As much as possible, keep one planner to record all your activities whether they are personal or work related. This will help you to make sure that you are striking the right balance between your personal life and your professional life. Electronic planners or printing out the Microsoft Outlook calendar on your computer can help make this process easier.

Write down a list of what you value most in life. Your values might be a strong relationship with your partner, giving your kids your undivided attention, living a healthy lifestyle, or finding time to relax and have fun.

Once you've made your list, post it somewhere visible. Use this list as a lens through which you evaluate all the time commitments you have in your life now and in the future. If there's something you're doing now that doesn't fit on your list of values, make a commitment to eliminate it as soon as possible.

Now that you've made sure what you're doing is what you value, start blocking off the chunks of time that you have ongoing commitments like work, classes, or volunteering. If you value spending time with your kids, exercising, or finding time to knit, make sure you block off times for that as well so that it becomes an ongoing commitment.

Then, you'll block off chunks of time for the more mundane things that need to get done. I'm sure you're asking, "What do cleaning, bill paying, or grocery shopping have to do with my values?" Even though they seem like drudgery, everyone values staying healthy, saving money (by avoiding late fees), and a good meal. This is an area where may need to make a mental shift in how you think about time and the tasks you need to complete.

During this process, match your tasks with your energy level by doing the most mentally or physically challenging items at the time of day when you have the most energy. For example, balance your checkbook or scrub the bathtub when you feel your best, and browse through magazines or fold laundry when you don’t.

Get up a few minutes earlier each day to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Use those few extra minutes to relax and think about the most important items you need to get done that day, and feel proactive about your schedule instead of reactive.

If you want to streamline some of those more mundane tasks, set up shortcuts. Ask an assistant to file papers for you. If you can afford it, hire a housecleaner every couple weeks or swap childcare with a friend so you can get chores done. Order groceries online and have them delivered to your door.

Try to follow the same principles at work by scheduling when you'll do e-mails, phone calls, and filing in addition to the meetings or projects you're managing.

Schedule fun activities in just like you would any other commitment. If you don’t make it a priority to schedule a lunch out with friends or your evening of scrapbooking, it’ll slip away from you before you know what happened.

You'll find that by "scheduling" all the things you do in a week, you'll be able to relax more because you know that you've slotted time for the things you consider important. Your week may not magically fall into place, but you'll still feel more in control of your time rather than time controlling you.

Author's Bio: 

Sheila Dingels is a professional organizer with experience in helping people save time and simplify their lives. Sheila works with clients on residential organizing, time management, and handling household papers. Her business has an eco-friendly focus by helping people reduce the amount of clutter in their lives, reuse items they already have in new and creative ways, and recycle items they no longer need.