Monday, November 15, 2010

Time Management is the Key to Accomplishing Goals

When it comes to time management, the advantages and disadvantages of being retired are often the same. A set schedule fosters productivity while lack of a schedule may lead to wasting time. I know when I have lots to do, I generally get it all done but when I don’t have time pressure, I get less accomplished. So for me, developing (and following!) a daily schedule is critical to accomplishing my goals.

Time to Focus!
I’m on a quest to get really focused lately. I’ve been spinning my wheels too long! I recently read a really good eBook which I will review as soon as it’s officially launched. As a result of my reading and the workbook exercises, I’ve clarified what it is that I really want to accomplish in four main areas and am now developing a plan of attack.

To move steadily toward my goals, I plan to get something done in each of four focus areas every day. Currently my four chosen areas are health, organizing, writing and creating. The way I plan to make progress is to schedule at least one small task that moves me toward my goals in each area each day.

Tools for Success
My first tool for success is a printable daily schedule sheet. I made a table with hourly time slots and space to fill in the applicable focus area and specific tasks. Each morning I’ve set aside a half-hour in which to plan my day. I may switch over to evening planning, or a combination of the two as time goes on. Rather than a rigid schedule, what I’m after is a flexible framework to provide structure to my day so that I don’t mindlessly let time slip away.

Olympus Digital Voice Recorder (VN 6200PC)My second tool for success is a digital voice recorder. For me, physical activity inspires random thoughts and I usually get some of my best ideas while stretching or walking. To capture those fleeting thoughts when writing down notes isn’t practical, I keep my voice recorder handy. Interested in trying a digital voice recorder? I recommend Olympus and have provided an Amazon link.


  1. Hey Crystal,

    Time management has always been a fascinating topic for me, and it seems as though, no matter how much I learn, there's always additional tips that I find to help me improve my time managing skills.

    This was truly a helpful post! The first tool sounds like it would work really well for you. I do something similar - I write down my tasks and projects that need to get done on a weekly basis, and then I work on a few of the tasks in the list per day.

    For me, scheduling my tasks too tightly gets me unmotivated, whereas planning tasks for the week (rather than each day) gives me more space to move around, and I tend to be more productive that way.

    Also, your digital voice recorder is a great idea! I need to get myself one of those, actually. It will definitely help when I leave the house or am too rushed to write something down right away.


  2. Thanks for stopping by, Christina. I'm actually going to revise my daily schedule sheet to be a weekly master list. The daily thing worked really well for a couple of days and then the holidays hit and I was away from home . . . I'm sure just about everyone can relate! Anyway, while I like the idea of the daily schedule and it was a great tool in my office job days, it's too restrictive and time consuming for a "retired" work-at-home quilter/writer:)