Tag Archive: calendar


After you create and prioritize your to-do list, it’s time to utilize it.
since your list only has the important things on it, and it’s prioritized, you can easily move through your list based upon the priority of each item on it.

Start with your top priority items (A) and work your way through the tasks on your list in order of priority.  Two key things to remember are to place something into your calendar if it takes longer than 15 minutes to complete, and don’t have more than 2 top priorities each day.  Cross off items as you complete them.

If something happens during the course of a day and some things don’t get done, move them to an appropriate day for completion.  It’s important to spend time each day planning your to-do items for the next day.  Just a quick 5-10 minutes at the end of each day will set you up for the following day so that you’re ready to roll.

Whether you’re using paper lists or electronic, the habits are the same.  If your time management personality is a fit for electronic tools, you can use a to-do list associated with the electronic time management tool you use or there are online tools that will support you as well.  Three of the most popular right now are:

  • Wunderlist-available on almost every platform—windows, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac
  • Tooledo-pretty much does what a SmartPhone would already do, but it’s good for sharing information if the usual computer sync isn’t right for your situation.  It can be used with BlackBerry, Mac OS, or Android
  • 2Do-runs on both iPhone and iPad

If you’re looking for an electronic to-do list, try one of these or the host of others that are available online.

Being organized means more than just having an organized space that supports you.  It means that your time is organized well too.  A well organized space has a place for everything, everything in its easily retrievable place and systems that keep you on point and organized.

The example that I like to use to illustrate what I mean by that is a well organized closet.  Think about an empty closet.  Within it you have a limited amount of space to place your items.  You have at least one rack to fill and shelves as well.  Each hanger on the rack can hang a specific item.  If it’s overloaded, it’s likely that something is going to fall off of the hanger.  Additionally, only a set number of hangers are going to fit on each rack.  To better store items and maximize space you might even consider adding boxes or other storage containers which also have limited space.

Organizing time is like organizing space.  Each day is a container; a storage unit that has a definite capacity.  Just as you have a limited amount of space in your closet, you have a limited number of hours in every day.  What are you doing with the items you add to your calendar?  Are you randomly jamming them into your day at any available point in time like you might jam items into your closet?

Obviously, this is not the way you want to organize your calendar.  You want to strategically place items into specific slots of time just as you would want to place items into your closet in a way that they are easily visible and easily accessible.

When you go to add something to your calendar, stop for a moment and think about where it logically fits.  Are you getting ready to place it into a slot that allows you enough time to finish it, or are you getting ready to place it on top of something else simply because you don’t know where to place it or don’t have anywhere else to place it.  If your calendar is that jammed, it’s time for a complete overhaul.  Make the time to reorganize your calendar like you would reorganize your closet.  Look at everything that you have on hand as well as the time that you have available (the space) to get things done.  Are there things that you can get rid of or delegate?  Are there things that no longer fit?  Once you’re done reviewing everything, only place the remaining items on your calendar and organize them just as you would a closet.  Additionally, be realistic about the amount of time that things are going to take you to complete.  Don’t just shove things into your calendar, place things where they fit.  If they don’t fit, find an appropriate place for them.  Doing so has you respect your time.

In your endeavors to manage your time you may have already chosen a tool to help you manage your time and it didn’t work for you.  You’re not by yourself; this happens all of the time.  Years ago, a friend purchased the latest and greatest  Palm Pilot and started to implement its use instead of using her paper planner.  She absolutely hated the Palm.  Now, understand it wasn’t the tool; it performed perfectly well.  The problem was that it wasn’t the tool for her.  It didn’t fit her time management personality.  Which is why when she went back to using her paper planner, things were just fine.

People make the mistake of choosing a time management tool without knowing their time management personality.  Choosing a tool that fits your personality is key in effectively managing your time.  Discovering your time management personality will lead you to understanding what type of tool is right for you.  In the next couple of posts I’m going to share information on the various tools and the benefits of each.

If you discover that paper tools fit your time management personality or a then you have paper time management tools to choose from.  Planners such as the Franklin Covey planner, Day Timer, Day Runner and other planners as well as the option of wall and desk calendars.  If paper tools are your perfect fit, I let me just say that I highly recommend Franklin Covey.   Their planner is the most detailed and efficient, with a system for managing your time.

You might choose one of these or even a desk or wall calendar as your tool.  All can be purchased from your local office supply-yes, even Franklin Covey has their planners available in local office supply stores or you can visit the Franklin Covey store if there’s one near you or visit their website.  They allow you to design your own planner step by step to include what you need and there are also software options available.  All three give you a range of binders and accessories to choose from which lets you personalize your planner.

Paper options have the advantage of no system to learn, and by no system I mean computerized system.  It’s natural so you’re not charging or replacing batteries, you can easily flip through the pages and store the old pages for future reference.  On the other hand, some say it’s not easy to find things quickly as with an electronic tool, but when your personality is a fit for a paper tool, this isn’t an issue for you because you tend to remember where on a page you wrote something.

Paper tools can be bulky, but using the binder storage can lighten your load.  One downside is that there’s no way to back them up and others can’t access it so easily since you would be carrying it with you, so anyone needing access to your planner would only have access to it while you were in the office.  One word about desk and wall calendars.  These tools are helpful, but they aren’t portable.  If you are away at a meeting you don’t have your calendar with you for reference if you should need it.

Next up, I’ll share some information about digital tools.  If you have a tool that’s not working for you, it’s possible that the tool doesn’t fit your time management personality.  If you’d like to take the steps to discover your time management personality, I invite you to check out my Personalizing Time Management audio series.  This series will walk you through the steps and will also teach you the other elements of a solid time management system, how to set it up and maintain it.

How many times have you heard “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”?  Believe it or not, it’s true.  Planning is essential to your day-to-day and overall success and it has to be a part of your regular time management routine.  If it’s not, it’s time to implement it now.

Planning is a must-have part of any good time management system and in addition to your annual and other quarterly planning should be done on a weekly and daily basis.  You start by laying out your plan for the year and completing all of the details for carrying everything out.  This is your big picture.  Once that’s all set, the smaller pieces move to your daily to-do tasks.  Each week, look ahead to the next to see what’s on your calendar, then determine what smaller pieces items from your larger list need to go onto your daily to-do list and into your calendar to complete.  You might have items from the previous week that didn’t get completed or that might need some additional work, so consider those things too as you plan your week ahead.

At the beginning of each day, or at the end of the day prior, look at the day before you to see what’s on your agenda for the day.  If something needs to be rescheduled or moved, then do so keeping the big picture in mind at all times.  Regular planning will save you a tremendous amount of time in executing your steps and will keep you on track with and carrying out the steps to fulfilling the big picture.

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