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Organizing Your Daily Schedule

As Published In Smead Organomics
Organizing Your Daily Schedule

Publicity -- Smead Organomics

Organizing your schedule — where does one start? Some people see time management as a super-power. (Surely there’s no way a mere mortal could fit it all in from 9-to-5!) But work productivity is simple, if you have a plan. It’s a skill that anyone can learn — just follow these guiding principles.

Think Before You Act

What does the start of your day look like? Do you come to the office, sit down at your desk, and have no idea where to begin? Or perhaps you simply grab the first to-do off the top of the pile — regardless of its urgency or importance? Neither is a particularly effective way to get the day rolling — but investing just a small amount of early-morning time to plan your daily schedule makes all the difference.

Want to feel as though you’ve accomplished all your goals come the close of business? Spend a few minutes first thing in the AM reviewing your meetings and appointments — figuring out which tasks are your top priorities, and actually plugging them into your calendar (so you know the important chores aren’t going to fall through the cracks).

Start With Something Big

Many people waste the first couple hours of their day on “busy work” (checking e-mail, surfing the web, opening mail). It’s easy for these kinds of “easy” activities suck to up all of your time, leaving you feeling as though you’ve wasted the entire morning. Instead, pick one big task to tackle as soon as you get to the office — it should be something you’ve been procrastinating on, that has an approaching deadline, or that’s been hanging over your head. Get it out of the way first thing — even if you don’t accomplish anything else, you’ll still have had a productive day!

Break Your Day Into Blocks

In today’s fast and furious business world, multi-tasking has become the norm — folks feel that they aren’t being productive unless they’re working on 15 tasks at the same time. But you’ll accomplish more if you can devote a chunk of time to a single activity and give it your full attention — actually finishing, before moving on to the next task. Figure out how much time you need to complete a to-do, and block it off on your calendar — then try to schedule any other meetings or activities that might interrupt your work for a different time during the day. When you make an appointment with yourself, you need to respect that as much as any other commitment.

Quit Before Quitting Time

When the whistle blows, it’s natural for you to want to jump in your car like Fred Flintstone and tear off for home — but taking just a few minutes to plan that next day’s schedule the night before can mean the difference between organization and chaos. Stop work 15 minutes early, tidy up your desk, and put away any loose items. Review your to-do’s and go over your schedule (deciding which project you plan to tackle first thing) and place the materials for that task on your desk. You’ll be able to hit the ground running as soon as you arrive — with no time wasted asking yourself, “Now what do I need to get done today?”

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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

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