Maximize Your Time Not Excuses

Time Management Technique

It feels pretty good to cross an item off your “to do” list. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Taking care of things you told yourself you would do really makes you feel productive. As humans, we crave achievement and a sense of worth. Okay “to do” lists might not be that fulfilling, but is it not rare that you actually get to cross everything off your list? So perhaps this is a good starting point. If you learn how to manage your time more effectively, you can get more done or even move on to the bigger projects.

We often get stuck in a rut. We give excuses like “I don’t have time for that” or “I can barely get done what I’m doing now.” You might be thinking, I genuinely can’t fit another 30 minutes in my day. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our schedules, but I want to you to try this common technique that gets overlooked. Learn how to maximize the white spaces or “free time” in your day.

Go into excel, make a quick spreadsheet or use word and create a table. Make 8 boxes across and 17 boxes down. The 17 boxes is flexible, but a good place to start. You can make as many boxes as you’re awake or can see yourself getting up at a specific time. So we’ll use 17 and start at 6am to 10pm. Below is just an example, but notice the white spaces and what’s written. If you don’t want to be detailed, that’s fine, just mark through when you have other commitments.

TIME              Sunday                   Monday                       Tuesday
6:00am                                                                              Spin
7:00am        Push ups    
8:00am        Walk                        Get ready                      Get ready
9:00am        Read                       Drive to work                Drive to work
10:00am       Get family ready    Respond to emails        Meeting
11:00am        Church                    Plan week out               Eat lunch in

Look at your schedule, and begin to cross out time at work, time cooking dinner, time to get ready in the morning, time driving to kid’s practices, etc. You might find 30 minutes in the morning, what if you used that to walk outside? You might find only 10 minutes, what if you used that do 3 sets of 15 push ups? Maybe you found time at the end of the day, what if you promised yourself time to read so you had something to look forward to? The idea is after the boxes are crossed off that can’t change, you’ll probably see more time than you realize to use productively. We never think we have time, but when we put it on paper, you’d be surprised.

You can also make a couple of charts. Tired of bringing work home with you? Try maximizing white space at work. Could you bring your lunch? Could you answer emails all at once instead of as they pop up, or try this with phone calls? This isn’t set in stone and things come up, but you could try it for 2 or 3 days of the week. You could make one for your kids in scheduling practice and homework. Teaching time management is beneficial to you and your kids.

What if you changed how you accomplished things? What if you felt less stressed at the end of the day because you made better use of your time? Most people have this “all or nothing” attitude, but you only have to give yourself a little bit of time. It takes less than a minute to get on the floor and do 30 crunches. Less than a minute. What if you set a realistic goal of doing something each day for a week? You only have to make it for a week. See how you feel. I’m not saying throw away TV time, but you could DVR shows and fast forward through commercials or you could do glute squeezes or calf raises during commercials. Make your chart, take a look at where you waste time and what is important to you. What do you want to accomplish? Simple, no excuses, time management!