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Time Management: What to Emphasize and Prioritize

We accomplish the goals we commit the most time to. Unfortunately, we often face a surplus of dreams and demands, and a lack of time to spare. But just as it is important to use a budget to plan and categorize your funds in order to keep yourself on-track financially, it’s just as important you plan your daily and weekly schedule.

A major, and sometimes challenging aspect of successful time management is the ability to balance an “urgent” demand on your time with “important” tasks at hand. Important tasks enable you to live as you would prefer in the present, and to fulfill and grow your vision for the future. Ideally, our day will be filled with activities we consider important, instead of being pulling around town by our urgent needs.

In order to effectively prioritize your time, ask yourself, both as you plan your day and face the unexpected demands placed on it, these three questions:

  • What Are My Goals?: Take time to identify what you want for yourself, now and in the future. Do you want financial security, or a particular career path? When you plan your day, prioritize tasks that take you toward the accomplishments that make you feel safe and most in-tune with who you are as an individual. For example, activities that help you build relationships, put yourself in the path of opportunities, and create a more exciting, doable plan for your future can be considered more important overall than an expensive night on the town, or shopping for new tools for your hobby. Don’t forget, however, the trick is a healthy balance, not a denial of fun altogether!
  • Is This a Distraction from My Goal?: A crisis, major health issue, or upcoming mortgage payment are deserving of immediate attention. But many of us let distractions into our schedules, both in the form of stressors and stress-relievers. It is in these moments we want to remind ourselves of our long-term desires, and assess if our action is indeed necessary, and not detrimental to our future achievements. No doubt, it can be difficult to pass on social events, and not every work obligation may feel worth your while. If you live each day as more future- than present-minded, you will likely have an easier time identifying if a distracting stressor is merited, or if it is something you can dismiss or mitigate.
  • Can I Avoid These Distractions?: While it is impossible to live without emergencies and the call to help others, we can reduce the number of “urgent” situations we find ourselves in by planning our time, in congruence with building our financial plan. Many dire situations tend to rise from a demand for funds or a mismanagement of time. If you invest in building an emergency fund, and get yourself on a prioritized schedule, you will likely see a reduction of your stressful situations!

You control the path you take. To learn more habits for success, including embarking on an exciting second career, visit the Syncis blog at