Learning how to be intentional with your time is so important.
It gives you a feeling of confidence and a purpose.
We are meant as humans to have a goal and purpose in life. And that is what being intentional with your time, and ultimately your life, will do for you.
What Does Intentioal Mean?
Look at googles definition of Intentional.
Done on purpose and deliberate.
Oh, that puts shivers in my bones… Do thinks on purpose and for our purpose.
As my pastor says often. “God is a God of order,” and from all my fellow planners out there can I get a YES and Aman!
Know What You Are Working Towards
You can’t be more intentional with your time if you don’t know what you’re working towards right? This is key!
You don’t go on a vacation without putting an address or at the very least a city into the GPS. But somehow people go through life without planning out any kind of destination into their life GPS.
It’s no wonder people don’t go anywhere in life after they get their first “big person job”.
They have nothing left to work towards.
Know what you are working towards to be more intentional with your time will give you peace and confidence in everything you do.
You Must Write Down Your Goals To Be More Intentional With Your Time
Goals are not an easy thing to choose, we want to be healthier, get better at doing things for others, do more DIYs, have craft time with the littles.
It’s also easy to try and do too many at one time.
I am speaking from experience when I say trying to do too much at once will get you nowhere fast. You might be making a little bit of progress in each area but this can be sssssoooooo draining.
It’s just like getting out of debt. People who are successful focus on one debt at a time. Throwing all of their energy and extra money at that one thing.
This gives them the energy and momentum to keep going because they see results quicker.
Same with your goals.
How To Choose The Goals To Work On Now
I want you to get out a sheet of paper and just dream. Write down the things you would love to do in your life on the left side of the sheet of paper in a list format.
If it’s something small like writing more cards, write it down.
If it’s something big like working towards a college degree write that down too. And anything else you can think of. It doesn’t matter how silly or small it seems.
Now on the right side of the sheet of paper, I want you to write down these 5 questions.
- Will this goal stop someting bad from happening?
- Will this goal make me feel more confident in life or give me purpose?
- Will this goal help me have better relationships?
- Will this goal make my life better?
- Do I have to do this thing in order to move on to another goal?
Now for each of the goals you have on the sheet of paper, give each goal a number of 0 through 3 for each of these questions. One being a little, two being yes, and three being ABSOLUTELY true! Or zero being not at all.
Then at the end total up each of the goals numbers. Whichever goal has the highest number that is the one you should work on first.
The highest number a goal can have is 15. So if you have more than that for something than check the numbers.
If you have a goal with the same number ask these questions.
- Is one more time sensitive?
- Which one do you like doing more.
- Which one would have the lowest barrier to entry. Meaning whihc one requires the least amount to get started.
For people who love numbers, this will help you know what to do without having to make the decision yourself.
I started doing this in my business and It has helped me tremendously feel more confidant in what I am working on. AND I can work on the task at hand without feeling like I should be doing other things that also SEEM important.
Stop Doing What Doesn’t Get You Closer To Your Goals
It is so easy to get distracted by what seems important in the moment. But ultimately it’s keeping you from your goals and being intentional with your time.
My goal is to grow my website traffic first and foremost. Growing Instagram can SEEM important. But that is not helping me get to the ultimate goal.
It will help a little bit but not to the extent writing more content with SEO in mind would.
To stay focused on your goals and to know when something is off track it’s important that you keep your goals in front of you all the time.
Put them in your phone notes app or as your screen background. Put your goals on a bookmark you use while reading. Or put them on a sticky note in your bathroom.
Time waisters are ok BUT…
You can’t be mad about the time lost.
Things are going to come up that do not get you closer to your goals. You’re going to be tempted to do time-wasters like watching a TV show or scrolling Instagram that’s not really serving you.
You have to keep your end goal in mind so when you’re tempted to do those things you can say no.
Get Rid Of Distraction
Sometimes distractions are necessary to unwind and destress. However, they are designed to take up a lot of our time.
Things like scrolling Facebook or Instagram are the perfect example. While I am not anti-social media they are designed to keep you on the platform as long as possible.
Here are some tips to help you be more intentional with your time while limiting those distractions.
- Choose a set time of day when you are okay with doing that distraction. – For example my husband likes to scroll Facebook sometimes. So when I catch him scrolling then that’s my time to scroll my favorite social platform as well.
- Set timers – Its so easy to loose track of time. I know somem people hate tipical timer noises but choose a nice tone on your phone. It dones’t have to be a sound that seems like a big mean thing slamming your phone to the growned if you don’t quit.
