If Only You Had More Time…

You, like everyone else, are always trying to find more time.  More time to exercise.  More time to cook healthy food.  More time to relax.  More time to hang out with family and friends.  More time to travel.  More time to read.  More time to try new things.  The problem is there is no more time to find.  You only get 24 hours in a day.  No one can get around this – not even the wealthiest and most successful people in the world can buy more time.  Therefore, what you really need to do is learn how to maximize your time.  You need to learn how to prioritize things in your life so they allow you to live the life you want to lead.  And also, so they allow you to achieve the level of success to which you aspire.

Since I’m always looking for better ways to manage my time, and life, here’s a technique I recently came across for prioritizing your to-do list.  Now this assumes you have a to-do list, which whether you have it written down or not you still have one.  However, it just may be in your head with no formal organization.  Now is the time to get your to-do list out, and if you don’t have one you need to make one, then continue reading…

The following is compliments of John Maxwell.

1. Rate each task on your to-do list in terms of Importance:

Critical = 5 points
Necessary = 4 points
Important = 3 points
Helpful = 2 points
Marginal = 1 point

2. Now determine each task’s Urgency:

This month = 5 points
Next month = 4 points
This quarter = 3 points
Next quarter = 2 points
End of year = 1 point

3. Lastly, multiply the rate of Importance by the rate of Urgency:

Example: 5 (critical) x 4 (next month) = 20.

Now take the score for each task on your to-do list and reorder your list from highest to lowest using that score.  You will see all the things ordered on your list in a much more effective manner as opposed to putting 15 things on a to-do list and then starting at number one with no consideration for importance or urgency of the task.

What you may also find is that some things you are spending your time doing fall to the bottom of the list.  And the things that you have not had any time to do find their way to the top of your list because now you’re giving them the importance they deserve.  With exercises like these you will often notice the following:

  • You’re wasting your time doing things that are not important.
  • You have things on your to-do list that really never need to get done and can be taken off the list altogether.
  • You are ignoring, or putting off doing, the things that could make the biggest positive impact on your life.

This exercise will take ten minutes out of your day but could save you hours of time that are being spent on unimportant tasks.  So don’t let another day drift by without a plan to maximize your time.

Happy Wednesday!


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