Budgeting Your Time
by Susie Glennan
The Busy Woman's Daily Planner®
Keep a list of the things you need to accomplish and prioritize them. This should include work from your job, volunteering, and family obligations.
Budget your time -- A time budget is a schedule or assignment of time to specific tasks and activities.
* Your time account only contains 24 hours. You have to budget your time to be sure you do not run out.
* It should include time for work, eating, sleeping, leisure time, etc..
* FIRST: fill in the things that are beyond your control (work, commute time, etc..)
* SECOND: fill in the other things you have to do (chores, eating, etc..)
* Remember to allow leisure and private time.
* Use a calendar, but you do not have to fill in every minute. That is over- scheduling which can make it difficult to succeed with your schedule.
Create a realistic schedule. A realistic schedule, plans more accurate time for each thing that must be done. It is part of your time budget. It is a block of time devoted strictly to each task and project. Remember that one tip for better time organization is to schedule your tasks and projects before you begin.
* FIRST: determine how many hours a week you will need to do your work satisfactorily. This will vary with your abilities and the difficulty of your projects or tasks. Most of the time you are given a set schedule at work and then given deadlines. At home, most often you can set your own deadlines.
* Keep in mind that you work better at certain times than at others. Are you a morning person? A night owl? When do you do your best work? I cannot tell you how many hours a week you should be setting aside for each project or to-do, but make sure the task is appropriate to your body clock. Example: I write better at night or early in the morning when everything is dead quiet. So most often I try to schedule writing early enough in the morning but not so early that I'd be too tired to get up, or not too late at night that my eyes are closing while I type.
* It is best to establish a certain period of time that is devoted specifically to one task. We talk about this in our article, "Blocking Time For More Productivity" listed on our website:
http://www.thebusywoman.com/ under articles. You are then giving your work or specific task the priority it deserves. This is much better than letting things pile up. It's when we don't plan ahead and use our time productively that we become over-burdened with more to do than there are hours to do them.
* Before you begin, jot down what you need to accomplish.
* Study your weak areas first while you are at your freshest. Use your high-energy time for important projects and low energy time for more mundane tasks.
* Leave Sunday out of the schedule, however, do schedule a brief amount of time (15-30 minutes) on Sunday night to organize yourself for the upcoming week.
* Remember that sometimes, especially before major projects, your allotted time may not be enough. You may have to cut into your leisure time to have enough time to get larger projects or tasks completed.
* If your projects or tasks don't take all of your scheduled time, use the extra time to work on other things you've been putting off, you enjoy doing, or you can gain a head start on.
* At the end of the day, make a quick evaluation of how you did, adjusting your schedule if necessary. Did you allow enough time for each task or project? Were you procrastinating?
As well as organizing your time, you should also take care to organize your work area. Be sure that the area in which you do most of your work is well stocked with supplies. You don't want to be getting up and down searching for the supplies when you need them. Furthermore, choose an area that is well away from distractions so that you can stay focused once you get into
Most importantly, get a good night's sleep and eat healthy food!
Copyright © 2004 Susie Glennan
Susie Glennan has been happily married since 1982, is mom to 3, and is a Home Maker, Nurturer, Teacher, Author, Professional Speaker, Toastmaster, President of The Busy Woman, Inc., DBA - The Busy Woman's Daily Planner®. She teaches time management seminars, offers FREE consultations with your order, and will help you set up a schedule that's right for you.
You can reach Susie at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
or 800-848-7715. Visit her website for great organizing products at: http://www.thebusywoman.com
This article provided by the Family Content Archives at: http://www.Family-Content.com
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