Note: this post is part of a series on Becoming a Master Planner of Your Time.

Getting started is the hard part.

In the previous post, we considered the difference in managing time (which can’t be done) and managing yourself around priorities. If you didn’t already have a Life Plan, I hope you clicked on the link, did the work and know what you want to accomplish in life and why.

The next step is determining how your time will be invested. Remember, you are investing time not spending it.

The return you want on your investment is the ability to see progress. You want to move closer to reaching your goals and living the life that you want to live.

Have you heard the term GIGO? It’s an old computer programmer’s term which means Garbage In – Garbage Out. If you put garbage in, you can expect garbage to come out. The same principle applies to your life: Wasted Time – Wasted Life!

There are three components which apply to your investment of time.

  1. Know what you want in return for your investment of time.
  2. Know what you need to do to put yourself in the best position to get what you want.
  3. Know when to do it.

Your Life Plan details what you want as well as the specific commitments you made to get what you want (Components 1 and 2 above).

Component 3, the “when” part, is where you begin to Become a Master Planner of Your Time.

Here are 7 Steps to get started:

  1. Make a list of the specific commitments you made in your Life Plan.
  2. Prioritize those commitments into three categories: Now, Soon and Someday.
    • The “Now” category include commitments you will begin today.
    • The “Soon” category includes commitments you will begin within the next 30 days.
    • The “Someday” category includes commitments you will begin sometime after 30 days.
  3. Focus on the “Now” category.
  4. List the specific commitments you will begin to do now.
  5. For each commitment, include how much time it will require and how often it will be done.
  6. Add each specific commitment in the appropriate day/time section of your calendar.
    Note: Although many of the specific commitments are not day/time sensitive on their own, by adding the commitments in your calendar, you have created a sense of urgency to get it done. You have put yourself in position to be without the excuse of forgetting what to do or when to do it.
  7. Share your commitments (and if possible your calendar) with a friend or relative and ask that person to hold you accountable to doing what you have said you will do.

You will be amazed with the results!