Using Time Management Strategies

Using Time Management Strategies

Building time management strategies is similar to planning a budget.

Just as the goal of a budget is to put you in control of your money.

Your goal in time management is to regain control of your time.

The first step in forming time management strategies is to analyze how you spend your time.

For one week create a list of everything you do and the approximate time it takes you to do it.

At the end of the week…

You will see how you “spent” most of your time.

Now it’s time to plan.
Time to Plan

We are creatures of habit and chances are you will find that you stick to some sort of daily routine.

Examine your routine and determine where you can make changes.

Include all of your daily tasks…

Schedule your tasks at their usual times and allowing ample time to complete them.

If you are normally five minutes late then schedule your time so that you are able to leave ten minutes earlier.

This may mean first starting your day 15 minutes earlier…

But effective time management strategies will soon put you back in control of time that used to fall through the cracks.

Frequently time management brings a picture to mind of a daily planner with every minute plotted from the time your alarm clock sounds until the time you crawl into bed.

However, time management experts suggest that you planning only 50% of your time leaves you time to relax as well as time to cope with the unexpected.

Create a to Do List
To Do List

After you’ve analyzed your time then begin planning by creating a to Do List for tomorrow.

Divide your list into 3 steps.

Today’s schedule or high priority activities that you must complete today.

Be sure to include personal appointments and social obligations like doctor’s appointments.

Just as important are activities like promised family outings or playtimes with children.

Tasks with a deadline beyond today such as, tomorrow, this week, this month, etc.

When I get around to it. Such as, clean out the garage, the closets, etc.

Your first response may be to put all small projects in the first category but remember the first part of your list is for things you need to accomplish.

You will also optimize your time by including some small projects in number two or number three.

Secondly, prioritize each of the three sections of your To Do List

Listing items first by deadline such as, needs to be done in the a.m., in the p.m. or exact time or date.

List your tasks in 3 steps by their order of importance.

Step 1: Today’s Schedule
Today’s Schedule

Start planning your day using your routine as a guide.

Pencil in times for Step 1 tasks and making sure you give each one a generous block of time.

If you estimate a job will take 15 minutes, then give yourself half an hour to complete it.

If you estimate it will take an hour, then give yourself an hour and a half.

If “today’s tasks” are few, then fill in the rest of your day with Step 2 tasks.

Be flexible when scheduling your task.

As you work through your daily plan and if you finish a task ahead of schedule…

Either move on to your next scheduled task or work on part of an unscheduled Step 2 tasks.

If a routine break is the next thing on your schedule, then reward yourself with an early break.

Still allowing only the normal amount of time to give yourself an early start on your next task.

Also, take advantage of multi-task opportunities.

Work on a page of Friday’s report while today’s report is printing.

Refill your coffee cup when you pick up the mail from the mailbox.

Fold a load of laundry while the dishes are washing.

When new things “crop up”, you can either put them in a free block of time or add them to part two or part three of your list.

Also, remember to leave 10 or 15 minutes at the end of your schedule to make a to Do List for tomorrow.

Step 2: Tasks with a Deadline

Whenever possible, split up task with a deadline.

For instance, laundry needs to be done this week, but you can divide it into loads and finish it over several days.

At work, long reports can be broken into pages.

If you finish a task from today’s schedule with time to spare, then use the “extra time” to complete part of a Step 2 tasks.

Throw tonight’s load of laundry into the washer or work on a page of the report that’s due on Friday.

Cross off any parts of finished tasks to avoid repetition and to help you see what you have accomplished as well as to stay focused on what you have left to do.

Step 3: When I Get Around To-It
Get a Round To-It

As you did with Tasks with a Deadline, divide larger tasks into smaller tasks whenever you can.

Just like you might want to detail the inside of your vehicle.

Washing windows, console, dash, cleaning the steering wheel, upholstery and carpets can all be done individually.

You may want to schedule a Step 3 tasks or part of one into your day.

When you become more organized.

You will be hanging “when I get around to-its” on the wall like awards.

Especially if you take advantage of your time management strategies.

Tools for Time Management
Tools for Time Management

OneNote – This ultimate note taker that is part of Microsoft Office 2010 which allows you to keep organized virtual folders to file away your notes.

OneNote is particularly useful when you are collecting a massive amount of research and data.

Its drag and drop function makes it very easy to stay organized.

RescueTime – This tool runs with your Windows or Mac to watch and record how long you spend on each application or activity as you go.

It also generates an analysis of how you are using your time to help you plan more effectively for the next week.

MindMeister – This cloud-based productivity tool lets you customize an easy-to-revise virtual mind map.

MindMeister is best for visual people because it’s focused on goals rather than lists and orders.

And you can easily collaborate with others with a task and even via mobile. – While MindMeister is ideal for visual folks.—as the name suggests is a great resource for those who prefer lists.

But it’s not your ordinary to-do list…

It’s highly engaging and makes it easier to receive crowd sourced feedback.

StayFocusd – Download this Google Chrome extension to block your biggest time-wasting sites.

It works like a timer and asks you to set the maximum time you want to waste on your customized time-killer sites before they are blocked.

My next blog will be on Tips on Effective Time Management

Read my latest blog on So You Need Time Management Techniques

A good blog to read from HoffingPost: Stop Playing the Victim With Your Time Management and Empower Yourself

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

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