Do you use a schedule? More to the point, do you actually stick to it? For most of us, the answer is probably ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.
To some degree, we all rely on schedules.
Whether we create them ourselves or use others’, a few anchors of certainty dropped throughout the week are a good idea for most of us.
They allow us to plan what we want to do around what we’re committed to doing.
The trouble is, most schedules don’t actually work. Sure, they’re a good idea. But more often than not, people don’t stick to them.
What is a Time Management Schedule?
A popular misconception is that a schedule limits ‘freedom’, but in fact the opposite is true. A time management schedule supports your current life choices (i.e. your current commitments) by automatically organizing them so you don’t have to constantly decide what to do when.
It’s simply a tool to identify how much time you really have to do three types of things:
It’s actually more accurate to say a time schedule helps you decide how long to do what you must do based on your commitments so you can see what time you’ve got left to use as you choose.
How to Make a Schedule
You can use pen and paper or whichever digital device you prefer to do this, although a spreadsheet is easy to use and adjust.
Draw up a plan of your week. Break it down into days and subdivide each day into hourly or half hourly slots. If you want to make your time management schedule really accurate, organize it around the fixed times in each day if you have them.
On your schedule, start by blocking off your regular obligations and commitments:
These are the anchors that hold together your week.
Whatever you have left of your 168 hours is yours to use as you choose. How you choose to use your own time determines the level of success you experience.
Making and using a time management schedule that works will help you become more efficient at doing what you have to do so you have more time to do what you want to do.
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Last week's TMS question results (Feb 20-26):
"When is it hardest to manage your time?"