Many people struggle to find the time to do the things they want to. There are only 24 hours in a day and that is never going to change. However, we can change how we look at time and how we use it to help us lead a fuller and more productive life.

If you have a to do list that is longer than your arm and only limited time available you are probably wondering how you can get it all done. Most likely you are feeling stressed out and helpless. However, with a little commitment and effort you can learn how to manage your time more effectively.

The first thing you need to do is to take a step back from your life and try to look at it objectively. Take some time to consider what in life means the most to you and what you really want to achieve. Once you decide what is most important to you, you can begin to move towards more effective time management.

Write down what is important to you and compare it to how you plan to spend the coming days. There will most likely be many things that are not important to you and that are not essential to get done. First remove these from your list and you will find that your schedule now looks much more manageable.

There will, of course, remain some things on the list that are not important to you that simply have to be done. At the beginning, at least, this will be a fact of life. However, effective time management can lead to some life-changing choices and help you achieve what you really want in your life.

The mismatches between how you currently spend your time and how you would like to spend your time can be very revealing as they help you identify where you need to make changes. Some of these changes may be very small while others may be life changing.

You can start on the small changes right away. These could include simple things like getting fit or learning a new hobby so all you will need to do is schedule a little time to devote to these each day.

Bigger changes will require a lot more thought and commitment, but are achievable. Perhaps you want to move house or change profession. You cannot do things like this at the drop of a hat so you need to identify the steps you need to take to achieve them.

I encourage you to break these steps into small, manageable tasks that can be easily scheduled. Using the changing profession example, a first task might be to research courses available to train you in the skills you need for your chosen new profession. This small task can easily be scheduled into one of your days. Once you begin to take action to move you in the right direction you will feel more satisfied with your life.

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Wendy Hearn works with business owners to be more effective and successful, achieving a more profitable business in less time.