- Or get rid of the distraction altogether. – I only get TV shows out at the library. I like that better than having it at my fingertips three streaming. Because if I don’t have DVDs at home and I don’t have anything to watch. There is no internal battle going on becasue I simply don’t have the thing I am trying to avoid within reach. If I have big goals to do in my business I don’t check anything out so I don’t have anything there to distract me.
Be Willing To Say No
Saying no isn’t a bad thing. You are not capable of doing everything you feel like you have to do. That’s why you have to stay focused and only work on the important things.
Yes, life is going to throw things in your path that you have to stop and deal with. Like someone getting sick.
But if you have control over the task and can say no then you need to do it.
It may not be no forever. It’s just no for right now.
Saying no isn’t selfish if you are doing it with the right heart. You are saying know to the now so you can do good later.
How To Be Intentional With Your Time By Planning Your Days
This is so important. Planning your days will give you a strategic plan to work towards your goals.
It might feel like a timewaster but when you have a visual plan in front of you that moves you towards your goals you are able to take more intentional action.
Planning allows you to adjust.
When you have a plan you are able to adjust because you know where all of the pieces of your day and life are.
Planning allows you to be more intentional when things need to change.
Planning your time lets you rest.
You will also know when you’re able to take time and rest. Because if you’re a go-getter like me stopping and taking time off is not easy for you.
It can feel like you are behind when really you are just where you need to be. You just need a break.
Use Time Blocking To be More Intenional With Your Time
Time blocking is such a powerful tool and a simple way to be able to see what you can get done in your day.
So many times we try to fit more than is possible into the time we have.
Time blocking will keep your expectations in check.
Being intentional with your time also means recognizing when you have time to do good. It doesn’t mean sticking to the plan come hell or high water. It means doing good with your time and taking that time to do good even if you have a few extra seconds.
How To Time Block
- Take out a planner that has the hours marked for each day. Check out my favorite here.
- Go through this next week marking down the things that you cannot change the time of. Things like doctor’s appointments and your job. If you work from 8-5 then you need to block out 7:40-5:20 for drive time.
- Now fill in the things that you do have a choice of but are still important. Things like feeding the animals or doing other work around the house. If you do the laundry on monday and it takes you a total of 1 hr to do then mark out one hour. (Remeber you are only folding and switching the loads) Keep busy while that laundry is going.
- Now look at what’s left for some that might be a lot or not as much as you’d like. But that is the gap where you will fill in the time working on your goals or things you want to do to make you feel more fulfilled in life.
Some days you might have 30 minutes free. And other days you might have an hour or more whatever the case is use that time to be intentional and choose to do the things that you’re working towards.
If you want to go deeper with time blocking read this post.
Use Every Single Second You Have
This is where people get tripped up.
If you are warming your coffee in the microwave for 30 seconds don’t stand there watching the glass plate spin your cup around.
Use that time to unload 5 dishes out of the dishwasher or put 3 items into the empty dishwasher.
If you are going to feed the animals think about the order in which you do it. Don’t cross the yard doing chores willy nilly. Do them in an orderly fashion and with a system. If I am filling bowls for the rabbits with water I am going to keep going and fill the poultry water too.
I already have the hose in my hand.
This will take time to learn but keep your eyes open for when you could do something a little better.
Batch Tasks Together
This is something that is taught in the blogging world. But it can be so powerful for everyone.
Batching tasks is simply doing similar things in a set amount of time. If you have a lot of one thing to do then you try to get as much of that done as possible.
Maybe you want to get better at sending cards to people. So instead of writing one birthday card as you noticed that person’s birthday is coming soon. Take the time to write every birthday card for the next 3 to 6 months. That way all you have to do is drop it in the mail.
Use The Tools That Work With YOUR Brain
When it comes to using tools to manage your time well use the tools that work best with your brain. Sometimes we try to use things that others say is the best thing to use. But it might just be the best thing for THEM.
Our brains do not work the same and we are not wired the same.
I use a lot of digital tools for my business I still need to plan and get the idea out on paper then transfer it digitally. My brain does not feel calm and well planned out otherwise.
So if a digital calendar doesn’t work for you then don’t use it.
Maybe using a timer stresses you out. That’s okay. Just try to be mindful of the clock while scrolling Instagram or whatever task you are doing.
Learning how to be intentional with your time is a practice. It can be honed and nurtured. Just keep trying as you grow in this area.
If you fall off the wagon don’t beat yourself up. Just get up and start again.