Is time management truly about managing time?
I finally understood time management when I understood the importance of prioritizing. Sometimes my perspective can be literal. So, when I hear the term “time management”, then I literally think, “how in the world am I supposed to manage an intangible concept”!
It wasn’t until I realized that I am not trying to master time, but instead prioritize and work on the things in my life within the framework of time. I am sure many of you have already known this and I may be late to the party, but that’s ok. I just thought I would share what I have come to find works best for me when prioritizing things in my life. Hopefully the little gems in this article would be helpful for those who are consistently trying to manage their priorities better.
What I have found helpful with managing priorities is establishing focus days. What are focus days? Focus days are just establishing a specific focus area for each day of the week. For example:
- Monday = Business Focus
- Tuesday = Family Focus
- Wednesday = Podcast Focus
- Thursday = School Focus
- Friday = Family Focus
- Saturday = Personal Focus
- Sunday = Planning Focus
Once you have established focus days, then the main task for that day should be based on the specific focus. For instance, if Monday is a business focus day, then I am dedicated to making sure all business-related tasks have the highest priority for that day. Now, now, now…Of course life happens and based on your values other task may take precedence. The purpose here is to show how setting up focus days can help with prioritizing.
Let’s switch to a family focus day. What kind of task can be accomplished on this day? How about the laundry, doing groceries, or fixing things in the home? Even more so you could use this day to plan for a family outing or setting up doctors’ appointments. Whatever you decide to do, your main task this day should be all about family.
For me Wednesdays used to be podcast focus, which means my main task was producing the podcast episode or reaching out to potential guest. school focus, as you may have guessed it, is all about ensuring I have my school readings done and any assignments complete. Personal focus days are my favorite! On this day, I make sure I have some time to myself, to rest and recharge. This may involve me watching a movie, reading a book or writing (like I’m doing now lol!). Lastly planning focus days are all about planning for the week. Taking time to go over things in the upcoming week and as you guessed it, prioritizing my task according to each focus day.
Here's a look at my calendar. (I use Gmail to help me see the focuses for each day)
Focus days will be different for everyone. They are not a life saving or life altering concept, but it can be helpful. No matter how you manage your priorities, one thing is important:
The system you have is only effective to the degree you put in the work and follow through.