Wait, What Do I Do Now? Better Time Management
Time Management is something that I struggled with when I was younger. Seriously, homework, class, work, fun time, sleep I though could do it all and found that I had to give once what I needed to get done out weighed the time that I had in the day or even in the week. It all changed when I realized that time management was about being organized. I know a mind-blowing concept, but it is true. The more organized I was the better I could manage my time. So, here some ways that you can help organize your life to improve on time management:
Get a date book: Yes, again a mind-blowing idea. I know we all have them, but here is the catch: it needs to be used. Not only that, but it needs to be used to record everything. Take one month and record all of your bills and write that down for one year in the date book. Include significant dates (holidays, birthday, tax day…). Record any appointments that are coming up such as work meetings or doctor appointments. Even write down when your favorite TV shows are on or when the release the new gadget Apple is releasing is coming up. In the back write down other information that wont fit in the calendar section. This could include phone numbers, ideas, addresses, directions, or anything that you can think of that you may want to remember in the future.Spend a few minutes each day updating your calendar. The more you do it the easier it will be to get use to using it.
Create a list: Oh lists, the love of my life. They are amazing. They are useful. Write down everything that you need to do. Does that list look long and overwhelming? Well it is time to cut it down. Break out that date book and look up your deadlines. Which tasks are urgent? Put those on one list. Now which tasks can be put off for a bit, aren’t as important, or don’t have pressing deadlines? Those go onto your second list. Now which tasks don’t you have time for or someone else can take care of? That goes onto your third list, which happens to be my favorite. It is the list that gets delegated.
Once you have your list make sure that you revisit them from time to time so that they can be updated. It’s important to know deadlines so that some something that needs to get done doesn’t sneak up on you. Have a clear picture of your timelines.
Use one system to record everything: Date books are great. Post-its are wonderful. Random pieces of paper are convenient, but get lost. When writing things down use one system. Keep it all on a calendar, a date book, or on the computer. The less places you store your information the less time you will spend tracking down what you need.
Schedule Your Day: Plan out what you need to do and write it down. Got tons of e-mail? Need to return endless calls? Have to record your hours worked? Set aside time each day that is solely for all the tedious stuff. Get into a schedule where it becomes natural that the important yet tedious things get done each day.
What methods do you use to manage your time? What has worked and what hasn’t?