By now I’m sure you know how important goal setting is to me. At the end of every year I take time out to write my goals, and most important of all, I create a practical action plan that will help me to achieve them.
Goal – Get Prince2 Certification
Action plan – Save £500 in January + February, and then enroll on 5 day Prince2 course in March
Whilst setting my goals and having an action plan definitely has its benefits, I often find that these tasks alone are not enough when it comes to achieving longer term goals, or goals that have proved difficult to achieve in the past.
Let me explain.
One of my long term goals for 2017 is to read 12 books. This goal may seem like an easy one, but best believe I’ve set this goal for two years in a row, and not once have I accomplished it. *Covers face in shame!* You see in previous years my action plan for this goal was to simply read one book a month. But what I had failed to realise, was that in order to successfully do this, reading needed to become an ingrained part of my weekly routine.
In order to truly achieve your goals, you have to make time for them, and this is something I wasn’t doing. You should know many hours there are in a week , and what you spend most of your time doing.
How many hours do you spend at work? How many hours do you spend watching TV? What about hours spent on exercise or even cooking/cleaning?
Knowing these things are crucial in mastering your time and productivity. When the month of March came around this year, I realised that I had only read one book as opposed to three. I was disappointed in myself, and in desperate need for a solution to my lazy reading ways. As I usually do when in need for help, I went running to my husband with puppy dog eyes! We sat down together, and he helped me create my very own time management schedule.
This schedule is one of the best things that has happened to my productivity and accountability levels to date. I often end the week feeling quite proud of how much I’ve done, because I know what I’ve spent my time doing.
If like myself you’ve gotten caught up in the cycle of allowing the day to get the best of you, and too often you ask yourself, ‘Where did the day go?!’ – Then this time management template can turn things around for you, just like it has for me. Here’s how to use it:
- Start off by adding all of your mandatory tasks/activities to your schedule. These are tasks that you must do, are extremely important, and/or cannot be easily changed, e.g. going to work, sleeping, eating etc.
- Calculate how many hours you spend doing mandatory tasks/activities, and then use your remaining hours to schedule everything else, e.g. tasks/activities that will help you get closer to achieving your goals
- Categorise your tasks/activities. My categories are ‘Living’, ‘Passion’, ‘Growth’ and ‘Wellbeing’. These help to give each activity a greater sense of purpose, and will help you allocate your time more effectively.
- Schedule time for relaxation. After all of your hard work, you’ll deserve it, trust me!
Click here to download your very own time management sheet, and be sure to let me know how you get on!