What does your day look like? Are you able to get everything done that you want? Or are you sidetracked by distractions and derailed by interruptions? There are steps you can take to schedule your time more effectively — you just have to know the right time techniques.
it’s not time management — it’s self management
you can’t control time and you certainly can’t manage it
you get just as much time as anyone else
you can only control yourself and what you do with that time
it’s all about the daily choices you make
each block of time represents an investment opportunity
how you invest your time determines your future return
not every item on your schedule has to be done
the key to productivity is awareness of how you spend your time
what you do, how long it takes, and what benefit you get
create a log tracking your activities for a week
evaluate the time investment versus payoff for each activity
how much benefit or enjoyment are you getting from each activity?
keep high-payoff and enjoyable activities on your to-do list
ask yourself if low-payoff activities need to be done at all
if they do need to be done, do they have to be done by you?
if they need to be done by you, could they be simplified?
can choose a daily or weekly calendar for appointments
give yourself at least one block per hour
each block should be big enough to write in any daily appointments
include all details — address, phone number, directions, etc.
use the monthly or yearly pages for longer-term planning
use to plan ahead in larger blocks of time
be sure to transfer appointments to weekly calendar each month
keep your calendar with you at all times
spend an hour Sunday evening planning the coming week
transfer appointments from your monthly to weekly calendars
don’t just schedule work-related appointments
schedule as many items in your life as possible — and reasonable
time with kids, exercise, spiritual practice, shopping, etc.
schedule appointments and errands geographically
review your schedule daily so you don’t overlook anything
if you procrastinate, create artificial deadlines to finish early
know your work style — long stretches or short bursts
understand your high and low energy periods
plan your schedule accordingly
ask “is this the best use of my time right now”?
if not, re-evaluate the importance of your current activity
it’s healthy to plan time to “goof-off” or play”
set aside time for recreation in advance
get up early to have some private time before the day gets crazy
it’s less likely to come up spontaneously and distract you
you’re more likely to actually make time for yourself
eliminate distractions as much as possible
it’s okay to ask not to be disturbed — and to say “no”
close your door, turn off the ringer on your phone, etc.
set up guidelines for dealing with interruptions
who you are willing to interrupt work for and who will have to wait
don’t be afraid to ask how long the interruption will take
then decide whether you have time to handle it now or later
ask if you need to handle the problem right at that exact moment
if not, schedule a time to take care of it later
when interrupted, leave a memory jogger of where you left off work
it will be easier to get back into the groove when you return
direct all of your energies toward your current activity
don’t think about what you need to do next or later on
your schedule will work only as well as you commit to it
keep it with you and refer to it oftenClick here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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