Scheduling Your Time
Your time is valuable, so you should treat it that way. Your schedule can get busy and sometimes it can seem like there are not enough hours in the day. But when that happens, we just need to take a step back, and manage our time effectively. When we schedule our time and resources in a way that benefits us and aides in becoming better organized, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish, because, “The Sky’s The Limit”.
Have a Master Calendar
It can seem like a good idea to have several calendars for every area of life, but when you use more than one at a time, it’s easy to get them confused. With multiple calendars, you can run the risk of double booking events or miss important appointments. Instead, get one calendar and put it somewhere you can see it every day, such as in your technology, on the refrigerator or hanging by the front door. Write all of your personal, school, and work reminders on it, including deadline dates, appointments, events, tests, and reminders. When you use one calendar for everything you do, you are not only able to manage your time better, but you can get rid of the paper reminders you have posted everywhere.
Cozi is one example of a free “app” that can be used by individual or families to coordinate daily events and things to-do. Complete with an automatic “sync” function to Apple© products, Cozi© is a real-time calendar, to-do-list, shopping list, and journal.
When scheduling our time, deadlines provide a sense of structure and balance for us. While every person responds to deadlines differently, they are a key tool to better time management. By setting deadlines, you are putting a concrete need in your schedule, and it helps prevent it from being forgotten or lost in the near future. They give us a sense of accountability when it comes to things we either want or need to get done. So whether you write them on a calendar or program them into a mobile device, the next time you plan to do something, set yourself a deadline first and stick to it. You’ll find that when you take the time to schedule them, you are more likely to make time for other things.
Tips when setting deadlines:
Keep your deadlines in arm’s reach – write them down where you will see them
Set periodic reminders – give yourself reminders that a deadline approaches
Pad your actual deadline a little – give yourself some extra wiggle room
Remove or Limit the Time Wasters
A time waster is something that can distract you or take away from the task at hand. They can occur at home, school, or at work. Removing or even limiting some of these wasters can improve your concentration and help you stay focused on what you want or need to do. They can include personal time wasters, such as excessive; checking messages, texting, social media, searching the web, or watching videos, or can even be as simple as wasting extra time to go look for that extra pencil. Practice cutting or limiting one thing that distracts you the most. Give yourself a set time that you will not let these things distract you or take away from your current responsibilities. You’ll be amazed how taking these small steps will improve your time management.
Some common time wasters and distractions:
• Excessively checking email/text/phone messages
• Social media
• Boredom or daydreams
• Extra time spent away from your work area
• Extra time spent looking for things
• Taking on extra projects
Coping with Things Outside of Your Control
There are many things in life that we cannot control, such as an illness, rude or mean people, and especially the weather. But we learn to cope with them every day and adapt ourselves to them. You can control how you react to certain circumstances and setbacks. When we are faced with something we realize we cannot change or control, the key to dealing with it is to, first, accept it. Once you have accepted that you cannot change the fact that it rained on your beach day or that someone almost rear ended you in traffic, we can learn to cope with them by remembering what we can control. You can control what alternative plan you have for beach day and you can control how you choose to respond to the rude driver. Focusing on what you can control rather than what you can’t will help you feel more empowered and less likely to let other obstacles overcome you.
Excerpt taken from the “Organization Skills for High School, College, and Career Readiness” course offered at the Support for Students Growth Center in Boca Raton, Florida.