Value-Based Self Management – Part 2: Effective Planning

ImageMaking better decisions about the use of your time and effort will require planning – daily. If you make this a habit, you will achieve a stress-reduced balance in your life.

Start by creating a list of priority tasks for each day. It also helps to categorize your tasks into the following:

  • Must Do (critical to your values)
  • Should Do (worth spending time on, less critical)
  • Could Do (worth thinking about, if must do’s and should do’s are complete)
  • Urgent (must be done now)

The payoff of any list is being able to cross something off when it’s complete. You should have different completion symbols to signify

  • tasks that are done (check mark)
  • tasks that have been rescheduled (arrow)
  • tasks that have been deleted (X)
  • tasks you have delegated to someone else (O)

And don’t forget to reward yourself! For some, the mere act of crossing off a task is the reward, but it is important to maintain motivation. Focusing only on your daily activities could cause you to lose value focus, because they are not always consistent with your goals. To help this, make sure you create monthly, yearly, and life plans as well.

Another self-management technique you can use to check if you are maintaining good life balance is rating your degree of satisfaction with the progress you are making toward value congruence on a scale of one to ten, for each of your defined values. This will show you where you need to spend more time and effort to maintain good life balance. Feel free to share any other techniques you have found helpful, I would love to hear!

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