Time Management Tips

First off, I want to wish you a very Joyous Holiday Season from all of us at WOTM ! We appreciate you all and wish you the best!  

Time Management is a hot topic periodically. Today I want to offer you two ideas to consider if you haven’t already done so. We juggle meetings and deadlines, step-out goal plans, and handle a myriad of correspondence tasks each day. How do we keep track of all of this? It takes experimenting until we find the best system that fits for each of us. Almost every system requires modification to work well. So, we need a flexible system.

I set up a color highlighted Goal Plan spreadsheet on Excel to list my: 

•    Year End Completion Goals
•    Monthly Deadlines
•    Meeting Commitments
•    Weekly Progress
•    Columns for notes

Does it work well? Yes, as a birds-eye view for the year. I keep it on my desk but only refer to it periodically. But, does it help guide my work day by day? No. I need something more.

Two writing friends referred me to the Best Self Journal goal and scheduling strategy. (Check it out: https://bestself.co/products/self-journal ) It’s an interesting and effective way to stay on top of your schedule and increase your efficiency. 

My schedule has several areas of repetition each day. Because of this, the daily log didn’t work for me. I used a spreadsheet to adapt a weekly schedule.  The graphic above is what I set up to incorporate several areas of the Best Self Journal plan. After a few weeks, I found I wasn’t relying on my plan but rather continued to scratch notes here and there.

Talking about the Best Self Journal with another writer brought up her scheduling strategy—The Bullet Journal. She showed me how she was successful in using the Bullet Journal over several months. So, I tried it. I set up my Index, Future Log for the next 6 months, Monthly Log and Daily logs (as a ‘week at a glance’). I liked how it flowed for a month and have continued. It’s working! 

It is hand written, but I find that setting up my pages at the beginning of each month helps me re-focus and doesn’t take long. I use a dot grid notebook (~5.75” X 8.25”) and insert tabs for the Index and active Month. Check out the Bullet Journal: http://bulletjournal.com/ .

I’d appreciate hearing about your time management strategies. Please comment. Thanks much.

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, artist, and editor. She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors. Deborah writes articles, essays and stories. She has published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series. Careful editing preserves each artist’s voice as they share their journey. The series published as monthly articles for an online news network, can also be found on her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley : My Writer's Life . Her “How-To” articles have appeared in magazines.

“Write your best, in your voice, your way!”


Lynn said...

Love the idea of never giving up. As my husband says, "You don't lose until you quit trying." Please take a look at https://www.amazon.com/Never-Too-Late-Wannabe-Wife/dp/1633936082/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1511161467&sr=1-1
to find our story of never giving up.

Karen Cioffi said...

Deborah, the Bullet Journal sounds interesting. So far I've been using a daily planner book. It has a monthly overview for each month and then each week divided into days. So far this is working for me.

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