I am sharing my experience of “time budgeting” and how it can improve your effectiveness.

Can we all agree that successful people work hard, but still seem to have plenty of time to get everything done? On the face of it, these individuals share the same hours of the day as the rest of us. How do they achieve great results?

It’s not about the amount of work done, but it’s about being productive. Productivity does not mean the process itself, but it’s about the fruits of your labor. A completed task will not bring results if it is finished after a deadline. If you have done your work efficiently where it’s not required, you will not accomplish anything at all. Time is of the essence, and, if you’re going to feel less rushed, you need to figure out how to optimize yours.

To do this, you will have to change your approach to work, reconstruct your own life and learn to monitor your progress if you decide to take this approach, then put your best foot forward, and follow the same path which successful people have already taken. Why waste your time on experiments if others have been doing it already and found a successful working method? The main secret to personal effectiveness is the correct allocation of time. Time is a resource, as is money. The first rule of any economist is to be able to spend money responsibly. It doesn’t matter how much you earn if you can’t manage your earnings appropriately. Just as we plan our financial budget, we can also do the same with our time. After all, time is another resource that can be converted into personal success.

Creating an individual time budget is easy. It would help if you can break down a month into hours, and identify your necessary expenses: sleep, work, exercise, or entertainment, and allocate the remaining time to tasks that will bring you closer to your goals.

How to create a time budget

Let’s try to create a time budget for the month ahead. In a month there are 30 days, that is 720 hours, we need to sleep for at least 8 hours a day, so we don’t damage our health. After deducting this time, we have 480 hours left. Let’s say we have an 8-hour working day and 6- working days a week, and we spend 2 hours commuting to and from work. Subtract another 240 hours for your work. After that, we have 240 hours left, which we can allocate to other tasks. What might this be?

Physical activity

Physical activity is an incredibly important part of life; you should aim to exercise for at least an hour every day. If your work is demanding and you can’t go to the gym or the swimming pool, you should think about other ways to exercise. Perhaps take up cycling, go for a long walk, or exercise at home, which can be a great substitute instead of going to the pool. To free up more time for your monthly budget, you could combine your daily commute with physical exercise. Do you live close to your work? You could do your daily commute on foot, or by riding a bicycle. Many people have started riding their bikes even in winter because there are suitable conditions. How far is it to get to your work? That’s not a problem, Do not drive the full distance to your work, instead, park your car 10-20 minutes before you get there and use this time to either walk or cycle. Let’s set aside 30 hours of our monthly budget for exercise.

Learning

Reading books, or useful articles, and taking online courses is just as important as getting some exercise. The brain also requires training. Besides, continuous lifelong learning is not merely a useful skill but a necessity. We’ll take another 30 hours from our budget.

Entertainment

Since we all have busy lives, an increasing number of things we must achieve every day, and the desire to work to get results, we can wear ourselves out and have growing tensions with our friends and family. If we want to avoid feeling burnout and maintain our strength, we should relax and entertain ourselves. This could include playing games, walking, or watching movies. Even reading the news is, in a way, a form of entertainment. Consider all of these things when planning your budget. Let’s take another 60 hours from our budget.

The remaining time left

After deducting all of our necessary tasks, we still have 120 hours left to spend at our discretion. You could add this time to your schedule to improve your performance, or you could leave this time unoccupied to retain some flexibility. Perhaps, there are more tasks at work, and you need to do some overtime, in this case, you are going to know where to find the extra time required. If you have just done some overtime, then you could use the spare time for a well-deserved rest. What can you do if you decide to spend time with your friends or go away for a weekend break in nature and have spent all your budget time? It just means that for the remaining days of the month, you must focus on work and study instead.

Be sure to create a list of your permanent tasks. If you have a lot of different things to do, at first, it won’t be easy to calculate your time budget in your mind. It can also be challenging to figure out how much time you must use and what you must spend it on.  Identify where you go, what you need to do every month, and what promises you have made. Developing a list of tasks is a kind of map that will keep you on the right track towards your goals.

At first, it may be not straightforward to record all your time and measure every minute to see whether you are on a budget or not. The primary thing is to remember why you are doing this, and not to forget that this is a flexible method. If it doesn’t work out in the first month, to keep to your budget, it’s okay to do it again the following month. If one day you spent a lot of time studying, the next day you could have a rest or do some work. If you want to spend time with friends, no problem, the main thing is to “work it out”. This method allows you to not only to solve your concerns but also to increase efficiency. That’s why I chose this method for myself, and I can’t recommend it enough to you.

Trust my experience: in a couple of months of budget management, you will eliminate unnecessary activities from your life and find an optimal schedule. Most importantly, you will be able to see the value of your time with your own eyes, and you will be wise about how you are spending every minute. Learn to spend your budget only on things that bring you closer to your goal. 


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