Where does your time go? We all know we are busy, yet we feel behind and don?t get to
do the things we really want to do.
Planning is the best time saver there is. At the beginning of the week jot down your
goals that you want to accomplish, fun things you want to do, work that needs to be
done, and appointments to keep. Then write out a loose schedule for the week ahead,
balancing it out between work, family, home, self and your other roles.
You can choose to put your action items on daily to do lists or schedule them on a
calendar like appointments. How you keep track of your things to do for the week,
depends on how much structure you personally like or need.
When you plan, it is helpful to schedule things for twice as long as you expect them
to take. That gives you extra time for those traffic jams, interruptions, and fun,
spontaneous moments. Since one can never really plan for unexpected delays, it's a good
idea to leave 10 minutes earlier than you think is necessary.
My weekly planning session usually takes less than thirty minutes. My planning
session includes gathering my papers and going through the in-box to find action
items as David Allen suggests in his book "Getting Things Done." I like to plan things:
projects, time alone, family night, and a date with my husband. I prefer to schedule time for
important things: work, exercise, time with friends and family, volunteer work, and self-care.
Planning allows the important to take precedent over the urgent for once.
But, be flexible with your plan. Remember you are not a slave to your planner. It
is there to serve you. If your time management system isn?t working, tweak it.
Here are some more time management tips:
It?s your life, and each of us has a limited amount of time. Most of us have more on our plates than we
know how to deal with. This is your chance to organize your time, feel better about what you accomplish,
and leave that frustrated feeling behind you. If you don?t manage your time well, situations will manage it
- Know what's important to you. Figure out your values and your vision.
- Start delegating to family members, co-workers, professionals, and teenagers needing
- Learn to say no to what is not in your mission or your values.
- Let go of perfectionism. Not everything has to be done perfectly and some things are out
of your control.
- Listen to audio tapes or mp3's during your commute or household tasks.
- Use a planner or PDA that includes a daily to do list, a weekly calendar, a monthly
calendar, a listing of projects, telephone numbers and important information.
- Empty out your planner of the clutter and junk. Put the little pieces of paper in an
in-box to go through in your weekly planning session.
- Keep your planner with you at all times.
- Do not keep a bunch of calendars around. Use only one so everything is in one place.
- Keep a master list of all the things you need to do, call, see, write, etc. Don't use
post-it notes all over. They seem to get lost.
- Answer routine letters by answering them on the original. Photocopy your message for
your own files then send off the original.
- Cut down on TV time. Plan your TV time so you only watch the shows you really want
to see. And perhaps you could do a bit of cleaning during commercials. Or you could
do some sewing while viewing.
- Look at your schedule and lay out all the things you need for the next day, the
- Tidy your desk before you leave work so it will be clean for the next day.
- Try to spend time on planning and important things so you are not always "putting
- Use a timer to keep you from spending too much time on one thing or to challenge
you when you are cleaning.
- Relax when you are relaxing and work when you are working.
- Make goals and rewrite them every few months, so you have a focus.
- Clear the clutter from your desk or work area at home.
- Go through your files once a year to get rid of paper you no longer need. Saves space and time.
Or go through a file each time you put something in it, to keep your files current.
- Get rid of things that don't work, especially pens. Save yourself some frustration.
- Start with the worst item on your to do list. Everything else will be a piece of cake. You also
won't be thinking and dreading it while doing other tasks. Procrastination sucks out your energy.
- When you know you will have to wait someplace (a doctor's appointment, etc), think about bringing
things to do like reading, writing letters, balance your checkbook etc...
- A couple of times a year, keep a time log. Jot down everything you do for a day or two. Then
examine where your time does not match what is important to you.
Copyright © April 2005 Low Carb Luxury