Goals are the starting point of effective time management. They act as a compass, pointing the way to the things on which you should be concentrating your time. If you identify your goals, you will know what is most important for you to accomplish on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Goals guide time management by helping you assign priorities to the many things that beg to be done.

Can you articulate your goals specifically? Which are critical? Which are enabling? Which are merely nice to have? Make a list of these goals using a worksheet like the one provided. Make a note of which are critical, enabling, and simply nice to have. Then meditate for a minute or two on the content of the past few working days. Which goals commanded your time? The critical ones? The nice-to-have goals?

Use this worksheet as the starting point of effective time management. Everything else should follow from them. Don’t expect much from time management until you’ve identified your goals