STOP! Do’nt run away just yet. This is not going to be one of those “How the worlds most sucessful people-impossible to everyone else” tips of time planning. I will take the more mortal human approach as I, myself has most of my life been a lazy bastard.
For starters i just have to say that most of the things that we do in our lives [including time planning] will bring results only if you work hard dedicate yourself to achieve the wanted goal. This post will help people who wants to manage multiple, unrelated tasks.
1. Prioritize.The very basic thing for you is to understand what is that you want to achieve!? What do you want to get better at, and what are the necessery things that needs to be done. Here is an example of my list of things that i want to get better and spend my time with. When you have figure out all the things to improve, cut it down to 3-6 elements, to be more realistic.
2. The When? For me it has greatly helped to put my top 6 things in a calendar, so i dedicate one day for one thing only. Except tuesday and thursday when also the sports activities.
3. Reminders. When you have created a routine list, next step is to remind yourself to actually do these activities, because with a new routine you will have difficulties to repeatedly do the assigned tasks. I use google calendar and a Week calendar App on the phone, to receive reminders about the daily tasks.
4. To-do-lists. Even though you have created a great plan with all your activities, it is still a big thing to start and actually do the assigned tasks, therefore i am creating daily and weekly to do lists for the every activity. Depending on how busy you are find the best time when to plan your time. Sounds weird-find time to plan time. But I have found that the easiest way for me is to do, the daily to-do list at school when my mind is starting to function around 10:00 in the morning. The weekly plans i would do on Sunday evenings to have the overview of the whole week. All of these to-do activities i write on a post-it or on the laptop and then put it as a screen saver. Put it somewhere you will be sure not to forget about it.
5. Do not give up! I know that this advice sounds as useful as a fart in the wind, but do not give up. Keep working, unrelatedly to what are the difficulties and obstacles in your way. If nothing works, maybe the list of things is too long or maybe prioritize the easiest jobs for the start and the end of the week not to feel overly exhausted.
Even though i believe that having a long term vision is a deal braker, i do not know if it is productive to plan your time in a very long term as things tend to change to the unexpected. I have created year plans, half a years plans but they just do not work for nothing more than just a paper wate…because my “awesome” idea was to make it on a huge paper covering half of my rooms wall. Thereby, to learn to master your time, start with a day, then a week and then go to planning a month if needed. It will take some effort to make a progress but what doesn’t?
What keeps my productive routine going?
– Basecamp – a great project management tool that keeps you updated and helps to keep track with your projects. (Try it. First 60 days it is for free)
– Using Post-its for daily task reminders. I usually place them on the laptop.
– A weeks calendar printed and attached to my wall just behid the desk, so that i can not avoid.
Keep up the productive work !