“Wasting time is like throwing money away…”

Good time management can bring so much more than just an organized calendar. It can give you the control and success for planning out your day. If it’s organizing your closet, kitchen or schedule, you have to find a starting point and go from there. Here are seven tips to getting organized with your time.

  1. Use a Planner: This is a helpful tool in keeping your schedule organized. Deciding what kind of planner will work best for you is important? Paper or electronic? Calendar versus binder? A few things to consider when choosing a planner is your learning style, your visual preference or the size and shape.
  2. Make a List (aka do a “Brain Dump”): Write down all of the items, tasks or appointments that need to be done. Sometimes it’s helpful to have your list in a section of your planner. During the course of your week you can continue to add to this list as needed.
  3. Break Down Tasks: Breaking down your list into categories will help when it comes time to assign time slots for each task. It’s best to code your list into helpful categories like tasks, appointments, personal or business just to name a few. As new items get added to your list you will easily know how to categorize them.
  4. When are You at Your Best? What time of day are you most productive? Knowing your energy cycle1 is a key element to knowing when to assign certain tasks. Difficult tasks should always be assigned during your high productivity time and easy tasks during your lower productivity time.
  5. . Estimating Time. Knowing how long a task will take is something you learn over time. The important thing is to estimate how long tasks will take and assign the appropriate amount of time for the task. NOTE: Things happen; we have interruptions, kids or distractions that take us away from our focus. Don’t worry about it! Accounting for those things is helpful when estimated how much time a task takes.
  6. Maintenance! In my opinion, this is the most important step in keeping up with your schedule. Scheduling regular maintenance for your calendar should be the most important appointment during your week. Usually, I recommend that this be an end of week appointment, to plan out your coming week. During your maintenance appointment, you can review your list, add new items, delete items etc. The most important thing is that you are maintaining your time!

The concept of energy cycles is taken from Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern

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