5 Time Management Practices that I use for a great Work/Life Balance

  1. I use the Eisenhower Matrix to help me prioritize what I spend my time doing. You may have also heard of it from FranklinCovey. Tasks, requests, and activities are categories into 1 of 4 categories or quadrants. Quadrant 1 is for urgent and important tasks. Quadrant 2 is for non-urgent but important tasks. Quadrant 3 is for urgent but not important tasks (e.g. other people’s emergencies that ultimately aren’t my responsibility). Quadrant 4 is for non-urgent and non-important activities (aka time wasters). I avoid quadrants 3 and 4. By spending more and more time in quadrant 2, I find that quadrant 1 urgencies become rarer and rarer since I am being so proactive. [See image for a version of the Eisenhower Matrix.]
  2. I use my calendar to house my to-do list. I estimate how long each item will take to complete and when I will be able to complete the item during the day. Then I add the item to my calendar. If I didn’t start and/or complete an item, I move the item to the next day. After getting into the habit of putting your to-do list items on your calendar, you will start to get a better sense of how much you can accomplish each day.
  3. I gave up the trap of perfectionism. Trying to make everything “perfect” is a waste of time and energy. Don’t get me wrong. I love excellence. But I don’t fall into the trap of thinking things need to be perfect to be effective. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “Done is better than perfect.”
  4. I practice the pause before responding to a request. I’ve learned to be selective about what I say yes to. I say no much more often than I used to (in both my personal and professional lives). When I get a request that requires a time commitment from me, I rarely say yes right away. I practice the pause. If it is clear that the request is a win/win, then I say yes quickly. If I’m not sure, I will ask for a delay in my response so that I can evaluate whether or not I have the time, energy, and desire to accept the request.
  5. I rarely waste my time doing things that I am not good at. I know my strengths and I stick to what I am great at. The rest is either delegated, automated, simplified, or eliminated.
This is a version of the Eisenhower Matrix that I reference in the article.

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I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.

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Elissa Teal Watson

Elissa Teal Watson

I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.

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