TM4T - Time Management Basics 11: Life Planning

So: you have your little planner and your weekly plan. You've done a little log of how you currently spend your time. What now?

Well, you plan how you spend your time. This is pretty obvious stuff, but it involves:

1. Don't neglect the really important things in life - these need to be planned first.

Allocating time for important stuff: 'Important' doesn't mean meetings with the Head or nonsense like that. It means relaxation, exercise, and social contact, as well as sleep, food and things like that. This is not recommending a hedonistic lifestyle; it is ensuring that the basic ingredients of life do not get forgotten in a frenzy of work. If they are planned, if they appear on your 'timetable' they are much less likely to get pushed to one side.

2. Don't do things by accident or habit: do them because you choose to.

Considering non-essential tasks: you need to make some decisions. If you currently spend Saturday mornings 'reading the paper', you might decide that can squeeze in other things as well. You might decide that exercise, or marking, or one of a dozen other things might improve your overall life. This doesn't mean that you stop doing the things you like: quite the opposite. It means that you think about what you genuinely enjoy, what contributes to your well-being, what offers you reward. 

3. Don't waste time - do things in an efficient way.

Considering efficiency: in general, batching up work into large chunks saves time, but you need to be aware of your own attention span (some people's productivity probably plummets after 20 minutes or so on the same task...)