Feb 20, 2009

Wrangling Your Time Management Demons

A majority of the coaching conversations I'm involved in revolve around getting a better handle on time management.

There are a stable full of experts who claim to have the magic answer for you. From Franklin Covey organizers to applications like Don't Forget the Milk and a zillion choices in between.

The thing is, you have to find the best approach for you.

The most useful recommendations I can share have to do with my experience wrangling with my own time management demons.

Here is my simple and effective process.

EVERYTHING is input on my calendar.

I currently use iCal for my daily calendar and sync everything to mobile me and my Blackberry. Outlook can be used in a similar fashion (minus the mobile me part).

Quick Steps to Create an Organized and User Friendly Calendar

1. Create multiple calendars representing each part of your business and personal life.

2. Select a different color for each calendar.

3. Input your personal calendars first - Creating time for self care and moving your body.

Examples include:

* Important Birthdays - Enter them once with a recurring appointment and never miss another birthday.

* Your Personal Appointments - Plug in doctor visits, hair appointments, massages, lunch meetings, etc.

* Your Work Out Schedule - Get your yoga class or cardio routine plugged into your calendar and keep moving.

* Your Child's Calendar - Enter spring break, teacher in-service days, plays, sporting activities and conferences.

* Your Family Calendar - Enter family gatherings, vacations, etc.

I also created calendars for my business including: Coaching, Writing, Networking, Accounting and Marketing.

When I get really crazy, I assign tasks to each calendar by using the To-Do List option. I still like to write out my prioritized lists and scratch them off upon completion. When I travel, the electronic list option comes in handy.

This quick an easy calendar set up will save you time, keep you organized, and by color coding your activities, you can easily uncover where your life may be out of balance.

Daily maintenance keeps you 'in control' of your calendar and your life.

How do you manage your time?

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