Time Management – It’s a Bear
If time management was easy, we’d all be super productive and we wouldn’t need all those To Do Lists we love to make (but hate to actually do). Unfortunately the ability to use time wisely is a challenge for many people and most of the To Do lists we make just end up in the trash, half done at best.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, in this article I’ll share a simple cheat sheet you can use to better manage your time and get that To Do List done! BTW you can download the cheatsheet yourself using the link at the bottom of the page.
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Time Management – Words of Wisdom
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the ideas you read here were inspired from two main sources – Ben Franklin and the book “The Time Trap.” More on the latter in a moment, but first a great quote from old Ben…
Lost time is never found again.
What is Time Management to You?
When you get overwhelmed with a lot of things on your To Do List (be it for school, work, or anything else), do you know how to decide what to do FIRST?
Do you understand the importance of prioritizing your to-do list so that you can accomplish what’s most important in the long run?
Are you always getting your day interrupted by urgent ‘fires’ that require your immediate attention?
If any of these are a problem for you, the advice on this page can help you.
Time Management – An Example
Because this tool is so ridiculously simple I’m going to use the example of a high school student. I think we can agree, most teenagers are probably the last people on earth to care about time management right? Well, let’s put this tool to the test…
Say your a 15-year old boy, it’s Friday afternoon, and you have the following items on your weekend to-do list:
- Clean your room by Sunday night
- Study for History Exam on Monday
- Go to baseball practice today at 5pm
- Watch the latest episode of Tosh.o
- Walk the dog today
How do you decide what to do and when?
Do all of these tasks have to be done immediately?
Are all of these tasks equal in terms of importance?
If you feel like the woman in this picture, then have no fear, because your solution is here…
A Ridiculously Simple Cheat Sheet to Help Your Prioritize Your To Do List
I like to use a technique from a book called “The Time Trap: The Classic Book on Time Management” which assigns a number value to each task in terms of it’s “Importance” (I) to the LONG-TERM goals of your life — the most important is given a 1, the next most a 2, and so on.
Next you consider the task’s “Urgency” (U) as relates to your SHORT-TERM duties where the most urgent is a 1, next most is a 2, and so on.
Then you simply add up the numbers and take a look at the results to determine how you should prioritize your To Do list.
Let’s try it in our example:
A couple notes on my scales.
- While the new episode of Tosh.0 might come out today, I assume you’ll have a DVR and thus can watch is anytime – therefore it’s not urgent, and compared with the other items on this list, not important either (although it IS funny!).
- Baseball practice today and walking the dog today must be done TODAY, therefore they are the most urgent tasks.
- The rest I assume you can figure out – nobody likes cleaning so it takes a back seat. 🙂
And so, using our totals, we can thus prioritize our To Do list as follows:
- Go to baseball practice first.
- Come home and study a bit for your history exam.
- Walk the dog.
- After that, as the weekend unfolds you can study more for your history exam, then clean your room.
- And finally reward yourself by watching Tosh.
Obviously this is only a guide. If you don’t agree with the totals, you can adjust the order of the tasks as you see fit. But the point is this by using this simple time management cheat sheet you’ll be giving yourself some help when it comes to figuring out how to spend your time wisely so you get the most out of it.
Never forget this important life lesson: Manage your time or it will manage you!
Still not convinced?
Let’s think about our example in reverse – what if you didn’t use a tool like this to manage your time and instead just did the tasks as they were told to you?
First off, hopefully you’d remember go to baseball practice at 4pm. But what then? Most likely you’d come home and watch Tosh. It’s likely you’d forget to walk the dog until it’s too late. And naturally your mother would get on your case because you didn’t clean your room yet. And worst of all you’d likely end up cramming for your history exam at the last minute because you spent of the weekend playing Roblox or Fortnite.
The result is that you’d end up doing your most important task LAST and probably not doing very good on that test. Not good.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Now you have an easy to use cheat sheet that can help you quickly identify how you should be prioritizing your day. Use it and start learning crushing your To Do list like a Pro.
Don’t Wait, Use this Wisdom Today…
Step 1: Click here to….
Step 2: Check out the book the “The Time Trap” by Pat Nickerson. This is a book I read nearly 20 years ago and it changed the way I manage my time in a big way. By using the techniques in this book, I was able to better understand how to decide the best way to tackle my daily to-do’s AND to ensure that I was not letting all the ‘little fires” that always seem to crop up every day sidetrack me from my long-term goals. You can find it lots of places, but if you want to save time, here’s a link to the book on Amazon…
Did You Know?
Today’s lesson was adapted from a book Jax and I wrote called Diary of a Minecraft Dad
More Time Management from Ben Franklin
Here’s a page from Ben Franklin’s daily planner – check out how he planned his day!