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).