Since February is National Time Management Month, I’m going to share my top 7 time management tips. As a professional organizer, I help people organize their lives in various ways. One aspect that is almost always addressed with my clients is managing time to de-clutter, sort mail, and maintain order in their homes and offices. If you apply even a few of these tips, you will be well on your path to managing your time effectively.
- Find a calendar system that works for you. This will help you to keep track of appointments and meetings, and to plan your days, weeks, and months efficiently.
- Set reminders on your calendar for important events including appointments, birthdays, and financial deadlines. You can use electronic applications/software, paper-based planners, or both systems.
- Make lists and organize them thematically. Separate lists based on categories such as things to do, things to purchase, people to contact, recipes to try, etc. Transfer tasks from email, post-it notes, voicemails and texts to each list to keep track of them. Software services such as Evernote and Springpad are great resources that can be used for this purpose.
- Have 2-3 highest priority tasks to accomplish each day. Many people often fall into the trap of getting caught up in unimportant activities. Being clear about your priorities and acting on them will make a tremendous difference in your overall productivity.
- Establish a daily power session. Pareto Law, better known as the “20/80 Rule,” indicates that we typically accomplish 80% of our results through just 20% of our effort. If you take advantage of that vital 20% of your day, you can maximize the results of your effort.
- Set up weekly routines on the same day (laundry, grocery shopping etc). Consistency is the key to creating highly effective habits. If you can establish solid routines in your schedule, you will master your productivity.
- Schedule at least one weekly retreat from work. Do something you really love to do at some point each week. This way you can look forward to it all week, and it will boost your motivation. Some major benefits of this is that you can lower your stress levels and it will prevent burn out when you practice self-care. Who doesn’t want less stress and more energy in their life? As the organizing icon, Julie Morgenstern, recommends: “Fill your schedule with things that are relevant and vibrant, those which energize, fuel, and inspire who you are and where you are going.”
Mastering your time is not an easy task, but it will become easier the more you practice implementing techniques that work for you!