Prioritizing your time

 

We’ve talked about prioritizing your values, now we’ll consider how you can best use your time. To do so, you need to know what is important, and what is urgent.

An important task is one that is important to you, your values and your goals. An urgent task is something that needs to be dealt with ASAP to cope with deadlines, but not all urgent tasks are important. On the whole, important and urgent tasks need to be completed ASAP or you will get into trouble. Dealing with these quickly, rather than putting it off or avoiding the task can help you feel less stressed, and allow you to focus your attention on tasks that are important but not urgent, which are the most rewarding in the long run. When time is short, we need to make sure that we are not spending time on unimportant tasks.

Here is a useful tool to help you make decisions about managing your time more effectively with some examples. Feel free to add onto the list and print it out. You can include some activities you’ve done in the past 1 or 2 week(s)

 
URGENT NOT URGENT
IMPORTANT Fire-fighting Quality Time
Assignments with deadlines
Last-minute preparations for scheduled activities
Medical emergencies
Crises
Pressing problems
Exercise
Building relationship
Relaxation
Planning and preparation
Recognizing new opportunities
NOT IMPORTANT Distraction Time wasting
Some meetings
Interruptions
Immediately pressing activities
Junk mail
Junk TV
Procrastination
Some phone calls


 
 

Now have a think:

How much of your time are you spending in the important areas?

How much of the time are you spending on the unimportant areas?

Were there tasks that were time wasting, or could have been dealt with more efficiently?

Have you given yourself time off and had fun?