times you choose.  You will find what works best for you with some practice and adjustments.

 

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments

 

Like so many things in our life, coming up with a schedule that really works for us is “trial and error”.  If we find something isn’t working; we must take some time to make adjustments or change something.

 

Our lives have a way of changing; which could necessitate a change, or maybe even, a completely new schedule.  There may be times when our schedule works for us for a long period of time; and other times that we need to change it almost every day.  It isn’t written in stone.  If we aren’t somewhat flexible; our schedule will cause more stress than it relieves.

 

Keep your self talk positive

 

If you are having trouble following your schedule, even after changes; be kind to yourself.  Don’t tell yourself thoughts like, “I blew it again; I might have known I couldn’t stick to a schedule”.  Or, “Why can’t I be like ___, they seem to get so much done in so little time”.  Or, “____ is so organized.  I can never be like that.  I’m such an airhead”  Negative self talk does nothing but discourage us.  It serves to paralyze us rather than inspire.

Positive self talk can reaffirm your faith in your ability, and invigorate you to do better.  You could say something like “I didn’t get as much done today as I would like; but tomorrow is another day.”  Or, “This day had a lot of interruptions; but I did accomplish this.”  You can pat yourself on the back for what you got done, instead of dwelling on what was left undone.

 

Find your top priorities

 

In my own case, I have four top priorities in this order

 

1.  My faith in God and church activities

2.  My family and friends

3.  My music and artwork (creative)

4.  My online business, website, writing, etc.

1.  It is important for me to find time alone with God and studying my Bible.  If I ignore this need, I feel at loose ends, and may even feel depressed.  Saturday night is taken up with going over songs for church, or putting the finishing touches on a sermon, if I’m preaching that Sunday.  Sunday morning is always church; unless I’m sick.  Sunday afternoon and evening is pretty much left unscheduled.

 

 

2.  My family is very important to me and I have a lot of love invested there.  If they need me, I want to help if I can.  My granddaughter needs me to babysit one or two days a week with my great granddaughter, Isabella.  I love seeing that sweet little face; so I give up whole days, and sometimes nights, to be of service.  Is this necessary?  For me?  Yes, it is.  🙂

 

3.  I have a creative nature.  If I don’t take time to do something creative; like write a song or work on some craft or artwork; I have a sense of unfulfillment.  This can sometimes lead to being dissatisfied with my life and my choices.  Being creative is an important part of who I am and I can’t neglect it for long.

4.  I have invested a lot of time in this website and the WA community.  I really enjoy writing (there’s that creative side again), and I enjoy bringing helpful information to my readers.  So far I haven’t made a lot of money; but I am enjoying what I do and I am hoping that my readers are gaining information and enjoyment from my posts.

 

 

I hope this post has given you some information that will help you find the time for what is important to you.  Each person has to come up with their own method; but sometimes it helps to know what other people do.

 

For more posts like this, check these out:

Complaining and Criticizing Kill

Conquering Procrastination

Organize, Prioritize and Minimize

Ten Personality Traits That Hold You Back

 

If you have any thoughts or questions about this post; please feel free to use the comment section below.

 

I hope you stop by again soon.  I love company and my door is always open.   🙂

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

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4 thoughts on “Finding Time for What’s Important

  1. Hello. I really enjoyed your post on this topic. While I am not even close to being retired, my parents are quickly approaching that time. I am going to share this article with them so they can see some of the great tips you provided. Thanks for your research and even though it is not specifically targeted for me, I still gained some good info from it.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I am so glad you enjoyed this post and were able to gain something from it. Although my website is targeted toward retirees, I hope that most posts will be of interest to other age groups as well. Thanks for sharing my site with your parents. I think there will be a lot of articles here that will be of interest and help for them.

      I hope you stop by again soon. My door is always open and I love company.

      Jeannie

  2. I like your idea of of setting up the pie graph for time management. It makes it easy to visualize the day.

    When working from home, having a schedule without distractions increases productivity greatly for me. Otherwise the time just evaporates and nothing gets accomplished!

    Thanks for some great suggestions

    • Hi Chris.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I find the pie graph helpful to get an idea of what time I have and how to spend it. Then I have a better idea of how to schedule.

      Schedules are important when working at home. When you work a nine to five job; there is somewhat of a schedule built in. You start work at 9, break at 11, Lunch at 12 or 1, afternoon break at 3, and you are done at 5. There is none of that when you work at home. We can definetly lose productivity if we don’t schedule; or we may find we are spending our time on something less important and have no time for what is most important to us.

      Jeanni

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