Deciding what is most important to you is the first step in effective time management. You need to understand your priorities and what matters to you most. What is that thing that makes you want to get out of bed every day and work your hardest? The answer to this question is going to be different for each one of us, and it is the start to setting up our time management routine.
At this point you are probably asking “ how do I decide what is most important? Is it a successful and happy career? Is it spending more time with my kids? Is helping to pay the bills? ” To help you answer this tough question, here are a few questions to ask yourself to help guide you through the decision process.
- How does this decision make me feel in the long run? Will you be happy working a job that you dislike to simply get by financially, or will a college education and a career in your field of study be bring you contentment? Further, will the decision to pay for an education and potentially earn more money be the best decision you’ve ever made? Try to picture your life a year from now and feel how your decisions today will affect your future happiness. Ask yourself “what would hurt the most if it was missing?”
- What decision actually works for me in this exact moment? Sometimes you have to make a decision based on what is physically possible. For example, are you a stay at home mom and the option of working a 9-5 job presents challenges with childcare, and the option of working from home allows you to do both? Eliminating goals that are not possible at this moment in life will give you a clear picture of where you should be going.
- What have others who are in my exact situation decided, and how do they feel about their decision? We know that everyone will have a different reason for choosing the path they do, but listening to their reasoning, excitement, an even regrets can help us to discover what our regrets might be. We can learn from the success and failures of others.
It is very difficult to effectively manage time unless you know where you are going. We are all looking for the “pay-off”, that moment when we know we have made the best decision for us and our families. Once you decide what the most important decision for you, take a look at the goals you set for your week and see if you are on your way to attaining what is most important for you.