8 Elements of a Successful Time Management Plan
Want to be more organized? Want to get more things done each day? We have a great way to allow you to get these easily – create a time management plan.
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. Here are 8 elements to consider:
1. Be Realistic with Your Plans and Don’t go against your own internal clock when planning each day. If you know you struggle to get up in the morning, then do not schedule things in the early morning hours. In this case, figure out the time of day you are most productive, and schedule your high priority tasks during this time. However, if you are an early riser, then do your highest priority tasks first in the morning. Doing so gets your day off to a great start.
2. 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. Set a timer for a specific amount of time, and focus working on the task until the timer goes off. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish without distractions.
3. Eliminate Distractions. One of the biggest killers of any plan that you set are distractions such as television, interrupting phone calls, social media, and yes, children and spouses. 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 children and spouses the importance of not bothering you while you are working.
4. 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 you will get more done.
5. Use a Calendar and Technology. Where would we be without technology? UsingGoogle Calendar or another system synced to your phone is a great way to ensure that your calendar is always with you, up-to-date, and that you don’t forget things. You can even set reminders and alarms to help.
6. Eliminate Urgency from Your Life. This can be difficult to accept, but you must realize that 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 have a home business, plan and schedule your work. If you input family time and play time into your schedule too, that will eliminate the need for a last-minute meltdown.
7. Create and Use Lists. It is 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 and when scheduling tasks so that no time is wasted.
8. Create a Daily Action Plan. There should always be at least four or five things that you can do each day toward any of your future goals to help you feel accomplished. Plus, having a variety of things to do each day will eliminate boredom and procrastination. Review your plan first thing in the morning and then update the next day’s Action Plan at the end of each day.
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.
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To Your Success,