Creating a time management plan keeps you from wasting time. Having a plan makes every hour count, ensures that you get to work more quickly, and helps distribute your time over all the tasks that you need to do each day, week, month, and year. Creating a time management plan is an imperative if you want to be successful.
Be Realistic With Your Plans
Don’t go against your own internal clock when planning each day. If you know you struggle to get up in the morning, don’t schedule things in the early morning hours. If you can manage in the mornings if you do tasks you like first, try that.
Set Time Limits
This is especially important for both tasks you dislike and tasks you like. You always have a risk of procrastination when it comes to tasks you hate by spending too much time on tasks you like.
One of the biggest killers of any plan that you set are distractions such as television, interrupting phone calls, social media, and sometimes even family members. While nothing is ever perfect, you can eliminate most distractions by planning ahead about how to deal with them. Turn off the TV, turn off the phone, use social media only at certain times with a timer set, and explain to your family the importance of not interrupting you unnecessarily while you are working.
Differentiate Important from Non-Important Tasks
One of the hardest tasks before you when creating a time management plan is understanding what is important and what is not important. If you make it a habit to do the most important things first, you’re going to feel more accomplished and get more done.
Use a Calendar and Technology
Where would we be without technology? Using Google Calendar or another system synced to your phone is a great way to ensure that your calendar is always with you and that you don’t forget things. You can even set reminders and alarms to help.
Eliminate Urgency from Your Life
This can be difficult, but most things really aren’t urgent. If you are a service provider, stop taking last-minute work; train your clients to give you plenty of time to work tasks into your schedule. If you set an appropriate amount of family time and play time into your schedule, that will reduce the likelihood of a last-minute meltdown from others, too.
Create and Use Lists
It’s one thing to note on your calendar “work on project A,” but it’s quite another to list exactly what you are to do during that time period on project A. This is the most effective way to schedule your time so that you meet your goals. Be very specific with lists so that no time is wasted.
Create a Daily Action Plan
There should always be at least four or five things that you can do each day toward any future goal that you have to help you feel accomplished. Plus, having a variety of things to do each day will eliminate boredom and procrastination.
Creating a time management plan is an essential element in creating success. Most successful people live and die by their calendars. When you meet someone and wonder how in the world she does it all, it’s probably a very thought-out and coordinated schedule that allows her to accomplish so much.