Five Time Management Tips for Planning Your Day

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					Five Time Management Tips for Planning Your Day
It can be hard to find the time you need to do everything. Consider doing
a few key things instead of trying to do everything. To do this, start
with 5 simple ideas for managing time that include writing things down,
prioritizing tasks, reviewing appointments, blocking out time for getting
things done, and remaining flexible in your plans. Following are these
five ideas with tips to make your planning more effective.
1. Write down everything you need to do in the same tool.
Great time managers always keep a "to do" list handy for jotting down
action items, work tasks, project activities, and ideas they come to
mind. The list of tasks should be kept in a convenient location like a
notebook, a planner system, or in an electronic system. If you always
keep adding to your list, you will know what needs to be done because you
can find the list whenever you start to plan what to do each day.
2. Review your tasks and prioritize the items at the same time each day.
This can be done in the morning of the date you plan to work on the items
or in the evening of the day before for tomorrow's items. Determine
priorities for each item. Such as high or must do items for the day,
medium level items or everyday business, and low priority things that can
be put off until another time.
3. Look at your list of appointments for the day and determine which are
important to do on this day.
Plan what you need for the important appointments you need to keep, so
you will have everything ready before the appointment starts as this will
save time during the appointment. Be sure to include paper and pen for
taking notes or writing down actions. Then determine what you need to do
with appointments you can not keep, such as canceling a lunch date or
sending a substitute to a meeting.
4. Schedule blocks of time in your day to work on your to do list.
Schedule high priority items at your peak time, when you are typically
most attentive and alert. Then schedule the medium priority items in the
remaining time or after appointments. Whenever possible, schedule similar
items and errands all in the same time block. For instance plan to make
all outgoing calls in the same hour or read and respond to emails during
two small blocks of time each day. Concentrating the time spent on the
phone or with email, will actually reduce the interruptions they usually
cause when working on other key items that have been blocked for your
peak periods.
5. Allow for flexibility in your schedule. In other words, don't over
schedule yourself.
In an eight hour time period, you should only plan for 6 hours of medium
to high-priority work and appointments. This way your plan is not greatly
disrupted if an emergency or crisis situation comes up that you must
handle. If little comes up during the flex time, then you can work on
something else on your to do list that was not part of the original plan
or give yourself a few minutes of down time to unwind and reduce stress
or use the time to think creatively.
These five ideas and tips will make your planning more effective and you
should become more efficient using them as you time goes by. Remember you
can't do everything, so concentrate on doing key things by writing them
down, prioritizing tasks, reviewing appointments, blocking out time for
working on important items, and remaining flexible. You will find that
time management will become easier with time and practice.
Shirley Fine Lee has considerable training and expertise in leading
effective meetings and projects, as well as training others within the
corporate world to be able to do the same. Her book, "R.A!R.A! A Meeting
Wizard's Approach", is a much-needed guide to planning and conducting
meetings so that they are as productive, effectual, and smoothly run as
possible. Find out more about her, her books, and learning options she
provides on her website.