Budget Your Time As You Would Your Money

Budget Your Time As You Would Your Money

Tips for Planning Your Day

photo credit: .reid. via photopin cc

Many of us have a finite amount of money to live on, and as a result, we have to budget or plan for how we’re going to spend that money. Now let’s think about our time. How planned is your day? When you look at your calendar, is it only filled with meetings or appointments? Or do you fill it with tasks as well?

In an earlier post, I discussed the importance of scheduling what’s important to you. When looking at the money analogy I opened this post with, our time is very much like our money. You know the adage, “Time is money”? Well, it’s very true since we only have a specific amount of time in our day:

  • 24 hours
  • 1,440 Minutes
  • 86,400 seconds

In order to get the most out of your day and be the most productive, you need to schedule your entire day by budgeting time for various meetings, projects, and tasks. I know it may not sound feasible or even reasonable, but if you have a framework set aside, you’ll find yourself a lot more focused and as a result, more productive. Here’s a sample calendar:

  • 5:30 a.m. – 6:30 a.m.: Wake-up / shower / breakfast
  • 6:30 a.m. – 7 a.m.: Check and respond to email
  • 7.a.m. – 8 a.m.: Personal Development Training
  • 8 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.: Break
  • 8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Blog Post Research
  • 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Flex Time
  • 10 a.m. – Noon: Write Blog Post
  • Noon – 1 p.m.: Lunch
  • 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Apple Announcement
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Flex Time
  • 3 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Design Work
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Go to Gym
  • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.: Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Day Review and Plan for Tomorrow
  • 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.: Flex Time
  • 10 p.m.: Bedtime

The above is a sample schedule and is by no means what a typical day would look like. More than likely, you’ll have meetings sprinkled in throughout the day and you’d fill in other tasks as appropriate. Assigning times to tasks forces you to committing to working on them as part of your day. In addition, it allows you to concentrate on what you’ve scheduled versus just filling out your day as it goes along. As you would with your financial budgeting, you need to be able to roll with the punches. There will be events or tasks that will come up that need to be worked into your schedule. As you get more accustomed to scheduling your day, the better you’ll become at budgeting your time and accounting for special circumstances.

You’ll notice in the example above, I included “Flex Time” slots. These can be used for specialty projects, personal development, entertainment, or anything else you want to do during the time. Of course, if that particular something is important, you can replace the flex time with that actual item in your calendar.

There is no one size fits all approach to time/productivity management. However, being able to “see” your entire day in a planner or calendar will help increase your productivity.

So what say you? How do you manage your time? Any additional tips to share with the community?

Disclosure of Material Connection

Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a modest commission from the sale. These links help support the maintenance of this website.

Please be advised that I only recommend products or services that I have used or tried personally and believe will add value to my readers' lives. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”