Writing a Time Management Plan: 7 Essential Points
This week’s article is kindly written by Jessica Fender. Thank you, Jessica for writing this for me.
Time management is one of the most valuable skills today. We live in a fast-paced world where our goals are our daily engines. Whether you’re a businesswoman, a single dad, or a student, you need to learn how to manage your time efficiently and find the right balance between your work, family, self-care time, and social life. While it is a challenge for most people, it’s made easier when you have a written time management plan.
Writing a time management plan is all about making it easy on yourself. You’ll use it to find daily focus and avoid feeling lost or overwhelmed at any moment. If you want to learn how to write your own time management plan, just keep reading.
Here are the 7 essential points to include in your time management plan.
Choose Your Writing Tools
When you’re writing a time management plan, the first thing you need to decide is where and how to write it. Most people choose between these two options:
- a hand-written plan in a notebook or on a wall-schedule
- a digital plan you can access across devices
Make this decision based on your personal preferences and convenience.
Choose a Period to Cover
You can’t write an endless time-management plan or manage an entire year of tasks and obligations at once.
Instead, choose a period you can plan in advance and make new entries accordingly. So, you can do it:
- every two weeks
Trying to plan a period longer than a month won’t end in the best results since a lot can change in the meantime.
List Your Tasks & Obligations
Now that you’ve selected the period, it’s time to list all your tasks and activities for it. Include everything you need and want to do during this period.
It can combine all kinds of things:
- finish a project at work
- visit your parents
- deep clean the house
- take the kids to the movies
- send emails to new clients
This extensive list may scare you at first, but you’ll make it work with your time-management plan.
If you’re tight with time, you may have to say goodbye to some tasks or move them further away. That’s why you need to prioritize your list of tasks and decide what comes first.
This will help you organize your days and make the most out of every available second.
So, take the list of tasks and:
- use numbers to set priority tasks
- mark the tasks you don’t have to finish urgently
This will give you a clear idea of what your next day or week might look like.
Now it’s time to make entries into your time-management plan and include the tasks you’ve carefully selected. For each task, make sure to define:
- the day you want to do it
- the time you’ll need to finish
- the preparation you have to deal with
- the deadline for completing it
You can even add little notes and reminders that will help you finish everything on time. For instance:
- September 2nd, 5 pm-7 pm, taking kids shopping for school clothes
- NOTE: check John’s shoe size
Once you get to this task, you’ll be more confident about completing it in time and having enough time for whatever comes next on your list.
Break Down the Tasks
For each task or activity in your time-management plan, you should write a short analysis of what it implies. Breaking it down will make it easier for you to estimate how much time you’ll need to complete it. You’ll also do the preparation part in advance, which is another major time-saver.
So, let’s say you want to finish an important work project. Break it down into steps:
- write a presentation for the team
- send emails to X and Y
- gather team ideas about X
- read last year’s report
- assign tasks for everyone on the team
Also, always include a list of tools you’ll need to finish a task, e.g. new garden tools for a DIY landscaping project, PaperHelp service for a school essay, or your sister’s bicycle for a fun excursion with the kids.
Knowing what a task implies means knowing how to do it quickly and easily. Add this type of information to your time management plan to make it even more helpful and accurate.
Leave Empty Spaces
You’re not a robot, and you’re not a superman. You’re bound to face bumps in the road and miss out on a couple of things from your schedule.
This is completely normal, especially if you pack your schedule with task after task, leaving no room for you to breathe.
This is why we suggest you leave some empty spaces in the schedule:
- an hour or two every second day
- a whole afternoon when possible
You still need to be free to improvise and do the things you feel like doing at a given moment. You can’t schedule your entire life or control every second of it. These empty spaces are there to remind you.
Time management is tricky but satisfactory. Once you learn the basics and get into the rhythm of planning and achieving your goals, you’ll love writing new entries into your time-management plan and keeping things under control.
Use the 7 essential points we’ve shared above to start writing your first efficient time management plan and start enjoying your days more than before.
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