4 time management tips for the New Year

by Christy Wright, |

HOUSTON (Christian Examiner) -- The New Year is almost here, which means it's a great time to start focusing on your goals. And since managing your time is a constant struggle for most people, it's a great place to begin.

Here are four easy time management tips from Christy Wright, Business Coach and Speaker for Ramsey Solutions.

1. Identify your priorities. Before each month begins, be proactive and arrange your calendar to reflect what's important to you. If that means visiting your aging parents three states away, then put them at the top of your list (even if your kids have to miss a soccer game or two). When you manage your commitments, they stop managing you.

2. Create space in your schedule. We often feel guilted into taking on responsibilities that are not our own, like chaperoning field trips or saying yes to extra work projects. Stop raising your hand just because no one else will step up. When you commit to less, you'll free up more time for your own priorities.

3. Schedule leisure time. When you finish everything else, then you'll spend time reading, exercising and playing with your kids, right? But that never happens! So go ahead and schedule some leisure time on your calendar. This will help to ensure these important parts of your life get plenty of time as well.

4. Protect your schedule. Even if you start off your week with the best of intentions, things will inevitably come up. You'll get requests from work, invitations from friends, and distractions from every corner of your life. But it's vital that you protect your schedule. Practice saying no to last-minute requests and invitations that conflict with your priorities.

*Christy Wright is a Certified Business Coach who has spoken to groups of thousands at corporate events, women's conferences and some of the country's top universities. Christy covers a range of topics from business and money management to personal development and goal setting. You can follow Christy on Twitter at @ChristyBWright, online at christywright.com or at facebook.com/OfficialChristyWright.