What are the benefits of organizing our time more effectively?

What is a plan? I call a plan “organized time.” If my time is not organized and managed, then nothing happens. The key is to balance our time so that the major areas of our lives each receives the time needed. I believe we all need 5 plans to lead a balanced life. These five plans will help you to organize and manage your time to achieve the results and goals for a balanced life. A life that is successful, healthy and happy. Although this series of blogs was never meant to be a “time management blog”, I did feel that there were some key time management tasks and activities that I had learned over the years that I want to share with you. I have had some negative views of “time management” as I can see it sometimes focusing on trivia and missing the essence of what time is really about. Just like we cannot always manage the earth, we can not always control time. However, we can plan our time more effectively and allow for contingencies.

As I sit here, I am relatively fit, happy, prosperous (but not rich) and lead a very comfortable life. I don’t do drugs and am not on any medication. I am over sixty five now and feel as good as I did when I was 40 years of age. My new Omron health scale says my effective body age is 45. Not only do I feel good, but I am much more satisfied with life and much happier with my life. What do I attribute this to? Most importantly, these five plans that I am going to share with you! In fact, I believe I could have been happier and even more prosperous and successful at an earlier age if I had known about and practiced these plans in my youth. Due to my lack of plans, I missed many opportunities that I was not prepared for. I am not complaining though because as they say “hindsight is always 20-20.”

What is the purpose of planning? It is simply to help prioritize our time so that we get the important tasks done and leave the unimportant and intrusive tasks out of our lives. You do not have to be a genius to plan. You do not need any special skills. The biggest skill you need is simply commitment. You need to commit to a series of goals and objectives and measure your results. Only by measuring and monitoring your results can you see if your plans on working.

Planning also needs to be realistic but not overly ambitious. Contrary to many experts, you do not need to “shoot for the moon.” In my plans for health, I simply set up a maintenance schedule to “maintain” the level of health I have now. I am not interested in breaking my “personal best” time or running a marathon tomorrow. I want to maintain an adequate level of health to do the things I enjoy and not spend my time in the hospital or in bed. I have not set my health goals to be the next Olympic gold medal winner.

Tomorrow, we will talk about the first of my five essential plans. The first of these essential plans is a financial plan. I like to follow the maxim that says “live each day as though it will be your last, but spend your money as though you will live forever.” Karen and I were caught in the recession like many of you. We watched as 40 years of savings lost nearly 45 percent of their value. However, we saw the recession coming at least two years before it hit and we started to cut costs, lower our spending and pay off all of our major bills. Despite losing more than we liked in our retirement funds, we emerged from the recession with all of our debts paid off, two houses and no credit card debt. We own our homes, cars, motorcycles and everything else in our homes outright.

So are you ready to start planning? Can you make a commitment to plan? Remember, some days you will honor that commitment and other days you will fail. That is quite normal. When you fall off the wagon, one goal is to simply keep starting over again. You may need a pencil and paper or a note pad. I like to use a calendar with open spaces to write my daily efforts in. I also use an Excel spread sheet to track goals like my daily calories and weight. An accountant’s ledger pad would work just as well. These tools simply help to focus our activities and to act as a reminder each day for us. There are many software programs that will assist you in managing these five plans and helping to be more organized. Good Luck.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lou Schultz
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 15:28:48

    Very good, John. You are right on!

    Reply

  2. John Persico
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 22:37:29

    Thanks Lou, I appreciate your comments. I learned a great deal about time management from you at PMI. I still remember the class I took.

    Reply

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