Managing Your Time and Controlling Your Life by Jim Bellacera

JimBellaceraOur goal in this lesson is to bring awareness to the things that effect your time The key to managing your time is to take control of your life through your calendar, daily schedule. As we go through our daily walk, our journey through life, we think we choose how we are going to spend our time. The challenge is that most people look back over the years and say where did the time go? Our goal in this lesson is to bring awareness to the things that effect your time. Time is our most precious commodity. You cannot buy time, you can either spend your time or you can wisely and carefully invest your time. So what you make of the time you have determines where you will end up.

How you spend your time says everything about you and what your priorities are.

 NULL And that is what will determine where you end up at the end of your life. Writing down your daily goals along with all of your obligations, professional and personal, and then living by your calendar is critical for maximizing your time and staying focused on your goals. So many times we allow the urgent to steal time from the important and before you know it you’ve lost a week and never accomplished what was really important to you.

The better planner you are and the more efficient you are at scheduling, the greater chance you have of accomplishing what you plan to do.

You will discover a greater satisfaction in life knowing that you have successfully accomplished all you set out to do. Are you someone or do you know someone that is always in a hurry or seems to never have enough time in their day to get things done? These people deal with constant anxiety, making decisions that cause them to overreact to circumstances due to the lack of time to think things through. This often leads to feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, anger, and depression. It is typical for people to plan too much in a day. Sometimes it is because they keep putting things off until tomorrow and it becomes a snowball effect on their “to do list”. As a result, at the end of the day they feel tired and dissatisfied with their lack of accomplishments. This can cause you to give up on your goals because you think there’s no way you can do it all. When this happens it can bring on a panic attack and cause them to lose control of their emotions and lose focus on their goals. By using a calendar for your daily goals it allows you to pace yourself and set time limits on certain things. It tells you when to stop and move on to the next item on your calendar. But when you don’t have a calendar to keep you on track with other priorities, you will spend more time than you should which causes you to feel hurried and pressured. Your calendar tells you it is time to move on. You have to learn to say no and not feel guilty. The best way to do this is to allow your calendar to be your boss. For those of you that work overtime more times than not, you have placed more value on your job than on your personal life. If at the end of the day all you have is a dead end job then you have wasted a large part of your life. For what, a paycheck, often times destroying your health and your relationships. You need to re-evaluate your priorities. As a business owner being in business for yourself, you have more of an opportunity to invest time for future flexibility. By answering the questions below, you can determine how much pressure you put upon yourself. • Am I someone people can easily take advantage of? Yes____ No ____ • Am I someone that is always running out of time? Yes____ No ____ • Am I someone who seems never has enough time to relax? Yes____ No ____ • When I take time for myself, do I spend most of the time feeling guilty about what didn’t get done? Yes____ No ____ • At the end of the day am I irritable and want to be left alone? Yes____ No ____ • Do I take work home and or complain about what didn’t get done? Yes____ No ____ • Am I always trying to do more than one thing at a time? Yes____ No ____ • Am I always frustrated because I feel as though I do not have enough time for myself and the people I love most? Yes____ No ____ If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you easily fall in the category of someone who does not effectively manage their time. You need to re-evaluate your priorities. Below or on a separate sheet of paper write down some of the things you feel can cause you to feel overwhelmed or dissatisfied at the end of your day. Write down what you can do to make your day less stressful. What steps can you take to take control of your daily/weekly schedule? Simple Rules to Follow: In order to make positive changes in your life there are simple rules to follow that can make your life much more enjoyable allowing others to appreciate the time they spend with you. You should always have a “to do” list for the next day. Break the list up into priorities, the most important to the least important. People who have a constantly full calendar are not usually good at delegating projects. They feel they are the only ones that can get the task done right and on time. Learn to appropriately delegate as many tasks as possible. If you feel you have to be involved in every aspect of a task, not allowing others room to take some of the responsibility, you are considered a micromanager. You must allow others to take ownership and do their part. Have you ever had to pick up multiple things from different locations through out your day? It makes the most sense to create a route for your errands so that you do not have to back track. If you have something you do everyday or three times a week, try to schedule it at the same time each day to create a routine. I have learned to take a break during my day. I don’t answer the phone or think about business. In fact, you should take some time to do what you want to do that has nothing to do with work or business and unwind for 15 minutes to an hour or so. You will be amazed how refreshed you will feel and ready to go another round. Slow down in all areas of your life. This will rid you of the feeling that you have to race to your next appointment, get those e-mails answered or take the next call etc. If you are tired, STOP everything and take a break. Turn off your cell phone, don’t look at your calendar and don’t respond to your e-mails. You need to fill up your car before it’s out of gas. Well, you need to do the same for yourself. The most powerful thing you can do is to have some quiet time at the beginning and end of each day. For years I listened to positive audio talks and read 15 to 30 minutes EVERY day/night to recharge so I can go out and conquer the next day. Finally, just say NO to too many expectations upon yourself. The list below represents possible priorities in your life. Put them in order of how you spend your time as it relates to your life today. (1) First priority, (2) Second, (3) Third and so on. If there is something not mentioned, please fill in the blanks and give it a number of priority. Family ___ Romance _____ Money ___ Possessions _____ Career ___ Entertainment _____ Security ___ Relaxation ____ Faith ___ Friends ____ Health ___ Organization ____ Appearance___ Intellectual Stimulation (studying) ____ Other______________ Other______________ Other ______________ On a separate sheet of paper, using the list above, write out your priorities. Not as they are, but as you would desire them to be. Start with the first priority as the most important to the least important to you. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ You can see what consumes most of your time whether you realize it or not. And now you can see what needs to change. You are the only one who can change things. Your next step is to write down what you can do to make the needed
adjustments to get your priorities in the right order.
By taking control of your day you will take control of your life, and in turn, you will be less anxious and feel better about yourself. This will allow you to put some, if not all, of your priorities in the order that satisfies you.

Remember this, it is not generally the big things in our lives that affect our attitude and the direction of our life, it is usually the small things that turn into insurmountable obstacles affecting our attitude and feeling of accomplishment.

Recommended reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey Recommended calendars Hard bound calendar, computer calendar or PDA / Cell phone calendar


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