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How to manage time to achieve our goals and objectives

In our last article of this series on planning, we will explore how to concretely implement the principles outlined in other articles, namely time management and making sure we have well-defined goals and objectives.

We often think that we manage time well, achieve personal and professional balance. We do not admit that we have a problem, which is why we do not achieve our goals.

The following steps for effective time management provide us with a guide to moving from plans to action, reducing stress and helping us reach our goals.


  1. Identify what your personal and professional priorities

This first step is key to the process. Analyze that results that are important to you. Write them on a sheet, being as specific as possible. Take your time. Specify exactly what you want to achieve and when.

If you identify several priorities in the same area (personal or professional), try to select only one or two initially, or try to rank them in terms of importance and urgency. Trying to work on many things at the same time will increase your stress level and your lack of motivation, so give yourself time to prioritize.


  1. Turn your priorities into concrete goals, with component activities.

Divide each objective into its component activities; that is, identify the steps necessary to reach the goal. Identify the requirements and resources you need related to each step of the activity. This helps you organize in order to advance in your objectives to achieve your goals.

Identifying resources is especially important if achieving your goal requires the cooperation or assistance of others.


  1. Identify the time periods in relation to each step of the activity and achievement of goals.

These may include deadlines for personal goals or work-related goals (for example, presentation of the monthly sales report of the sales department prior to June 1). Write these activities and your individual deadlines on your calendar. Programming them gives you an address and affirms your commitment to take them step by step.

Plan time in your own working hours. Do not wait to plan activities until the day before the deadline.


  1. Use a planning system, for example, a monthly agenda.

Keep it with you and use it at all times to schedule important activities, due dates, deadlines, and appointments. The daily use of your planning system will give you the advantage of having a visual reminder and will help you keep track of your commitments.

Periodically review your planning system to evaluate your progress in meeting your goals to achieve your goals. In your planning system, highlight important dates with different colors.


  1. Learn to manage interruptions and say “No”. Distractions often prevents progress towards achieving the goal.

Saying “No” is a way of protecting oneself from the so-called “thieves of time”. Doing it politely makes it easy to say “yes” by proposing a later date, and simultaneously affirm your commitment to yourself to move forward with your scheduled activities.


  1. Identify what obstacles prevent you from achieving your objectives by making effective use of time.

If you decide not to use a planning system such as an agenda because you think it would be a waste of time, why not try it for a week and see how it goes? Discovering the obstacles that prevent us from conducting time management can help us better understand our behavior.

Identify all obstacles and possible solutions that can help you to manage your time more effectively.


  1. It is important to find the balance between “doing” and “being”.


With good time management, we can:

    • Be more productive by improving performance (Note: this does not mean “work more”),
    • Reduce our stress levels,
    • Perform effective time management in communications,
    • Learn how to effectively schedule our time,
    • Perform effective management of tasks,
    • Work through action plans,
    • Achieve better results, both personally and professionally.


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