Two resources that we never have enough of: Time and Money.
Find a great, trustworthy financial advisor to understand how to make the most of the latter. Read on to understand how to make the most of the former.
In order to grow into the people and professionals we want to be and in order to meaningfully move the needle in work and/or life, we must learn to value time as a resource. It’s limited. And it’s not just how we spend our time that matters but what we spend our time on that matters.
How we spend our time is plain old, time management. Can you manage your time? Can you meet deadlines? Arrive on time to that dinner party or that meeting? Good job! You’re managing your time well.
But what and when we spend our time on is prioritization. And that’s a whole new way to approach the limited resource that is our time.
If we can move from a place of time management to prioritizing our time, we’ll move the needle on that which is the most valuable to us.
The secret to prioritizing time is The Franklin Covey Priority Matrix.
How To Actually Prioritize Your Time
Living life in the top right hand corner is the sweet spot. We want to be “The Prioritizer.”
To execute on the the five bullets outlined in the upper right quadrant we need to be practiced at asking the following questions when a project, task, event—anything that needs to be time managed—comes our way:
1) Is this important to me and what I value in life and/or work?
If the answer is “no,” then spend no more time on this and move on.
If the answer is “yes” move on to question 2.
2) How much time will this take?
It’s important to know this because we want to spend appropriate amounts of time on things. Not too much, but not too little.
3) By when does this need to happen?
Once you know how much time you’ll need, then you need to know the deadline — when the event is, or by when the project/task needs to be accomplished. If you know this is going to take one hour but that hour is right now, you may need to go back to question one. If it’s one hour but not until next Wednesday, you can plan for this next Wednesday and move to the priority that’s currently in focus.
Develop Your Prioritization Skill
Like most things, prioritizing time is a habit that, no pun intended, takes time to develop. Start small. Every time you’re presented with something that takes your time, ask yourself question one.
Truly understanding what we value before all else will free us up to focus and prioritize on our values. Once you’ve made a handful of value judgments and said “no” and “yes” a few times, add in question two and then three.
How we prioritize and manage our time is very personal (kind of like managing our finances). What works for one person might not work for another. And, to truly value the resource that is time, we need to first prioritize it and then manage it. Like most things, It’s about testing a few systems and creating a hybrid of the time management strategies that work best for you.
Strive to be “The Prioritizer” in life, exuding balance and high performance. Learn to manage one of life’s greatest resources — time — and your efforts are sure to pay off.