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Some people spend more time planning their vacations than they do their lives. Time is like money: it is a limited commodity. We need to give it some careful analysis and planning. If you don’t practice good time management, you’ll experience negative consequences in the form of missed deadlines, late nights, stress, crisis, and overload. Good time management brings the rewards of results, recognition, free time, clarity, and focus. It gives you a purpose in life, structure to your day, direction to your schedule, and reduced frustration. Time mastery brings you to the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment. Time management can reduce your stress, because it gives you a sense of control over your day. Run your life instead of allowing life to run you!

1. Create a Realistic Daily Schedule and To-Do List

When you plan your day, it’s easy to look at the day before you and think, “I have all day. I have 10 hours available to me to work.” At the end of the day, you might end up very dissatisfied with how little you’ve actually accomplished. That’s because not all of those 10 hours were controllable, and you probably didn’t sit down the night before and
plan it all out.

When you look at a typical eight-hour workday, you may only end up with a very few number of hours with which to complete your work. The first step is to determine your controllable time. Think about how many hours you’re going to be at work. Let’s say you work from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, which is 9 hours of total work time. Don’t count your lunch hour unless you actually take a lunch hour, because some people end up working straight through their lunch hour. From how many hours you’re going to spend at work, subtract all of your meeting times. When you’re in a meeting, you won’t be able to just whip out your daily to-do list and work. Let’s say you have 3 hours of meetings, which brings you down to 6 hours of time.

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