Time management is necessary today more than ever. It doesn’t matter if you are single, a mother of 1, 2 or more kids, a CEO or a student. Everyone needs to plan their day effectively to make the most out of it. Time, after all, is fleeting… once it has passed, you cannot reclaim it.
Oftentimes, due to bad planning or no planning at all, we fail to accomplish all the tasks that we need to complete in a day. We have so much wasted time that can be translated to wasted money, especially for those who are employed.
So how can you plan your day more effectively? Here are some suggestions.
- List all the things you need to accomplish for that day. You can start with the most mundane activities such as have breakfast, take a shower, get dressed, have lunch, etc and work your way from there.
- Assign a time frame or duration for each task. Depending on how detailed your list is you can go by hour or half hour intervals.
- Set priorities for each tasks. Some tasks are important than others. Write “H” (high) for tasks that need to be done immediately, “N” (normal) for tasks that can be moved to a later time during the day and “L” (low) for tasks that can be done last or moved to a further date.
- Organize your list in the order they need to be accomplished. Some tasks, even if they are of the highest priority cannot be accomplished ASAP because of other factors. For instance, it may be because the other person that will help with the task arrives after lunch or the store where you will get the supplies opens at 10am.
- Assign the tasks to different hours of the day. Together with organizing the list in step 4, assign the tasks to specific times of the day that they need to be done. This will now give you a clearer picture of how your day will go. Plus, if some tasks need you to leave your home or office, you have to factor in how long it will take you to get to your task and back.
- Use an organizer or planner – paper based or electronic. If you prefer writing down tasks and schedules use a notebook instead of a planner or calendar. These two usually don’t give you much space to write all the details you want to include. But if you want to be reminded with an alarm, an electronic organizer will do the job. Technological advancements have also made it possible for you to use your cellular phones for reminders of meetings, anniversaries and To Dos.
- Be flexible with your time. Sometimes, there are unforeseen tasks, activities or events that will derail your accomplishment of certain goals for the day. Learn the art of juggling your activities and adapting to unplanned changes.
You can either make your To Do list the evening before the next day or create a one week task list divided per day. Once you have your detailed list, refer to it during the day and as you complete your activities and tasks, mark them as done.
By planning your daily activities, you have a clearer picture of what needs to be done on a daily basis. The chances of you forgetting to do something are less than if you just wing your day. Planning allows you to use your time and those of others more effectively.