Lately, I’ve been giving my time management skills much thought, trying to figure out how I can make life run more smoothly around my household.
You see, I’m in the process of moving, and that has thrown a giant wrench into my plans for the summer. June has been a little bumpy when it comes to meeting my work and personal commitments and keeping my sanity.
One theme that stands out to me, as I read through books and articles about how to improve time management skills, is pre-planning. Since I started this process a couple weeks ago, I feel that I have a better handle on my schedule and I’m in more control. Here’s how it works:
Step 1 – Pre-planning:
Before the start of a new week, take some time to see what tasks and appointments you have and write them down. Fridays can be a good time to do this. Don’t just write down employment related tasks, include everything that involves your time. This includes grocery shopping, family commitments, and school activities. Prioritize and schedule the tasks you need to accomplish. This can take as little as 15 minutes to complete, maybe more for a really busy week ahead.
Keep all of this information on one weekly calendar. Whether you use a paper calendar with a to-do list or an app on your smartphone or computer, it’s not important as long as it works for you. Keep the tool with you so it is handy at all times and update as needed.
Step 2 – Review Daily and Focus:
With your plan in place, it becomes important to review it daily. This shouldn’t take long. Ten minutes at the end of the day to review your list and appointments is all you need. It’s possible you’ll need to re-prioritize and adjust as you go. Focus on getting the top three priority tasks done each day. Make sure you block out adequate time to get these tasks accomplished, and don’t forget to build in time at the end of the week to “pre-plan” for the following week!