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Time Management


There's so much to do. But so little time. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Do you wonder why some people manage to accomplish so much in that time? The key to getting the most out of your time is to manage it so time works for you and not against you. A little advance planning makes a big difference in warding off frazzled nerves and the stressed out feeling of being overwhelmed. Start with a few simple steps:

  1. Identify the deadline. Give it a name. Break down a vague feeling of "having to do stuff" into specifics. Is a project due at work? A family commitment that needs addressing?
  2. Give the deadline a specific due date. If it comes with a self fulfilling date, the decision is easy. For example: prepare a presentation for the monthly meeting for Tuesday's breakfast session, or line up a partner to annihilate at tennis this weekend.
  3. If the deadline doesn't have an actual due date, assign one. Remember, you're in charge of this project! The date matters less than getting it done. Good projects that fit into this category are updating the client folders, or painting the livingroom. If you're not sure how long it'll take, guestimate. Then add on a few days or weeks depending on how complex the project is.
  4. Get a calendar and write down the deadline due date in small print. No fancy markers, stickers, or other hoopla at this point. Just a small notation.
  5. Choose a calendar you'll actually use. If wall displays or pocket planners are your style, use them. But, if you're comfortable with a single month -by-month print out posted by your desk, or the refrigerator door, use that method. The important point is to have a calendar, specify a date, and look at it often.
  6. Now it's time for some creativity. Take a look at the due date you've written down on the calendar. Back up the date by a few days for small projects that will happen soon. Take a week or 2 off for the large projects. This is your safeguard since someone always wants a project finished sooner than expected.
  7. Write the new target date in your calendar. Use large letters, colorful markers, and stickers if you like. Since you decided on this due date, celebrate that you are ready to begin work on it.
  8. Divide the project up into 3 main stages. Calculate the stages into how many days or weeks of work it will take. Some people like to divide projects into beginning, middle and end.
  9. List each of the target dates for the 3 stages on your calendar. Instead of one major project, you now have 3 smaller projects that are easier to handle.
  10. Determine what steps need to be done for each of the stages. List them on the calendar on the date that each stage begins. List as many steps as you can think of.
  11. Make sure your project has a start date, middle and end. Are they clearly labeled on the calendar?
  12. Select one project related step you can due today and do it. Make a point of crossing it off on your calendar before the day ends.

You've just started work on that major project. You're on the way to getting the work done in plenty of time by managing your time. Congratulations!

From attaches to wall planners, Quill has everything you need to get organized and stay organized. Click here to browse our Personal Organization supplies.