It’s Tuesday night. The clock says it’s four-thirty, but it feels as though it has been saying that for the last half hour. You were supposed to be finishing up some payroll busywork, but have instead found yourself fiddling with the contrast on your monitor. Perhaps making it brighter would make it more pleasant to look at. Darker? Mainly, you’re just trying to kill the last half hour before its time to go home. True, you could just leave now and no one would think the worse of you, but you like to set a good example for your employees. Besides, you like to leave your early escapes for Friday.
Then the phone rings. It’s your boss, and he wants to know why you aren’t at the meeting downtown! Oh no! You completely forgot about it. You scramble to make up an excuse, but he doesn’t sound happy. He advises you to meet him first thing in the morning so he can catch you up on what you missed. You hang up and lose interest in the contrast of your monitor and decide you have to do something about your appointments. But what is the answer? Is there one, or are you simply doomed to a poor memory and an inability to juggle time?
The Planning Calendar
There is an answer, and it is found in the planning calendar. At-a-Glance is but one company that makes a fine planning calendar. These calendars make it easy for you to keep track of all of your appointments, meetings, and special events that you have a tendency to forget. And you’re not alone. If everyone could simply remember everywhere they were supposed to be, planning calendars wouldn’t be one of the biggest selling office supply items on the market. You just need to take the time to get one, and get organized.
Of course, having a planning calendar will not do you much good if you do not use it the right way. You have to make sure you right everything in that calendar, no matter how small and insignificant. You then need to make it a point to look at the calendar every morning and plan your day accordingly. Take the time to thumb through the next few days as well, just to make sure there isn’t something on the horizon you need to be planning for today.
Overall Time Management
While a planning calendar is important, it’s not the only aspect of your overall strategy. You can do many other things to help you start controlling your time, rather than have it be the other way around. One of these ways is to start each day by creating a to do list. Granted, this isn’t a revolutionary idea, but are you doing it? Or do you easily get sidetracked even when you know there are things to get done. Having a to do list, and writing it up in the order in which the tasks need to be completed is an excellent way to start managing your time better. Encourage your employees to do the same. Just the act of creating the list can make you feel better and more in control.
Get Help with Time
Don’t hesitate to bring others in to your time management strategies. This particularly includes your employees. Make sure you use these people in such a way that they can contribute to getting tasks done and appointments kept. After all, that’s part of why you’re paying them. If need be, incorporate your family into the mix as well. If you have important tasks that can be delegated to anyone else, make sure you do so if you won’t have time to manage the project by yourself. Of course, when it comes to friends and family, this only works if you’re willing to do the same for them should the opportunity come up.
Time management doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence. If you take some simple steps to get it under control, you’ll find that you had much more time in your day than you originally thought, and you won’t feel that constant weight of stress crushing down on you throughout your days. Isn’t that reason enough to get things in hand?