Guest post: Tick tock

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This morning, we welcome our newest guest blogger, Kate Marshall of K’s Notebook, who’s here with some advice on time management…

Time management. I was in a workshop recently where the instructor posited that time management is a misnomer the phrase should really be life management. Granted, that was the purpose of the workshop: how to manage big priorities in one’s life and then fit the smaller, less important tasks in (and yes, I am paraphrasing a great deal).

The workshop made me take a second look at how I plan my days, weeks, and months. Lately, my system has revolved around Microsoft Outlook for my work calendar (not my choice) and a Quo Vadis daily planner. I came out of the workshop with a Franklin-Covey binder and agenda pages. Each day is on a two-day spread. So I’ve been evaluating that as well. Supposedly it takes 21 days to break an old habit or start a new one. Guess that gives me until March 13 or so to play with planners.

Regardless of which agenda I ultimately use (and I’ve certainly tried many, many brands), I’ve found that I prefer a system that’s mostly paper-based: day planners, calendars, etc. This is probably related to the facts that:

* I’ve kept a paper journal since 1992
* I’ve used fountain pens since 1993

So I’ve been adapting the Quo Vadis and Franklin-Covey planners to my needs, which revolve around the mighty To-Do list. Make a list of tasks. Cross off each completed task. Repeat. It’s not always perfect (what is?) but it works.

The day-to-day tasks can be overwhelming at times. Believe me, I know. But no matter what system one employs, you have to keep the larger priorities in mind. For me, they include family, friends, a blank notebook, and a fresh cup of coffee. Small tasks have their place. But don’t let them consume you (because they will, if given half a chance).

2 thoughts on “Guest post: Tick tock

  1. After using my Visual for awhile, I have to say I LOVE it. I have been desperately searching for years for the planner that will fit all my needs, and I really think I have finally found it. I have tried 6 different planner formats already just this year! They all failed for various reasons. The Visual is the perfect size, very portable yet with plenty of room to write each week, packed with features yet elegant and uncluttered. Now that I have finally found my perfect planner, please please don’t ever stop making the Visual!!!

  2. My sister and I were JUST discussing this yesterday: how not to get bogged down in the daily repetitive tasks that inevitably take up time at work and home (like laundry, paying bills, writing proposals etc.) and keep our goals/ priorities visible. I have to have my priorities list in front of me all the time so that when I do have a free moment in between things I remember that magazine article I want to read or that I need to squeeze in some exercise. Otherwise I wind up blowing 20 minutes surfing the internet then it’s time to tackle the next task.

    I switch my planners around ALL the time. For the past month I have been using a day per page book, which I like for recording things, but my longer-term goals and tasks get lost in the shuffle. I have ordered an Exacompta Visual weekly planner, which I hope arrives today. I’m excited about the format with the days as columns and also space to write lists each week. I’m hoping this will be a good mix of keeping up on the daily details while at the same time keeping sight of my longer-term goals.

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