Time Management and Day Planning Hints and Tools

Help Me Get Organized. Here’s The Answer. It Begins With Daily Planning.

There are many “Time Management” systems out there but most are really list management and appointment management systems. While important, it must be understood that “Time Management” is something else entirely. True management of time is the management of hours. This can only be done with properly done Daily Planning..

The Basics of how to plan your day are simple. Here are seven basic rules. How you accomplish them is up to you. These are <a href=”http://tinyurl.com/9meb6fo”>organizer planner</a> functions. Consider each day to be a bank account that was refilled that morning with hours. As we manage our dollars, we should manage our hours. Here are some tips:

1.Don’t mix planning and working. Planning is separate. We should plan and then do. It makes no difference if you plan the morning of, or the evening before, make sure you plan, as a separate action, before plunging into your day.

2.Define the starting and ending time of your day. This should be a period when you are “on duty”. It may extend beyond standard work hours.

3.Not all tasks are the same. There are Overhead tasks and Goal Oriented tasks. Overhead tasks are the routine things we all need to do: meals, errands like picking up the kids, exercise, basically actions that, though important, do not move us closer to our goals. Estimate how much time each will take to FINISH. Write the tasks and durations on your Daily Planning Sheet. These should be placed in a separate sections, separate from the Goal Oriented tasks (see next tip).

4.Next establish which Goal-Oriented Tasks you want to finish this day . Each must be specific. These can be complete tasks or milestones which are part of a larger program. Estimate the time it will take to FINISH each action. As you do this, write each task and its duration on a Daily Planning Sheet.

5.A well-managed day must be realistic. There are always unexpected actions. You Daily Plan should set aside a definite amount of time (30, 60 or more minutes) for the UNEXPECTED. This will also give you the awareness so you can control these events.

6.Once you have your Goal-Oriented and your Overhead tasks established you sort your Goal-Oriented Tasks into the order you want to do them. It is best to do the most important and the most difficult first.

7.FOCUS on each item as you do it. Use a countdown timer. Decide and discipline yourself to do ONLY that task while the timer is counting down. You will be amazed at the control this will put into your life.

You can do all this with a Daily Planning Sheet (you may have to create one), a pen, a timer, a calculator and a decision. It is best to do this on a computer and there is no more ideal tool than a Spreadsheet like Excel. You can work up a template (simple or complicated) that will allow you to do all the above points in just a few minutes (literally less than 5). Ideally the template will keep track of where you are in the day, all incomplete tasks, and keep you posted, at a glance, on how you are doing. Regardless how you do this, with some cleverness you will find a way. The key point is to make sure the above 7 tips are implemented. You will be amazed how much you can get done and how much ease of mind you’ll have, as you work, knowing you are working with a plan.