The Beyond the To-Do List Podcast Interview | Mastering Time Management Essentials

September 6, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Time management can’t begin in the pages of your planner.

And in fact, if you begin there, you’ll often find any changes you make won’t be sustainable. Instead, you have to start with your vision for your life to figure out what’s most important to you. 

I spoke with Erik Fisher on the Beyond the To-Do List Podcast to discuss how to do that, plus my journey to writing Time Management Essentials and all the time management strategies included, from baseline essentials and beyond. Check out the episode here, or read on for a summary of the tips.

Clarify Your Vision

One of the biggest myths I have encountered is that time management starts within the pages of your planner. Over and over again, I find that if you start by rearranging your schedule, you just make a mess. 

In Time Management Essentials, we start from a place of purpose: by getting crystal clear on what matters most to you. 

Feel like you don’t have time to start with your vision and purpose? I used to BE you – and it was exhausting! But creating a vision board was one of the most pivotal things for my life. Within a year after creating a vision board, I had bought a home, created a business, and started a family.

Was it the vision board itself that propelled these changes? Not necessarily. It was stopping to clarify my vision for my life. 

Time Management Essentials makes creating your vision a no-brainer using two simple strategies:

  1. Think of your life as if you’re speaking to a biographer 
  2. Write a letter to your future self

Either of these strategies can be done in 30 minutes or less, and should leave you feeling way more clear on your values and vision. 

Deciding Your Priorities

When you read Time Management Essentials, you’ll find a self-assessment section. It’s a quick opportunity to read through different statements pertaining to your vision and values, how you approach time, and how you make decisions. It enables you to ask yourself what time management looks like in your life right now, and helps you see any gaps in your time management strategies. 

Why? Because once you have this self-awareness, you can better decide your priorities

Priorities can be such an abstract concept. Years ago, I began grouping priorities into three categories: boulders, big rocks, and pebbles.

For example, the boulders are the most important things in your week, and they create checkpoints in your life. One of my boulders are bedtime stories with my girls. I’m not sending a Google Calendar invite to my 4- and 2-year old – but it’s in my calendar because it helps me show up as my best self as a mom!

So whenever I get asked to an event or meeting that conflicts with bedtime, I’m able to intentionally make a decision with my time… rather than accidentally scheduling over bedtime and feeling completely scattered. 

You can read more about boulders, big rocks, and pebbles and how to create your calendar based on your priorities here

Designing Your Ideal Week 

Starting with time blocking and task batching before you know your vision and your priorities most likely won’t work. Designing your ideal week and having a weekly planning session is much easier after you’ve identified your boulders, big rocks, and pebbles. It’s so important to go in order of clarifying your values and vision, identifying your priorities, and then creating your ideal week.

Once you’ve done the previous steps, designing your ideal week can:

  • Relieve decision fatigue 
  • Save time
  • Help you avoid recreating your schedule every week
  • Give you more sleep, rest, and productivity (yes, please!)

An Ideal Week allows you to picture your week ahead, your blueprint – and fill in the blanks to design a winning week for yourself. Learn more about creating your Ideal Week here, or download your Ideal Week blank calendar here.

Want more? Listen to the full episode here.


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