One of my favorite things about the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace program is that you learn that every dollar has a name. In essence, whether going toward debt reduction, paying monthly bills, going into savings, or even set aside as “blow” money, every dollar has a name at the BEGINNING of every month. When you go through this program, and you participate fully, it can be a life-changing experience.
That said, I want to focus on the idea that time is like money. There is a finite amount of it available to us every day, and we are responsible with determining how we spend it. As is often the case with money, we can get to the end of the month and look back, scratching our heads. We wonder where it went and how we seemed to waste it. That’s the whole point of Ramsey’s program, and I believe it needs to be a major factor in our time use.
First of all you need to be willing to decide what you’re going to say NO to. I know, I know… It’s not popular, but it’s necessary. You can’t say yes to everything that comes your way and expect to have any discipline in how your time is invested. This is true of social invitations, charitable invitations, meeting invitations, and the rest of the myriad of things that tend to eat our time (Go ahead and journal time spent on Facebook, in front of the television, and generally existing instead of thriving).
- Sit down at the beginning of the month and decide what you are going to accomplish in the coming month. Take care to choose what you want to get done and believe you can reasonably accomplish.
- After you’ve committed that to paper, break it down into the number of weeks in the month (usually four). Assign the tasks necessary to accomplish your goal to each of the four weeks, keeping in mind that some things must be done in order, so don’t be random here. Be very specific.
- Now, we have the weeks assigned. Let’s starting giving assignments to days. Don’t be stingy here. This is your goal not mine. There are seven days in the week, not five. Divide your tasks for the week into seven days and assign them accordingly.
- Finally, let’s start giving hours names. You reasonably have to work at least five of the seven days, but I want you doing something every single day toward your monthly goal. If it’s mornings, lunch hours, or evenings is up to you. Just make sure you have something assigned to each and every day.
Now your hours have names, and you’re claiming them on the front end of the month instead of looking back and wondering where it all went. Oh, and I don’t want you to not have fun! Remember I said that the monthly finance budget had “blow” money factored in? So does your monthly time budget. Go ahead and factor it in! Just do it ahead of time so you can have fun without feeling guilty that you should and could be doing something more with your time. When it’s in the budget, it’s IN THE BUDGET!
I hope this helps a little with goal attainment and time budgeting. Tomorrow Begins Today.