Here are 5 ideas to strongly consider (or reinforce if you already use them) into your time management. They will make you more productive and maximize your minutes.
1. When You Think It Ink It – We live in an overloaded and stimulating world. Our brains can no longer remember everything since there is so much information available to us. We need a strategy to get our ideas out of our head and onto paper. This becomes our “extended memory” and is critical if we truly want to remember to do things or have brilliant ideas.
2. Plot Your Planner – Now that all your great thoughts and tasks are on paper, you need a planner to plot how you are going to accomplish them. Peruse the planner aisle at your local office supply store or search online for the type of planner (not calendar, not checklist but a tool that will house your appointments, tasks and goals all in one place). Treat this book as your morning and evening news with check-ins throughout your day to ensure you are “checking things off your list”.
3. Schedule the Unscheduled – Once you have habitualized your planner, make sure you are scheduling the unscheduled. All those things you often neglect to do because they are not priorities like filing, meals with old friends, putting your cd’s into your iTunes library etc. A great question to ask yourself is “If not now, when?” Then decide when and schedule it in your planner.
4. Tickle Your Brain – This is an awesome productivity tool that has gone by the wayside. It’s a filing system consisting of 43 folders; 1-31 for the current dates of this month and then 12 more for the months of the year. The way it works is you place the papers into the date of the day you want to take action on that paper. If it is longer than a month out, you put the papers into the month you want to work on that task or see that paper again. As each month passes, you set up the new month for yourself. Check these files daily to be reminded of what you wanted to do. Of course, you should also write down these To Do’s in you planner too.
5. No Screen Sucking – If you truly want to add more time into your day than you need to manage your electronic viewing. Think of every screen you look at whether TV, computer or phone and decide what your boundary will be when on that technology. Exactly how much time are you going to spend on that machine? Try batching the necessities such as emails, phone calls, research and texting.