How Do You Organize Your Day?
Time management, done the smart way, can make your days so much easier!
Most of us start our days with a list of to-dos, but with no real organization to it. We write things down as we think of them on the nearest sheet of paper. Then we either do them in the order we wrote them, or choose the easiest ones first.
We might get things done, but are we being productive?
And could we be even more productive, with some changes to the way we do things?
I think so. I think that there’s always a way to be more productive with your time.
Time management that starts with planning can help you get more done faster.
Actually, I’m sure there are a few smarter ways, but I’ve developed a system that works for me and I think it’s worth sharing.
I Needed A Better Way
Let’s get something out of the way right off the bat.
I have ADHD. You won’t hear me talk about it much here. I mention it because people with ADHD have lots of problems with time management. We forget, we have poor short term memory, and we experience time differently than people who don’t have it.
I tell you this because it’s the reason that I developed my system because I had to. Otherwise, I would have spent the rest of my life showing up for appointments on the wrong week and inviting people to dinner when there was literally nothing in the house to eat. Did I mention it was Christmas dinner for 10?
So I developed a time management system to help me plan my days, and do it the smart way. It’s made a real, positive difference in my life.
While you may not be as challenged as I am when it comes to time and planning, we can all use (or at least try) something new to see if it improves on what we’ve been doing.
There are six key components to my time management system, which sounds like a lot, but really isn’t, because you won’t be putting them to work all at once.
That’s actually a part of the system – small steps. Start out by taking small steps towards your goal.
For instance, do you use a planner? And if you do, are you using it regularly?
A planner is another part of my system, but you could easily get lost just trying to find one that works for you. So, you could do what I started out doing – I got a spiral notebook. I used a plain one like the kids use at school, and I dedicated a page to each day. Nothing formal. Each day, I just turned the page and listed what needed to be done.
Getting into the habit of doing something like consulting a planner or a list every day is part of my system too. Develop some good habits to help you stay on track, but slowly. One thing at a time.
I’ve also added things like time blocking and learning to prioritize (that was a hard one for me). Also, it’s important to learn when you’re done for the day.
How I Got There
This is a system that I developed over the years to help me manage my time in whatever season I was in.
I’ve been a stay at home mom, a working mom – both part time and full time, and I’ve raised 3 children. They were all involved in activities – travel hockey for my son; Girl Scouts, dance, and figure skating for my girls. And of course, I was the Troop Leader and Team Manager for the figure skating team. Oh, and let’s not forget volunteering to wash 16 stinky hockey jerseys every week!
You know how that is. I’m sure you’re just as busy in your own way.
Here’s the thing: when I get angry or aggravated enough, I look for solutions. And I can research, read, learn, and apply forever.
Plus I have a background in business and a husband with a great deal of knowledge about engineering. You can learn a lot about good time management, productivity, and planning from engineers and manufacturing companies.
I can take cues from them and learn to apply them to my life, and I can share that with you, too.
Time Management Basics
Everyone will be different and have a different place to begin, depending on what you already do.
I think having one place to keep track of everything is vital. And taking small steps. That’s Kaizen in manufacturing, and it’s actually a very cool concept. I’ll write more about it sometime.
Then start building habits. Attaching a new habit to an old one is the easiest way to make it stick. So maybe if you have a cup of coffee each morning (or tea, in my case), bring out your planner and go over it while you enjoy your coffee.
After that, learning to prioritize is probably a good idea. Again, another post in detail. You want to do what’s urgent and important first.
Then you can work on time blocking – batching like tasks together to save time. For instance, choosing all of your outfits for the week at one time, or chopping all of your vegetables for the week’s dinners at once. Efficiency.
And then, kind of tied to prioritizing is learning when the day is over. 3 tasks a day is plenty, and make sure they are the 3 most important ones. Speaking of important tasks, they should be ones that help you work towards your goals.
There are so many more ideas and things that you could try and implement! I could just go on and on! Which, of course, is why I started this blog.
I’ve put together a 5-day mini course that gives you a closer look at my system and shows you how to put it to work for you.
Just fill out the form below. You’ll get my course by email over the next 5 days, and then an email once a week with more time management and productivity tips. It’s free, you get access to the Library with more freebies, and you can cancel at any time.