Time management Monday: Using your planner in a crisis

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Your planner can help you through those moments that everyone hopes never happen to them: if you or someone you care for is involved in an accident, medical emergency, evacuation, or other incident. Here’s how to use your planner to get you through this difficult time.

Use your planner as Planner Central. Even before a crisis hits, keep everything in your planner all the time: your and your family’s appointments, reminders, due dates, important events, and everything else. Make your planner the one place where absolutely everything is organized. Include contact information and phone numbers where needed. If you need to hand your planner over to someone else so they can step in for you, everything they need should be in your planner.

Keep your planner completely up to date at all times. Write new appointments or changes into your schedule immediately. Don’t try to remember changes and write them in later. Things happen quickly during a crisis. Your planner needs to have all the latest information and schedule updates in it, so when something new comes your way you can see how to fit it in in real time.

Keep your planner with you all the time. As noted above, things change quickly in a crisis situation, and you need to be able to update plans immediately. Also, if you need to direct other people or answer questions, you need to be able to reference your planner instantly.

Change your schedule. If you need to be away, for example if you are ill or out of commission or you need to leave to help someone else, use your planner to reschedule appointments and events. Look at what is coming up during the time you will be away, and adjust your schedule accordingly. Be sure to write all updates in your planner right away.

Use your planner to help you delegate. Your normal daily schedule goes out the window in a crisis situation, so look at your planner and assign tasks to people you know can handle them. You might give certain tasks to certain people, for example have your coworker sit in on tomorrow’s meeting for you, and your neighbor can pick up your kids from their after school activities. Look in your planner to see what you would have done during the time you’ll be away, and decide who you need to do what.

A crisis situation is inherently difficult, but keeping your planner organized and up to date can help you stay functional. Your planner can help you help the person in need; or if the person in need is you, your planner can help others support you.


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