Thursday, February 10, 2011
My 3 step approach to time management is Prepare, Pass It on and Prioritize. Today we’ll talk about the first step – prepare.
The best way to prepare for your day/week/month/year is to plan! You need to plan what you are going to do at any given time. Think of it like this, you wouldn’t take a cross country trip without using your GPS or (gasp!) a road map. So there is no way to think you should proceed in life without a plan.
My number one suggestion in planning is to use a planner or a calendar. And when I say “a planner or calendar” I mean ONE planner/calendar for your entire life. Don’t have one for work and one for your personal life. They are intertwined and need to be together when you plan. If you are a stay-at-home mom and think, I don’t need a calendar/planner. My schedule is simple enough I can keep it in my head. Well, the truth is, you can’t. There is always something that will sneak up on you and you will forget. Be safe and write it down!
Your calendar or planner is where you need to record all of your appointments and obligations. It is also where you are going to schedule (yes, I said schedule) time to accomplish the items on your to-do list. (More on that tomorrow) When you are putting all of your obligations into your planner, be sure to coordinate with your significant others like your spouse, other family members and your co-workers. Often their schedules impact ours. I have to be aware of when my husband has scout meetings and weekend duty so I know how to plan my days.
What kind of planner or calendar you want to use is up to you. You can use a very simple paper calendar or a highly complex electronic planner on your smartphone. The key is finding what is best for you and your life style. Professional Organizer Val Sgro has an assessment tool that helps you determine which type would work for you. Her book Organize Your Family’s Schedule… In No Time has some great ideas on time management for your entire family.
The key is to have a calendar/planner and use it – daily! Keep up with it and it will help you keep up with your time. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the second part of the prepare through planning step – the infamous To-Do list!