These are my 6 best ways to help you can feel more organized about your life with time management: 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines If you only change one way you manage your time in order to feel more organized, the most important way is to get enough sleep! That’s right, getting an adequate amount of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis is the most foundational time management habit you can create and maintain. Why? Just think about how you feel and function when you don’t! Inadequate and irregular sleep negatively affects your concentration, mood, physical energy and decision making. It’s a well known fact that Americans are sleep-deprived. Make it your goal to establish a consistent sleep routine and observe how it changes your organization and productivity at work and at home. Set your intention to do these 3 things for at least 2-3 weeks: Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. Allow yourself 20-30 minutes before you go to sleep for calming. No more television, email, etc. Just read something soothing, listen to calming music, or stretch and practice breathing mindfully. Notice any difference in the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. Observe any difference in your energy level and concentration throughout the day. See if you feel more organized and efficient, less harried and more in control. Post your comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page.
Do you feel more organized when you have enough time to get the things that you want and need to do? Here are my 6 surefire ways to feel more organized using time management as an organizing tool: 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines It may sound strange but stop working and take a break! Scheduling regular breaks can improve your overall productivity, help you to refocus, and feel more energized. There are lots of ways to take breaks, for instance: Move – get up from your desk, stretch, take a walk. Nourish – hydrate, eat healthy snacks. Reward yourself – after 60-90 minutes of sustained work do something fun for 10 minutes such as call a friend, play your favorite online game, work on a crossword puzzle. Here is an article with more ideas about why taking breaks is part of your time management and productivity plan: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/youve-been-taking-breaks-_n_4453448.html Post your comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page Follow @DeniseOrganizer on Twitter and tweet your comment, or Email me: email@example.com
Here are my 6 ways for you to feel more organized with time management strategies that really work! 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines Trash your to-do list: Schedule all of your to-do list items for a specific day and time. If you are a list maker like many of us this probably sounds like a ridiculous idea. I’ve heard some of the initial objections, “But I like seeing my list.” “But I like checking things off of my to-do list.” “But it feels so good when I finish something and I can draw a line through it.” “But if I don’t have a to-do list I’ll forget to do it.” That’s a lot of buts! So let’s pretend that I’m working with you. Imagine that I am asking you these gentle, guiding questions: • How does seeing your list of things to do make you feel? • Would you feel better if you knew that you had the time set aside for each of your to-do’s? • Is it possible to check off the to-do’s on your planner? Can you cross them off, too? Would that feel similar to doing it with your list (or better)? • Would reviewing your planner on a regular basis allow you to see your scheduled to-do’s at a glance? • Is your to-do list currently working for you and meeting your needs? That is, is the ongoing, never-ending list helping you actually get things done? I would like to challenge you to try scheduling 2-3 of the to-do items from your list into your planner. Cross them off the list and assign them a “home”, that is, a specific day and realistic amount of time to… read more →
If you are like other “solo-preneurs” then you probably struggle with how to improve your time management on any given day. How do you balance your work life and personal life? Your weekly planner doesn’t know the difference between the two! I love this quote and truism from David Hassell: “The key is to intentionally focus on what you want, instead of constantly focusing on how much time you don’t have.” How many times a day do you think or hear yourself say, “I don’t have enough time.”? We all have the same amount of time, so what if you could use a system for improving the way that you are managing your time? How would you feel if you used a system that helped you to: • Have enough time for what is really important? • Be productive and prosperous with your time and energy? • Feel more focused (less stressed)? Identifying your available time This step begins with accounting for how much time you actually have available; from the time you awaken, until the time you go to sleep. Organizing your time means sorting your activities, meetings, appointments, responsibilities, and your to-do items into categories or containers of time. This next important step is the key to improving how to manage your time – consistently use the tools that support your decisions about what goes into your planner. Identifying your priorities It begins with being able to honestly identify your priorities, the things that require your time, focus, and energy. Find the right professional who can help you sort this out and clarify your priorities. Put your priorities in writing. That means, write them by hand in a notebook or journal that you can keep handy and refer to on a regular basis. Identifying your optimal time management… read more →
