Debbie studies Time Management systems, then extracts what works for her. Tech gadgets keep her on track by offering alerts and reminders.
Managing My Time
What is Procastination?
When we procrastinate we are avoiding an action that needs to be taken. Yes, it is that simple.
I can hear it now…
- I can not find time to get it done.
- I don’t want to start something that I cannot finish right now.
- Other things keep getting in my way.
- I am just too tired.
Although these are all legitimate excuses - they are still just excuses. I am not coming down on anyone, I use the same excuses myself quite often. The fact is, any task put off is a task that is either not worth doing or it is one that needs to be completed.
I can tell you from experience that procrastination will cost you more later than it would right now. You may pay monetarily in the form of late fees or you may regret later having to choose between tasks - one that you dread and one that you really wanted to do. Time does not wait for any of us.
Time management starts here.
What is Time Management.
Time management is not that difficult, but it does require advanced thinking and staying on top of tasks that are coming up. Whether the upcoming task is imminent or in the future, it should be recorded.
Whether it is recorded on a tech device or a paper notepad the need is the same. Ultimately, the method is per your own choice as is the result you will get. What I am trying to say is, the best way to manage your time is the way that you will follow through with It.
Example of How to Set Up a Time Mangement System
Often, early on, setting up your own Time Management System is daunting and you feel overwhelmed. That is normal, so take a deep breath and just get started.
- Do a brain dump and make a list - just include both large and small tasks that will require your attention. For some of us this will include every little thing you do each day. For others, it may just require making time for monthly chores like paying bills and balancing the checking account.
- Prioritize the tasks on your list. To help do this, assign an accurate completion date to each task. You may have to rewrite the list more than once - don’t worry about it - updating and reassessment is at the center of a successful time management system.
- Break down large tasks into smaller bites - some large tasks are best split into smaller tasks. For example, if shopping is involved save time by combining the shopping with other shopping trips. Planning a party? Pick up paper plates, napkins and decorations while shopping for groceries.
- Think ahead about what you will need - I try to think ahead by including a shopping list, phone numbers and addresses to my time management system. Sometimes this step requires that I have an extra list. Again, I can hear it now - “Debbie are you kidding me. This just takes more time that I do not have.” Please let me explain.
- One common cause of procrastination is not dealing with the prerequisites. If I go to the grocery store without my shopping list, my mind goes blank as soon as I step through the grocery store door. Of course at that point I am not only going to forget what I originally came for, I will not be thinking about what I need to buy for a future task. I may be just blocks away from the hardware store where I need to buy the A\C filter, so it would be advantageous to add an extra stop to my current shopping trip.
- Paying attention to these steps will train your brain to think ahead, with the benefit of creating positive habits in as little as 30 days! You will realize along the way, that you need to have your lists and your chosen form of your time management system at your fingertips at all times. Why expend the energy to remember things that are already recorded?
Paper or Tech - Maybe Both
Actually there is not an answer to whether Paper or Tech is better to organize your Time Management System. That is your choice and only you know your own preferences and habits. I have used both in the past and although I prefer tech I continue to supplement my Tech with paper.
- When in a rush, I will often grab a piece of paper and jot down what I am thinking. I then add that thought into my iPhone - which in turn automatically copies it to my iPad as well as to my MacBook.
- I add upcoming projects at the end of my iPhone shopping list. This may seem odd, but since I use my shopping list almost everyday, I am also reminded of upcoming projects.
- To save time when necessary, I will take a picture of my paper planning so that I have my information on the go. Using my iPhone allows me to plug in the new information wherever it fits best into my overall plan.
You may prefer paper to organize your Time Management System. For years I carried a Day Planner. My life was in that planner and In reality it was as much of a Diary as it was a planner. I understand the comfort and satisfaction of writing things down And then checking off completed tasks.
- If you prefer paper, it is best to use a version of a 3 ring binder. As you change your mind, regardless of the reason, you can easily move the pages to fit your plan and circumstances.
- The paper planner pages are a wealth of history. Go back in time to remember how you accomplished something important, the timing of a particular event or an acquaintance‘s name and where and why you know them.
- Binders full of paper are bulky and often hard to keep at your fingertips. You may feel that you do not need all of your system with you at all times - but you will eventually be caught off guard and will need what you do not have.
Your Time Management System is Personal - It will Become More
Time Management is not just a buzz phrase. Without it life can become chaotic for you and those around you. Although it may not be your responsibility to stay organized for anyone except yourself, life does not work that way.
The good news is that once you have control over your responsibilities, wants and needs, it becomes easier to delegate some tasks to others. They may procrastinate - you will recognize it - you will teach them how to overcome the habit,
Stay tuned - more detailed articles are coming. My intention is to peak your interest in managing your time and to give you a few reasons and ideas to get started.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you will leave comments and ask questions.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Debbie Cook