Finding Time: Part Two – Tracking Your Time

Yesterday, I mentioned that at the beginning of this year, I made up some little index cards on which I recorded each of the different roles that I fill and the responsibilities associated with each one. This was done in an effort to determine how to use my time more productively and to help me determine if there were certain things that were taking up my time that I could eliminate in order to channel my time toward other areas.

There are several ways this could be done. Some people might prefer to track how they are spending their time on a daily basis. Since my individual days tend to be so different because of a variety of different projects and such, I thought it would be more helpful to organize my time into the different roles. I tried to assign every use of time to some area and then arrange each area loosely in order of the priority I thought it should have in my life. Naturally, not every possible event or activity can be included in the list, but here’s what I came up with:

Role: Christian
* Daily quiet time (Bible reading and study, prayer, Scripture memorization)
* Journaling

Role: Daughter/Sister/Family Member
Participate in Wisdom Book studies
* Household chores – cleaning, laundry, etc.
* Weekly game night
* Fix Friday dinner
* Family newsletter and other design projects
* Weekly Bible study with Naomi
* Weekly cello lesson with Joey
* Special hospitality occasions

Role: Personal Development
Read/study books and topics of interest
* Daily physical fitness/workout
* Writing projects and personal blog upkeep

Role: Piano Teacher
Plan and conduct weekly lessons
* Plan and conduct monthly group classes
* Plan and organize yearly recitals
* Develop yearly theme
* Select student repertoire
* Update studio website

Role: Author/Publisher
Maintain websites: Pajama School, Sibro Publishing, Journey to Self-Publishing
* Oversee printing, orders, distribution of book
* Provide guidance to Marketing Manager for marketing of book
* Develop new articles and speaking topics
* Write and send monthly e-newsletter

Role: AIC Director
Attend monthly TPA Convention Committee meetings
* Conduct monthly AIC staff meetings
* Oversee curriculum, drama, and song writing
* Coordinate facility details
* Provide encouragement and direction for staff
* Update website

Role: Church Member
Calligraphy certificates
* Guest Services
* Welcome Center
* Sunday evening accompanist

Role: WMMTA President
Conduct quarterly board meetings
* Write column for quarterly newsletter
* Update website
* Oversee programs, festivals, and other events

Role: SCKMTA Secretary
Attend monthly meetings
* Type and disseminate meeting minutes to members
* Assist with student events
* Maintain website

Role: KMTA Technology Chair
Attend bi-annual board meeting
* Maintain website
* Provide technological support for members
* Conduct workshop at state conference

Role: Music Matters Blog
Write regular posts
* Review new resources
* Create new products
* Keep up with e-mail correspondence from teachers

Role: Piano Student
Attend weekly lessons
* Learn and practice new repertoire
* Perform at monthly group classes

Role: Precinct Committeewoman/Political Volunteerism
Attend Precinct Committee meetings
* Maintain State Rep websites
* Campaign season lit drops

Once I had these mapped out, I sat down with my parents to get some input and counsel from them on what they thought – what things were the most important to them, and whether they felt like I could or should relinquish any of these roles/responsibilities. Since I still live at home, my parents provide some needed objectivity and balance in my life and schedule. If you are married, I highly recommend involving your spouse in this exercise. Regardless of what state each of us is in, I believe that it is important that we are not neglecting our own families to pursue individual lives and interests. My family is a huge support and encouragement to me, and I want to make sure that I am investing in them and providing them with the same support and encouragement.

After you’re done Tracking Your Time and identifying what things are/should be a priority in your life, you can move on to the next step. Tomorrow, I’ll share 4 Principles for Making the Most of Your Time.

Share and enjoy!

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