Time management skills can improve your life in ways that are concrete, practical, and far-reaching. Whenever you are able to use your time more efficiently and effectively, you give yourself the gift of more time, to use for whatever you value most.

This is where one of my very favorite time-finding-tools comes into play. They are task templates – and once you start using them, I just know that you’ll find all sorts of creative ways to enhance your life with them.

What are task templates? They are systems that you create for making tasks easier. Often they are used to break complicated tasks into smaller chunks. Or they may be used to document frequently-repeated tasks, so that you don’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ each time you complete them.
Task templates are simple, flexible systems for managing your time, shaping your schedule and, ultimately, completing tasks more quickly and with greater ease and efficiency.

Task templates are helpful in reducing your stress. They take advantage of one of the things that the human mind excels at – recognizing and creating patterns.
When you embark on a complex task, you are confronted with lots of choices. That, right there, is stressful, because your brain isn't built to quickly recall and re-prioritize multiple items on the spot. Where do you begin? What tools do you need? These are all questions that can be answered by the templates you create. They’ll put everything you need right in your hands – and in a format and level of detail that is most helpful to you.

Using task templates helps you cut your stress and avoid things like:

1. Being under-prepared for important commitments or activities
2. Missed appointments
3. Getting to the middle of a task and not having what you need to finish
4. Reinventing the wheel for recurrent events
5. Bottlenecks

Any activity that is repeated and has multiple steps lends itself to task templates. When you create a task template, you give yourself a step-by-step outline that you can use over and over. There are lots of activities that lend themselves to this time tool. Here are a few to consider:

1. Packing for trips
2. Spring cleaning
3. Tax preparation
4. Holiday planning
5. Complicated computer-based tasks

Now, here’s a template for getting started with templates. Follow along, and see how much time you’ll find!

1. List activities or projects you’d like to try using templates with then choose one project to get started.
2. Brainstorm and write down every activity involved, and don’t forget to include supplies, too.
3. Take your list and order the elements chronologically. This is your task template!

As you explore using templates, I bet you’ll find them so helpful that you’ll begin to have a collection! Keep track of them by placing them all in a notebook or storing them on your computer so that they are easily accessible. Whenever you use them, you can fine tune them. Revisions keep your templates fresh and as useful as possible.

Task templates are wonderfully powerful and flexible systems. The more you use them the more creative and constructive ways you’ll find to employ them. When you systematize tasks you free up your focus, energy and time for other valued activities and pursuits.

What will you do with the time that you find? Isn’t it fun to think about how you’ll answer that question?

And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit, which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!

Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.

Author's Bio: 

Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors. This helps them make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.

You can learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System and begin your transformational journey by signing up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Follow your heart-based path to finding time for what matters most.