Is it time you improved your personal time management skills? If you find yourself leaving things until the last minute and feeling stress, time management tracking can help. You can create your own time management planner with actual time management software, a simple table, or even a chart you draw yourself. Read on to learn time management skills and create time management tools tailored to your own life.
Things You’ll Need:
• personal time management software
Create a table for an effective time management system. Using a spreadsheet, create one row for each day of the week. Then add an eighth column so you can have times running vertically. List these times on your time management planner in one hour, half hour, or quarter hour increments, depending on your preference.
Enter the times that you sleep. Sleep is the most important personal time management commitment you can make. It's important for your health as well as your productivity that you budget for 8 hours of sleep every night. Use blue to color code it on your time management planner.
Put activities that are your top priorities next. Your top priorities are committments that you can't easily change, that occur regularly each week. This will probably be your work hours if you work full time or your classes if you are a full time student. Color these red.
Calculate how many hours are left using your time management software or add them by hand. You may be surprised how much time you really have that could be put to good use! In the next stage you are going to use large blocks of leftover periods and minimize small, useless blocks.
Leave white space in your effective time management tracking chart for downtime. This is unstructured time that you can use for recreation and you don’t need to plan what you do in these times. It is very important to have an allotment for downtime. First, when you are just starting out with the system, you are likely to misjudge how long activities will take you. However, even when you've used the system for a few weeks and fine tuned the blocks you've alloted, you still need to have some downtime for your mental health. Everyone needs downtime. Just leave blank periods in your time management system for these.
Try your new time management planner for a few weeks. When you learn time management tracking problems are inevitable, so do not give up on using this process. Stick with tool you've created beause trial and error will help you refine your chart. To help you prioritize, note what works, and which “flex times” you need to move, increase, or decrease in order for your personal time management tools to work. For more information on an effective time management system, I have included additional resources. Good luck!