Finding time and using it well requires self-awareness. Try creating a time map that identifies:

  • What gives your life meaning and pleasure,
  • Boundaries that establish what you will and will not do, and
  • How you move through the world – your pace, your style, and your requirements.

Here are 3 essential steps for creating a successful time map:

  1. Establish Your Time Priorities: Priorities point you in the direction you want to travel. However, a final destination is not essential – your goals keep evolving. The key, instead, is creating a single hierarchy of values through which all your choices relate to one another. If you haven't established a single frame of reference about what matters most, you simply can’t stick with your decisions. You’ll vacillate according to your mood. Ask yourself questions like:
    • What makes my life worthwhile?
    • How much activity is optimal for me? How much open-ended time?
    • How many people can I realistically spend my time with?
    • What can I let go of?
    • Write down the answers and look at them. Then create clusters. What activities are congruent with your current values? What do you need to change? Let go of what conflicts with your highest goals. This establishes priorities that are empowering.

      So your time map begins as a number of groupings. Next, develop a single list of your core values. Under each value, list the activities that you wish to include. Refer to this anytime you experience conflict about time choices.

    • Create Effective To-Do Lists: Once you identify your priorities, make your daily to-do list an action plan to keep your time choices on track. A good to-do list includes everything you need to do and nothing extra. If you never complete the tasks on your daily to-do list, use your priorities to shorten that list.
    • Check In With Yourself Daily: Review your time choices every evening. Ask yourself:
      • How well did my time choices align with my time map? Did I leave out anything essential?
      • What’s on my to-do list for tomorrow? Do I need to fine-tune or even overhaul what I had in mind?
      • What’s my back-up plan if something unexpected happens? Do I have enough flex built into my day?
      • What goes on my weekly and monthly to-do lists?
      • Working closely with your time map will help you affirm your power to chart your life course. The more self-awareness and decisiveness you bring to your navigating with your time map, the more success you will enjoy while finding time.

        Author's Bio: 

        Paula Eder, PhD, the Official Guide to Time Management, is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.

        Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula's connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.

        Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.

        To learn more about Paula's unique, Heart-Based Time Management System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.