HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME
Ever since I remember I have always loved to plan my time. I live with a calendar in my hand writing down things to do and crossing out what’s done. Sometimes I feel lost among all those lists and schedules. Once in a while I am short on breath feeling trapped and overwhelmed. I don’t want to think about things I have to do next week, tomorrow or during next hour. Sometimes I just want to leave it all behind and forget it all. I wish I had no tasks, nothing on my to do list.
Life, however, is all about tasks and things to do. Some of them are simple like getting groceries or making a laundry. And some of them are really difficult like a big assignment in work or an unpleasant conversation. There are plenty of those. Sometime it is hard not to get lost among all the things you have to do. How not to go crazy, when things get crazy?
Don’t get me wrong. I love to plan everything. I like this feeling when I can cross out some points on my to do list every evening. When I go to sleep, I know I didn’t forget about anything important. I know that next day there will be no surprises because I forgot to do something. I know I won’t wake up thinking “oh no, I should have done it yesterday…!” Planning my time makes me feel in control of my life. I am aware that to some point it is an illusion, because something unexpected can still happen. But it helps me keep my life in order.
Every person is unique and need different work environment. Some people like creative chaos. But that’s not for me. I like being reliable and dependable person. I like seeing clearly what’s ahead of me and what’s behind me and I don’t want to miss anything important in my life.
What do I do? I use a calendar on my computer, note-taking app on my phone and I keep my beloved Moleskine in my bag. I use each of them for a different purpose. In my phone and notebook I take quick notes like shopping lists, meeting etc. I use my computer mainly to plan my work.
1. How to plan your time?
Planning your time is a matter of habit. It might be difficult at the very beginning but you will get used to it eventually. Make a to do list every day. In the evening cross out what you have already accomplished. If there are some important things to do, you still have few hours. If there are some less important things to do you can reschedule for tomorrow.
2. How to manage your time?
As soon as you schedule some meeting or appointment, put it in your calendar right away. Doing so you wouldn’t forget anything important. You won’t be surprised by a call from your doctor asking you “where are you? You had an appointment scheduled for today”. Try managing your time in a long term perspective. Use two kinds of pens. For example, you can mark important things green and less important blue.
3. Not everything at once.
Avoid overloading your calendar. It is a hard thing to do but try keeping your schedule real. Even if you are always punctual, someone else might be not. For example someone is an hour late for meeting with you. If your schedule is too busy, you fail to do everything you have planned. Make some space in your calendar for unexpected events.
4. Reassess your list.
Making schedules is a tool to manage your time better. It is supposed to be helpful. It should not limit you or make you even more stressed. You need to find out what works for you. Look for something that fits you and your lifestyle. Maybe using highlighters and yellow sticks works for you while taking notes and using calendar don’t. Maybe your schedule is over detailed or maybe it is too vague? Think about it.
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