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Career Monday: Managing Your Time to Achieve Success

Living in the 21st century can be overwhelming. Your job is busier than ever, your kids are involved in several activities, and you’re busy keeping up with everything else around the house. Yet, you long to do other things that require a time commitment. Will you ever be able to juggle everything and still do the things you enjoy?

Institute these changes today so you can achieve the success you crave:

1. Use your calendar. If you’re trying to juggle too many things, it’s imperative that you keep an accurate calendar. A calendar will help you schedule events – and your tasks – to keep track of where you need to be, and figure out how much time is left over.

• If nothing else, then buy a pocket calendar at your local office supply store and keep it in your purse or briefcase.
• Alternatively, use the scheduling program in your smartphone.
• Use your calendar as a way to keep track of all the important events in your life.

2. Write everything down. You can be more realistic about what you can accomplish when you write down everything you have to do. This will help keep you focused and on-task.

• You deserve to have a restful mind. Avoid having chaos in your head by keeping a written record.

3. Be realistic about the timelines you establish. Can you really get ready for the neighborhood yard sale in 3 days? Gauge how much time you’ll need to be fully prepared and create a reasonable timeline for big projects.

4. Learn to say “no.” It’s unrealistic to think you’ll be able to attend every event at your kids’ school. And there are only so many hours you can devote to your volunteer work.

• You’re only one person and sometimes you’ll have to say “no.”

5. Recognize the trouble spots during the week. Maybe Thursdays after school are tough because your son has to go to football practice and your daughter has gymnastics at the same time. Plus, that’s the day you and your mom get together for dinner. So, if Thursdays are your trouble spot, look at your schedule and think about what you can move.

• Maybe you and your mom can do dinner on Tuesdays instead. Perhaps your husband can take care of football and you can focus on gymnastics.

6. Be flexible when you can. Some things aren’t etched in stone and there will be times when more important things come up unexpectedly. You’re likely to feel calmer if you can be flexible and switch things around in your schedule.

7. Be clear about your priorities. Your family will most likely be your first priority. But if the occasional work project has to temporarily come first, that might work for you too. When you clearly acknowledge your priorities, decisions about managing your time become easier.

8. Limit the time you spend in meetings. Many meetings lack productivity and take too much time. If you have the power to excuse yourself from meetings, do it.

• If you happen to be responsible for holding and leading meetings, ensure they’re short, to-the-point, and productive.

• Some time management experts have even suggested meetings be limited to 30 minutes and that everyone stands up during the meeting. By doing this, everyone will be brief and the necessary topics will be covered quickly.

9. Schedule fun activities and “me” time. If you fail to place time in your schedule to have fun, then it likely won’t happen.

• During those scheduled times you can choose what to do. Carve out the free time you deserve.

Manage your time in a way that works for you. To achieve your life goals, set priorities, make a schedule, establish realistic timelines, and keep a written record. If you can implement these suggestions, you’ll be on the path to success. Become an expert at managing time and your life!

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