The point of managing your time isn’t actually to fill the space in your schedule with more things to get done. Creating space in your day or week is about making room for what is important. What are the things, activities, and people (including yourself) that keep moving to the bottom of the list? What is missing that is important and would nurture your well-being that you never seem to have time for? Last two questions for now: why is that? If you don’t make yourself a priority then who will? If you are not rested, cared for and healthy how will you handle your responsibilities? Common complaint number one, “I don’t have enough time to (fill in the blank).” Reality check: you have the same time as everyone else, 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s all about choices because everything is a choice even when it doesn’t feel like it, except maybe death! But let’s not go there. Let’s look at tools to help you make informed and intentional choices. The first tool is the weekly audit. How are you actually using your time? Are you responding to crises? Are you check your email every ten minutes? Are you often trying to find important things and frustrated because you feel like you are losing valuable time? Another reality check: all time is valuable. Time is a lot like space in that you can choose what to put into both your calendar and your spaces. What is critically different though is that you can reclaim space, but you can never get lost time back. Be intentional, purposeful, recognize that not only do you have a choice about how you spend your time, but you also have a choice about what you choose not to do with it. What is… read more →
As a Professional Organizer I get calls for help about tackling hard projects…piles of paper, objects, photos, and even items cluttering the email inbox. It’s not a question of whether or not it needs to be organized. It’s a matter of how and when. With help from a professional and time dedicated to the project, it becomes manageable. Make any organizing project manageable by breaking it down into smaller mini-projects. Then tackle it every Tuesday, for instance! TIP: Organizing and maintaining on a regular basis is worth the time.
There are so many ways to keep your calendar…paper, digital devices, your computer. What’s most important is not what you use, but that you have a system and use it consistently. Let’s get real… Are you skilled in prioritizing? Do you over-schedule yourself? Do things take longer than you anticipate? Time management know-how includes: Scheduling everything that requires your time. Tip: avoid lengthy to-do lists that have no assigned day/time for items. Setting boundaries and doing what is important. Tip: notice when you procrastinate and do less important things. Time estimation skills. Tip: use a timer to learn how long it takes you to do routine tasks. You don’t need to struggle or be self critical. Empower yourself and get help from a specialist, a trained professional Time Management Coach/Professional Organizer. Establish a system, use it, evaluate it, and just like space organizing, review and revise! Manage Your Time
It’s not uncommon when someone calls me and says that they spent a lot of time organizing and clearing out their space and within a short amount of time, the sense of being disorganized returns. I call that “yo-yo organizing”! How frustrating when you set aside time, sort things, purge items, buy bins and containers, and then wonder what did you do wrong? Okay, take a deep breath and realize that you probably didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe it’s time to put away the yo-yo, and try something different. Here are 3 strategies to consider today: Create a systems approach – a regular schedule of organizing tasks to keep you maintained. This is more realistic than binge organizing! Hire a Professional Organizer, and Time Management Coach to be your Accountability Partner. Reward yourself for a task well done!
Get rid of my to-do list?? That’s crazy! Not really, if you think about an actual to-do list it means that each item requires your action and your time. This does not include a shopping list with items to purchase, or ideas for your next book. Typically, the items on a to-do list start with a verb: write call email visit Look at your current list(s) and notes. Decide which items meet the criteria for a to-do list. The Outside In approach is to create your “optimal habit” and begin to schedule every item on your to-do list into your weekly planner. Be realistic about when it is due and how much time it will take. Once you get into this habit you will see your planner as your to-do list and be able to check each item off with ease.
1. Transition time between activities and meetings. 2. Adequate time to commute to and from meetings. 3. Specific time to review your schedule, upcoming meetings, deadlines, etc. 4. Uninterrupted time to create, write, read, plan. 5. Flexible time for unanticipated situations. 6. Boundaries in your schedule that are obvious to those you live and work with. If you are not comfortable organizing your time, I can help you do this. The consequences of not organizing your time are too great to accept.