Happiness Experiment 31: How to Manage your Time Better

Wow, I certainly don’t take on the small tasks.

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You get home, grab some food, and eat with a loved one. The TV is on, and you multitask, but you don’t accomplish a whole lot of anything until it gets late and you either skip things you wanted to get done, or rush to get them done and miss out on sleep.

This isn’t the story of every night of my life, but it’s not an uncommon one either.

As I learned in my last experiment on keystone habits, sleep is a huge factor in me properly running my life. When I’m sleep deprived, my eating and spending go all to hell, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So, in the course of this experiment, I will be learning time management skills, as time seems to be slipping by far too quickly for my comfort.

So, let’s start with the obvious question:

What is Time Management

Well, there are a lot of definitions for this floating out there, so I’m going to speak solely to my own opinions. Time management for me is the ability to accomplish what I want to do in a given night.

I’m starting this experiment with the basic premise that multitasking sucks. Monotasking is a better route whenever possible. Don’t distract yourself with doing several things at once… FOCUS! Take time to stop and smell the flowers!

Stopping to smell the flowers

However, in order to define “What is Time Management” I need to set out my goals to score myself by. I will state my goals each night, and measure myself the following day to see if I achieve them. There will be one, overarching goal though. I want to be finished “work” tasks (such as cooking lunch for the next day, writing, etc.) by 11pm each night. This means that I can end my night by relaxing and get to bed in enough time to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

So, if you want to know how to improve your time management skills, you need to define what you want to do in that time. So, my goals for tonight are as follows:

  1. Make a lunch for tomorrow
  2. Respond to at least 5 blog entries (I’m stacking up reading in blogs I like and never catching up)
  3. Exercise
  4. Spend time with my wife doing something other than watching TV
  5. Add a Contact Me page to this blog
  6. Write an additional blog post for tomorrow

That’s 6 things, but I’m cheating a bit as I think the deck is stacked in my favour on this. Each task will get a portion of my time this evening, and I’ll try not to get completely distracted by the TV or any of the other shiny things around my house that devour time like a Great White Shark. Each “work” task will get allotted a specific time limit as well.

A lot of people have trouble setting goals. If you need help pruning your list down to a manageable size, check out my previous blog entry on Smart Goals.

A lot of the goals you’ll see this week are goals I’ve spoken about on my blog before. My goals have stayed much the same over the past year, but that doesn’t make them any easier to achieve! Good luck to you!

4 thoughts on “Happiness Experiment 31: How to Manage your Time Better

  1. Bellaisa

    This is a good reminder for me today. I keep asking, “Why can’t I get everything I want done?” and then I spend half my day doing things that I don’t need to get done.

    For a long time I lived by the simpeology rules by Mark Joyner (highly recommend checking him out). But one of the things was that you had to put your focus on one thing at a time. Focusing on one point is much easier than focusing on a broad amount of points. More energy goes directly to that point (task) and you can easily get it done quicker. It just makes sense.
    Bellaisa recently posted..New Relationship? Here’s Some Advice To Make It LastMy Profile

  2. Pingback: Happiness Experiment 31: How to Manage your Time Better Day 2 | Searching for Happy

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