Where Do I Find the Time?: Tools to Help (And You Probably Already Have Them!)

Where Do I Find the Time?: Tools to Help (And You Probably Already Have Them!)

How often I come up with projects to complete and habits to start at a retreat.

I am motivated and ready to conquer the world!

Then I get home and forget everything.

Or feel guilty six months later when I remember.

Why is that?

It’s not the goal. It was something I wanted to do.

I was willing to make time for it and knew that if I was willing to exchange a lesser activity for a better one, there was time available.

For me, the breakdown came when I failed to actually get it on the calendar.

If I don’t designate a space and time for it, it just won’t get done, no matter how enthusiastic I am.

After defining the project or habit, I need to then carve out real time to take needed steps in the project or actually practice the habit.

I’ve discovered three tools to help me do this:

1.     My annual calendar. I have a yearly calendar so I get a bird’s eye view. I also have a monthly calendar to look at the month ahead.

2.     A weekly time map. This is a template of my week, with specific ongoing commitments blocked off. It divides my week into 3-4 hour blocks, which have a particular focus.

3.     My daily planner. Using my time map, I then plan my day with specific appointments and tasks to complete within those time blocks.

In a previous post, I talked about the different types of planning I do: annually, weekly, and daily. The tools match the planning. (Cool, huh?)

But that’s an awful lot of planning.

Yes. But I also know that if I don’t plan for something, it doesn’t matter how passionate I am about the project or habit.

It just won’t get done.

But when I do plan, it’s a no-brainer. No more deliberating on how to use my time. I know what needs to be done and then do it.

There are a couple of other things I have learned to do with my weekly time map and daily planner.

I have learned to write a “have done” list and “do next” step every day.

When I finish a step in the project, I note it—so I can celebrate at the end of the week! It’s a way to thank God for the work I have done. How often we feel defeated at all we have not done.

I also write a “do next” step. Right after I finish one part of my project, I often am at a good stopping point.

So that I don’t forget what comes next, I have a spot on my time map or daily planner to just write that next step.

When the next day or time spot opens up, I know exactly where to pick up.

It works like a charm. No more wondering what I need to do.

It gets me somewhere.

Which is where I want to go.

 

What is the #1 Way to Invest My Time?: The Primacy of Our Relationship with God

What is the #1 Way to Invest My Time?: The Primacy of Our Relationship with God

How Do We Change?: Harnessing the Power of Habits and Routines

How Do We Change?: Harnessing the Power of Habits and Routines