Time management simply means making decisions about how to spend the 24 hours that you are given each day. The basic idea is to balance work and play. Too much work and you get burned out. Too much play and you don’t eat.
The first thing a good manager does is determine the current situation and decide what to change. So sit down and write out your typical daily schedule. It may be hard to be honest with yourself, but really try to map out how you currently spend your time.
Next decide what you would like to change about your schedule. Do you want to get more done, or do you need to get less done and smell the roses? You will set up an “ideal” schedule based on your decision. Don’t worry about ever achieving this ideal schedule. Life just won’t let you do it, but you can come close.
Next you will need to decide some little things you might change in your schedule. For example, if you are trying to get more done maybe you are being distracted too often? If so, you will want to do things to knock out the distractions. Close your door, turn off the ringer on the phone, etc.
On the other hand if you want to take time to smell the roses you will want to set limits on your work. Maybe you need to set an alarm that will go off when it’s time to quit. Maybe you can have a friend call you and remind you to take a break. Also, get the thought out of your head that ALL the work needs to get done NOW. Believe me, the work will still be there tomorrow.
After you have set your ideal schedule and tried some simple changes to achieve it you will need to check your progress. This is best done at bedtime. Just get your date book or planner out and take a look at your day. Did you move in the right direction? If you did, congratulate yourself! If not, then what happened? Was it things you had no control over, or did you let old habits take over? Be honest with yourself and try again tomorrow.
Using this basic routine you can create the time management habits you want in no time at all. It’s simple and it works.