Here at The Big Day®, we love the subject of effective time management for all 8 Areas of life. Personal success is only as strong as the weakest area, so investing into all 8 Areas is a must. But that takes strategic planning! In this post, we'll discuss the 4 areas needed to map out your time effectively, so you can make the most of your 'today' and properly manage a busy lifestyle.
Time Management: Map Out Your Time
Mapping out your time has everything to do with Cornerstone 2: Your Plan (one of the 11 Cornerstones to move you forward in life). We discuss this in much greater detail in our book, The Big Day. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 15:
It becomes obvious to your team and customers when you are not operating with a plan. You chase your day like a balloon floating wherever the wind blows. A certain proverb says, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage, But everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty." Your plan consists of three areas: your appointments, your to-do lists, and your goals.
Effective time management requires a plan. That doesn't mean all of your life has to be completely structured, but if it has no structure or direction, then you'll be like that balloon floating all over the place. On the other hand, proper time management leads to a life of fulfillment, enjoyment, and purpose. That's what it means to "win big" in life, and that's what we're here to help you achieve!
The Big Day's time management system has two parts: 1) mapping out your time, and 2) planning your goals. For now we'll discuss the 4 areas of mapping out your time: dedicated appointments, EGT list, goals, and designated checklists.
This is the first area of time mapping. Dedicated appointments are activities that you schedule in advance. In other words, you have a designated day and time to do that activity, with specific start and end times. You should also designate a certain day and time (eg., Sunday evenings from 8-8:30) to schedule your dedicated appointments for the week ahead. Here are some examples of dedicated appointments:
- Work-outs (twice each week)
- Prayer time
- Strategic wealth planning (Yes, plan times to work on your Wealth Plan!)
- Business appointments
- Meals with family
Remember that you have 8 Areas of your life. Plan strategically so that you have some kind of investment (dedicated appointment) for each of them at some point.
Expect Great Things
Your Expect Great Things (EGT) list is the second area of mapping. It's like a to-do list of things you want to achieve or complete, but they don't have specific, dedicated appointments. It's best to keep this list convenient to pull out and edit. We suggest using something like a notepad app on your phone. Items can range from reading a particular book, to contacting a certain person, to listening to a podcast. There's no limit to how many things are on the list.
Rank each of the items on the list according to their priority level. For example, list them under "A", "B", or "C". You can then set a goal to complete, or at least work on, a certain number of them each day or each week.
The point of the EGT list is to keep you focused on your goals for greatness. This list should keep you moving forward and raising the bar of excellence in your life.
Don't have an EGT List? Start with Building a Keynote Book >>
Goal planning is a huge component of winning big, and it's a common thread among successful leaders. At some point, every successful leader had a goal that they wanted to achieve. They had a vision for their life that consisted of more than their current life circumstances. They wanted change. Look at any person who you really admire, and you'll see that they have some kind of goal in their life.
What are your goals for yourself? Who do you want to become? Are you dreaming big enough? It's time to make your goals a reality. But they have to become part of the plan. If you don't practically work them into your schedule, then your goals will remain dreams on the shelf. The important part is to take steps forward in the direction of the goal.
This refers to the checklists that you designate for certain appointments. For example, when it comes time for your dedicated appointment to work out, have your workout checklist handy. Have a written goal of what exercises you'll do, for how long, and in what order.
Many of us lead busy lifestyles, so remembering every little part of every single item on your to-do lists can be a daunting task in and of itself. However, if you create designated checklists for your appointments, then you can forget about what's on the list, and when that appointment comes, you'll be ready. You'll be able to transition from one thing to the next with clarity and focus when you have it written down in front of you and easily accessible. Create designated checklists for routine or recurring endeavors.
Effective Time Management
Each of these four areas of mapping are important when it comes to winning big in the game of life. Map out your time and manage it effectively. This is a necessary skill to learn if you want long-term personal success.
Ready to take the next step? Read Effective Time Management: Plan Your Goals!