4 Tips for Organizing Your Daily Schedule
Organizing your daily schedule is something that you know needs to be done, but where exactly does one start? A lot of people see time management as a super-power – there’s surely no way that a mere mortal could fit it all in between 9 and 5! But effectively organizing your daily schedule at work is simple if you have a plan, and it’s a skill that anyone can learn. These four guiding principles will help you while organizing your daily schedule.
Think Before You Act
What does the start of your day look like? Do you come to the office, sit down at your desk, and have no idea where to begin? Or perhaps you simply grab the first to-do on the top of the pile, regardless of its urgency or importance? Neither is a particularly effective way to get the day rolling. Investing just a few minutes to plan your daily schedule – reviewing your meetings and appointments, figuring out which tasks are your top priorities, and actually plugging them into your calendar so you know the important chores aren’t going to fall through the cracks – makes all the difference in how much you have accomplished come the close of business.
Start with Something Big
Many people waste the first hour or two of their day on “busy work” (checking email, surfing the web, opening mail, etc.) instead of creating a daily schedule. It’s easy for these kinds of “easy” to activities suck up your time, leaving you feeling as though you’ve wasted the entire morning. Pick one big task to tackle as soon as you get to the office. It should be something that you've been procrastinating on, that has an approaching deadline, or that has simply been hanging over your head. Get it out of the way first thing, before you do anything else and even if you don’t accomplish anything else, you will still have had a productive day!
Break Your Day into Blocks
In today’s fast and furious business world, multi-tasking has become the norm – people often feel that they aren’t being productive unless they are doing 15 tasks at the same time. But you will actually accomplish more if you can devote a chunk of time to a single activity, give it your full attention and actually finish it before moving on to the next task. Figure out how much time you need to complete a to-do, and block it off in your calendar. Then try to schedule any other meetings or activities that might interrupt your work for a different time during the day. If you have an appointment with yourself, you need to respect that as much as any other commitment in your calendar.
Quit Before Quitting Time
When the whistle blows at 5PM, it’s natural for you to want to jump in your car like Fred Flintstone and tear off for home. But taking just a few minutes to plan your daily schedule the night before can mean the difference between organization and chaos the next morning. Stop work about 15 minutes early, tidy up your desk, and put away any loose items. Review your to-do’s and go over your daily schedule for the next day to decide which project you plan to tackle first thing. Place the materials for that task on your desk. You will be able to hit the ground running as soon as you arrive, with no time wasted asking yourself, “Now what do I need to get done today?”
By: Ramona Creel, Professional Organizer