Time management can be an oxymoron! There seems to be more and more to do every day and less time to get it all accomplished. Whether you are trying to grow a business, manage a household or just get through life, it can just become too overwhelming. I want to share with you some time-saving techniques that I use every day. I hope that they will work for you.
USE A CALENDAR
It doesn't matter if it is a paper calendar or a digital calendar. Manage your day, appointments and schedule with a calendar. The key is to keep only one calendar for everything. This means that it is important to determine what type of calendar is right for your personality.
I also recommend that you use your calendar to manage your 'To Do' lists. Make life as simple as humanly possible.
I love the Cozi calendar application, which can be used for iPad, iPhone, Androids tablets, PCs...just about every type of device that is available. And, it is free. It allows me to manage my 'To Do' lists and grocery lists, too. Having everything available in one place makes this a great tool. And, it also syncs with Outlook and Google calendars.
On Sunday evenings, take a 10 minute break and a sneak peak at your calendar for the week. If you are a small business, it is important that you have "office time" scheduled into your week. If not, you can easily find yourself working six or seven days a week trying to keep up with everything. It is also helpful for your family to know what is scheduled for the week. Checking your planner before the week begins allows you to delegate responsibilities. So, plan ahead...check your calendar and be prepared.
There may be 10 different things on your 'To Do' list, and they all have a definite value. They all are important and they all have the potential to affect your life. It is important, however, to determine exactly what it is that needs to be done first. Your priorities may be broken down like this:
1. School obligations
2. Homework and studying
3. Extra-curricular activities
4. Household responsibilities
**This is just a sample in no particular order of importance.
KEEP A CONSISTENT SCHEDULE
Keeping a consistent schedule is important for a well-run household. What I found most helpful in being a stay-a-home mom was consistency with wake-up time, bed-time and meals. I also had specific days (a.m. or p.m.) dedicated to household activities. Holding yourself accountable will ensure that things get done. Don't let yourself down. Be accountable. It also helps for everything to have a home.
IDENTIFY YOUR TIME-SUCKERS
Identify what "sucks" your time away from you. Facebook and other social media opportunities are one of the biggest time-suckers I hear about. This, along with phone conversations and simply getting tied up in the "what to do next" syndrome can suck away your entire day. It is important that you identify the following:
- How much time do I need - or should I - be spending on Social Media?
- How can you fine-tune your time? Are there systems that you can utilize to make your life easier?
This is where having a "home" for everything can be very helpful. You can put things where they belong immediately versus having to pick them up and move them over and over again.
Manage your time and schedule and make 2013 your best year ever!
Linda Clevenger, Professional Organizer