Time management working from home.

Managing Your Day and Time

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All You need to know…

Do you have too much on your plate and need a time management plan? Short deadlines and a lot of tasks can lead to frustration.  Frustration can lead to stress, and stress to burn out. Luckily for all of us who want to do more, but don’t have a time machine or some cloning device, there are simple tools that can make managing your day and time easier and boost our productivity.

How to Create a Time Management Plan

Creating a time management plan and managing your day keeps you from wasting time. Most importantly, having a plan makes every hour count  It ensures that you get to work more quickly.  Also, it helps distribute your time over all the tasks that you need to do each day, week, month and year. So creating a time management plan is imperative if you want to be successful.

Be Realistic With Your Plans

Don’t go against your own internal clock when planning each day. Moreover, you know you struggle to get up in the morning, do not schedule things in the early morning hours. If you can manage in the mornings if you do tasks you like first, try that.

Set Time Limits 

This is especially important for both tasks you dislike and tasks you like. You always have a risk of procrastination when it comes to tasks you hate by spending too much time on tasks you like.

Eliminate Distractions

One of the biggest killers of any plan that you set is distractions.  From anything such as television, interrupting phone calls, social media, and yes – children and spouses.

While nothing is ever perfect, you can eliminate most distractions by planning ahead about how to deal with them. Turn off the TV, turn off the phone, use social media only at certain times with a timer set.  Explain to children and spouses the importance of not bothering you while you are working.

Differentiate Important from Non-Important Tasks

One of the hardest tasks before you when managing your day and creating a time management plan is understanding what is important and what is not important. If you make it a habit to do the most important things first, you’re going to feel more accomplished and get more done.

Use a Calendar and Technology

Where would we be without technology? Using Google Calendar or another system synced to your phone is a great way to ensure that your calendar is always with you and that you don’t forget things. You can even set reminders and alarms to help. 

Personally, I would not function without Google Calendar.  I have a Home, Blogging, Cleaning, Family and Couple schedule and colour coded to boot!  It’s certainly worth all the effort putting this together, as rolling dates year by year is so much simpler than filling out a general paper calendar.

I have added three blogging calendars to The Organised Bloggers Club resource page, for you to use too!  Just join here to get free access.

Eliminate Urgency from Your Life

This can be difficult but most things really aren’t urgent. If you are a service provider, stop taking last-minute work; train your clients to give you plenty of time to work tasks into your schedule. If you set family time and play time into your schedule too, that will eliminate the need for a last-minute meltdown from the toddler too.

Create and Use Lists

It is one thing to note on your calendar “work on project A” but it’s quite another to list exactly what you are to do during that time period on project A. This is the most effective way to schedule your time so that you meet your goals. Be very specific with lists so that no time is wasted.

Create a Daily Action Plan

There should always be at least four or five things that you can do each day toward any future goal that you have to help you feel accomplished. Plus, having a variety of things to do each day will eliminate boredom and procrastination.

Creating a time management plan is an essential element in creating success. Most successful people live and die by their calendars. When you meet someone and wonder how in the world she does it all…  It’s probably a very thought-out and coordinated schedule that allows her to accomplish so much.

Setting Priorities for Managing Your Day and Time

One of the hardest parts of managing your day is learning how to set priorities. Occasionally, it can feel like every last thing you need to do is an emergency. However,  the truth is, there are ways to organise your time and manage the tasks. Those you need to do so that you get them finished right when they need to be done, without feeling overwhelmed or rushed.

Lets get colourful!

Why not use a colour to designate each item on my to-do list which I have evolved from a combination of using Mr. Covey’s grid technique and the Original Bullet Journal.

Purple: Needs to be done immediately

Green: Needs to be done but can take longer and needs more strategic planning

Pink: Distractions, but needed by others

Light green: Not at all important and often used in order to procrastinate

You can use these systems to create your daily to-do list by prioritising the importance and urgency of each item, you have to pick from.

So it can be as simple as doing the Purple things first. Move onto the Dark Green, next pink, and finally the light green items.

In THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centred approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity – principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. ‘Fundamentals are the key to success. Stephen Covey is the master of them. Buy his book, but most importantly, use it!’ – Anthony Robbins, author of UNLIMITED POWER.

Eliminate Urgency from Your Life

By focusing on green you can eventually lessen the purple items on your list. By learning to say no to others you can virtually eliminate the pink things, too. Finally, by getting your schedule under control the light green will eliminate itself because you won’t feel the need to procrastinate anymore.

Learn to Say No

As children, we are taught to not say no. Unfortunately, this transfers over to adulthood in a bad way, especially for females. Maybe you determine something is in the pink or light green area, you can use that to determine whether or not you should say no. If it’s something that your client wants that takes five minutes, however,  it’s not that important, you can do it. Is it something you just like to do.  You can always do it after you’ve done three purple or green tasks.

Assess Your Time Expenditures Now

Now that you have Dr Covey’s time management chart, you can go back and re-evaluate the things you are currently doing each day to find out what colour they are. Knowing their colour will help you label each thing that you do throughout the days, weeks and months ahead so that you can prioritise them.

Core Values and Goals

Finally, when you are assessing any task, make sure you label it.   In addition, ask yourself if it fits in with your core values and goals. If it does, it’s going to be in either the purple square or the green square. If it doesn’t, it’s probably in one of the other squares. As you learn to use this system it will start becoming more automatic so.  You can say yes or no faster and put your time management on auto drive.

Adjust to suit your needs

Most importantly, if you feel this could work for you, adjust the Covey Time Management Grid to yourself, or try out the bullet journalling which can we as plan and easy as you wish.  In addition, I’m a neat freak, so if you are too, you can use different colour pens, notes, comments, bolds etc.   Have fun with it and find your style!

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.  As a massive lover of bullet journaling, I’m always after hints and tips to make life easier.  If it involved pretty colours and stickers, even better!

What’s next?

I hope you found this helpful and managing your day becomes easier with some of my suggestions.

If you require some direction with you goals, head over to my post Goal Motivation and Reach for the Skies!

Don’t forget, I have a FREE Blogging Calendar which I offer to anyone that wishes to join The Organised Blogger’s Club.

So why not join The Organised Bloggers Club and you will get instant FREE access to my resource library which is only open to the club. Join now! (I add new resources every month, so don’t miss out!)

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