Are you in the Fifth Quarter of your life? Have you just retired? Are you challenged by the daily routines and overload of activities? Are you comfortable with your life as it unfolds? Whatever the situation, good time management helps to meet the challenges.

Early in our adult lives, we were encouraged to have goals. If you wanted to succeed, you had to have a plan with measurable objectives. Yes, at 65 or 95 years, it still is good to have goals.

Some of us have long-range goals looking out five or 10 years. Others take one year at a time and plot out what they want to accomplish in each month. Still others operate with a Bucket List goal plan. They focus on what they want to do before they are dearly departed.

Goals are difficult to complete without some type of detailed plan. Some of us use a month-by-month calendar. Others prepare a daily to-do list. Writing a monthly column and meeting deadlines involves marking the monthly calendar and adding the task to the to-do list two weeks ahead of the due date.

Using a daily to-do list helps to keep focused on what is important today. As you begin the day, ask “What must I complete today?”

That becomes the priority. If your list includes: cut the grass, go to the heart doctor, shop for ground meat and pay bills; it is obvious that the heart doctor visit is the priority.

If you have a lot of items on your daily list, you may want to mark them A, B, C. Yes, A is a priority; C is a low value task.

Some of us start off with C’s to reduce the number to things to do or to feel we have accomplished many things. You should focus on the priorities when you are fresh and full of energy.

As we approach a new year, accept the challenge. Look ahead to how you will manage your time in the future.

Write down five or more goals, but not more than 10. Pick the priorities. If you only had six months to live, what would you want to accomplish?

Draft a Bucket List. Begin today by making a to-do list. Accept the challenge. Manage your time for the time of your life.

Ed Baranowski is an award-winning writer, artist, speaker and seminar leader. He lives in Melbourne and can be contacted at