All You Need To Know…
Do you have too much on your plate and need a time management plan? Short deadlines and a lot of tasks can lead to frustration, and eventually, burn out. Luckily for all of us who want to do more, but don’t have a time machine or some cloning device, there are simple tools that can make managing your time easier and boost productivity.
How To Create A Time Management Plan
Creating a time management plan and managing your day keeps you from wasting time. Most importantly, having a plan makes every hour count It ensures that you get to work more quickly. This makes a time management plan completely vital if you want to be successful.
Be Realistic With Your Plans
Don’t go against your own internal clock when planning each day. If you know you struggle to get up in the morning, do not schedule things in the early morning hours. If you prefer to tick off your to-do’s in the morning, do it!
Set Time Limits
This is especially important for both tasks you dislike and tasks you like. You always have a risk of procrastination when it comes to tasks you hate by spending too much time on tasks you like. So set an alarm, and when it beeps, move on to the next task!
One of the biggest killers of any plan that you set is distractions. From anything such as television, interrupting phone calls, social media, and yes – children and spouses.
While nothing is ever perfect, you can eliminate most distractions by planning how to deal with them. Turn off the TV, turn off the phone, use social media only at certain times with a timer set. Explain to children and spouses the importance of not bothering you while you are working.
Differentiate Between Important And Non-Important
One of the hardest tasks before you when managing your day and creating a time management plan is understanding what is important and what is not important. Instead of tackling the quickest or easiest tasks first, make it a habit to do the most important things first, you’re going to feel more accomplished and get more done.
Use A Calendar And Technology
Where would we be without technology? Using Google Calendar or another system synced to your phone is a great way to ensure that your calendar is always with you and that you don’t forget things. You can even set reminders and alarms to help.
Personally, I would not function without Google Calendar. I have a Home, Blogging, Cleaning, Family and Couple schedule and colour coded to boot! It’s certainly worth all the effort putting this together, as rolling dates year by year is so much simpler than filling out a general paper calendar.
Eliminate Urgency From Your Life
This can be difficult but most things really aren’t urgent. If you are a service provider, stop taking last-minute work; train your clients to give you plenty of time to work tasks into your schedule. If you set family time and play time into your schedule too, that will eliminate the need for a last-minute meltdown from the toddler too.
Create And Use Lists
It is one thing to note on your calendar “work on project A” but it’s quite another to list exactly what you are to do during that time period on project A. This is the most effective way to schedule your time so that you meet your goals. Be very specific with lists so that no time is wasted.
Create A Daily Action Plan
There should always be at least four or five things that you can do each day toward any future goal that you have to help you feel accomplished. Plus, having a variety of things to do each day will eliminate boredom and procrastination.
Creating a time management plan is an essential element in creating success. Most successful people live and die by their calendars. When you meet someone and wonder how on Earth she does it all… It’s probably a very thought-out and coordinated schedule that allows her to accomplish so much. Don’t tell them I told you!
Setting Priorities For Managing Day And Time
One of the hardest parts of managing your day is learning how to set priorities. Occasionally, it can feel like every single thing you need to do is an emergency. However, the truth is, there are always ways to organise your time and manage the tasks, without feeling overwhelmed or rushed.
Let’s Get Colourful!
Why not use a colour to designate each item on my to-do list which I have evolved from a combination of using Mr. Covey’s grid technique and the Original Bullet Journal.
• Purple: Needs to be done immediately
• Green: Needs to be done but can take longer and needs more strategic planning
• Pink: Distractions, but needed by others
• Light green: Not at all important and often used in order to procrastinate
You can use these systems to create your daily to-do list by prioritising the importance and urgency of each item, you have to pick from.
So it can be as simple as doing the Purple things first. Move onto the Dark Green, next pink, and finally the light green items.
Watch Your List Shorten
By focusing on green you can eventually lessen the purple items on your list. By learning to say no to others you can virtually eliminate the pink things, too. Finally, by getting your schedule under control the light green will eliminate itself because you won’t feel the need to procrastinate anymore.
Learn To Say No
As children, we are taught to not say no. Unfortunately, this transfers over to adulthood in a bad way, especially for females. Maybe you determine something is in the pink or light green area, you can use that to determine whether or not you should say no. If it’s something that your client wants that takes five minutes, however, it’s not that important, you can do it. Is it something you just like to do. You can always do it after you’ve done three purple or green tasks.
Assess Your Expenditures Now
You could also go back and re-evaluate the things you are currently doing each day to find out where they rank within your colour code. Knowing their colour will help you label each thing that you do throughout the days, weeks and months ahead so that you can prioritise them.
Core Values And Goals
Finally, when you are assessing any task, make sure you label it. In addition, ask yourself if it fits in with your core values and goals. If it does, it’s going to be in either the purple square or the green square. If it doesn’t, it’s probably in one of the other squares. As you learn to use this system it will start becoming more automatic so. You can say yes or no faster and put your time management on auto drive.
Adjust To Suit Your Needs
Most importantly, if you feel this could work for you, adjust the Covey Time Management Grid to yourself, or try out the bullet journalling which can we as plan and easy as you wish. In addition, I’m a neat freak, so if you are too, you can use different colour pens, notes, comments, bolds etc. Have fun with it and find your style!
Give it a go and let me know how you get on. As a massive lover of bullet journaling, I’m always after hints and tips to make life easier. If it involved pretty colours and stickers, even better!
I hope you found this helpful and managing your day becomes easier with some of my suggestions. Do you have any hand tips for managing your day to day? Drop them below!
If you require some direction with your goals, head over to my post How To Find Motivation To Achieve Your Goals.