Wanna know my #1 time management tip?

Time Management TipI love helping my clients spend more of their time doing what they want to, and less of it doing what they have to!

I give them lots of time tips (well, I actually coach them through a whole customized program), such as:

 

(Hmmm…. It appears that I have just identified a few new blog post topics!)

But there’s something that, if you did none of these other things, would help you become more productive and less stressed.

One thing that you can do to ensure that something actually gets done.

So, what is my #1 best time management tip?

Schedule it.

On your calendar.

All of it.

You are worth making appointments with!

Most people schedule appointments such as business meetings, doctor visits, and kids’ soccer practices so they won’t forget. They realize how important it is to keep appointments with other people.

But hardly anyone schedules appointments with themselves. And why not? Are you not worth making regular appointments with? Are you waiting for “spare time”? Or for “someday” to arrive?

There’s no activity you can’t schedule. You can schedule exercise and housework; hobby time and project time; family time and time to relax and do nothing at all.

How to reverse engineer a project:

When it comes to tasks, scheduling them can help you to ensure that a multi-part project gets done on time. Some people call it reverse engineering. All it means (in the context of time management) is planning. When it comes to a project with a deadline, or a target goal date, it’s helpful to start with the target date and work backwards.

Let’s say you are planning a party.

What day is the party? How soon before that day do you need to mail the invitations (or make the phone calls)? Which days, prior to having company, would be best for cleaning house and shopping for groceries (or calling the caterer)? What else do you need to do? What can you delegate? If you haven’t scheduled these tasks on your calendar, they will just be sitting on your to-do list, nagging at you. You will be hoping they’ll get done, and wondering when they’ll get done, and stressed about the possibility of their not getting done. On the other hand, if you know that all the tasks are scheduled, and you find yourself with a free moment — don’t over-schedule yourself! — you can relax knowing everything has been taken into account.

What if you don’t feel like it?

If the time comes for a particular task that you have scheduled, and you just don’t feel like doing it, or if something comes up and you really can’t do it, that’s OK. Your schedule is a tool, not a slave driver. You’re still in control and you can always reschedule. (Note: This only works if you’ve left a little wiggle room and haven’t planned to do it at the very last minute.) But if it’s scheduled – on your calendar, not just in your brain — it’s less likely that you will forget that you wanted, or needed, to do it.

Do you really have to schedule everything?

Well….it would be tedious to write down every single thing you do in a day, including brushing your teeth and making your bed. But why not create a Morning Routine, figure out how long it takes you, and schedule your Morning Routine on your calendar? (This, of course, can apply to any routine.)

What do you think?

Do you schedule tasks and make appointments with yourself?

Do you reverse engineer your projects?

Please share in the comments below!

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Copyright 2016 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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Comments

  1. Like probably most people who run home-based businesses, I can always find work to do, and I actually had to start scheduling time for my hobbies. Otherwise, if I didn’t have plans on the weekend, I’d automatically start working. I still do some work on some weekends, but when I do, it’s because I’ve made a conscious decision to deal with something pressing and not because it was the first thing that popped into my head.

  2. I love how putting all of your tasks and activities on a calendar clears up your mind. You don’t have to worry about forgetting what you intended to do! I also keep track of books I am reading on my calendar. Plus I like seeing that I really did clean my house!!

  3. What gets scheduled gets done! Love the tips and ideas in this post Hazel! I hope you’ll use some of those ideas you mentioned to share more time & productivity tips – great post!

  4. My tasks show on my electronic calendar thanks to Wunderlist, but I can’t schedule a specific time. I don’t think. I need to do some research now. I think I will make better use of reminders to get specific items done at certain times. Great Post. I also love the idea of a not-to-do list.

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