Time Management – Tips to Help Balance Work and Home Life – Part 2

Week Two:  Identifying and Setting Goals 


Last week we focused on time management and productivity.  Everyone should have completed his or her time log for at least a week.  A separate time log for personal and professional activities should have been completed.  The next topic will help us utilize this valuable self-assessment of how our time is being used each day, and examine how to use this information to set proper, defined and clear goals.  Let’s look at the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule is also called the Pareto Principle.  It states that 80% of our major achievements are accomplished in just 20% of our time.  In other words 20% of our time is spent on doing what counts, doing activities with the highest value.

If the 80/20 rule is true we should have all the time we need to accomplish what is most important for us.  So why aren’t we high achievers all the time?  We get caught in time traps.

The time logs help illustrate where our time traps are.  Many will discover that you spend 80% of your time on only 20% of what’s most important.  You’re too busy to be productive.

So how do we turn this around?  Remember:  Effort does not automatically produce results.  In fact, hard work may have a negative effect on productivity since hard work can be viewed as depleting your energy and eroding your enthusiasm.

One of the keys to improving productivity is to spend time in high quality activities that produce results.  These activities typically will challenge and excite you.  They rev up your energy and enthusiasm, which will help to improve productivity.

The Value of Goals

Goals are magical and have great power.  All your goals together provide direction for your work and your life.  Having clearly defined goals helps you focus on what’s important.  It gives you a long-term vision that helps you prioritize activities and concentrate on the key 20%.

Goals provide structure, a reason for doing certain things and not doing other things.  They provide criteria against which you can make decisions.  The next step is to develop clear goals and begin to define your road map to success is as follows:

Exercise:  Identifying Your Major Goals 

Doing What’s Most Important

Identify your top three career goals.  What must you accomplish in order to ensure your success?  Prioritize your goals from most important too least important.  While all these goals are important, establishing priorities will help you make better decisions and set smaller goals to accomplish what’s most important.





Just setting goals isn’t enough.  You must commit to achieving them.  Set dates on your calendar to review your progress and determine whether you need to change your goals.  Evaluate how you are doing at each deadline.  If you did not reach your goals, evaluate why or why not?  What got in your way?  Is it the correct goal?  Do you still want to achieve that goal?  If so, how can you rectify the situation?  One major reason for failing to achieve goals is failing to PLAN.

Planning to Reach Your Goals

After you have a plan for each goal, the last step is to implement the plan.  Enter action steps and tasks on your calendar, and make appointments with yourself to get things done.  Always plan to accomplish the most important tasks each day.  Using a calendar system – paper or electronic – is critical to the success of your plan.

What is most important every day may change during the course of the day as situations change and emergencies arise.  Never completely book your day.  Leave some open time in your schedule for interruptions and emergencies.

Take your personal work styles into account.  For example, if you are a morning person, schedule important appointments and set aside time to make decisions early in the day when you are alert.  Reverse this if you are a night person and don’t reach your peak until later in the day. Perform more routine tasks, such as returning calls and answering correspondence in the afternoon.

Keep your goals where you can see them and review them daily or as needed.  Ask yourself, frequently, if each activity is necessary to achieve your goals.

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