“A fail to plan is a plan to fail”
How many times have you heard that? The answer: too many times.
But cheesy Pinterest quotes aside, I am here to tell you that your time is precious, it’s the greatest resource that we have. After all, “Your life is no dress rehearsal”
It sounds dramatic but the way we spend time in our everyday lives very quickly defines how we define the way we spend our lives. Someone told me this a few years ago and it blew my mind.
I decided I wanted my schedule to reflect my priorities – and it completely changed my life. Nowadays, I design my schedule to ensure that most of my time is spent with the people who are most important to me, and completing tasks that I deem the most important.
Today, we’re gonna talk about how YOU can do the same.
You can be intentional, prioritized, focused, structured and self-aware with your time. After all, time management is important for your productivity while you’re at work, but also crucial for enjoying a healthy work-life balance. Organising your life with a system of calendars, planners and to-do lists that works for you will make your administration and planning easy breezy and allow you to switch off outside of work time, trusting that you will be able to pick up where you left off when you get back to work.
So, we bring you time management and scheduling in ecology, in 8 simple steps:
- Get clear on your priorities
- Set your goals
- Create your routine
- The ultimate “to do” list
- Schedule your day in advance
- Prioritise important tasks
- Delegate where you can
- Celebrate small wins and milestones as you go
1 Get clear on your priorities
Whether you’re just getting started and looking to get clear on your dream job, or up-leveling your career with personal and professional goals, this is the best place to start.
2 Set your goals
For a full run down on what this involves, check out our posts on goal setting in ecology and breaking big goals into bite-sized pieces.
3 Create your routine
Block out the time you have available for each aspect of your life. Include your morning and evening routine, work time, family time, household tasks, cooking, exercise and social commitments.
This is the framework we are working within and help you visualize what you can realistically achieve in the time you have available.
It is then up to you to set hard knock off times.
4 The ultimate “to do” list
I like to write an exhaustive list of everything I need to do, how long I expect each task to take, the smaller tasks that make up the bigger and how soon it is due. I often star the urgent priority tasks as I write so that they stand out. It doesn’t have to take forever but spending the time to brain dump will help you feel like you have a complete picture of everything you need to deal with.
Although I understand it is easy to feel overwhelmed as your list explodes before your very eyes – know that once you know what needs doing, you can schedule it, delegate it and start making progress to get through it.
5 Schedule your day in advance
It doesn’t have to be complicated, just as long as you have a good idea of your plan. These tips may help:
- Think about the times and days when you are most productive and plan to get important things done then
- Limit time spent on social media and emails
- Give yourself some contingency time blocked into the end of your day in case things come up or take longer than you anticipate
This will also help you better understand how you work and whether or not you can take on additional tasks to your work load when people ask.
6 Prioritise important tasks
There’s no time in your schedule to procrastinate. Work through tasks from most to least important and try not to allow yourself to avoid tasks you’re less excited about as it will stress you out in the long-run.
7 Delegate where you can
Teamwork makes the dream work right!? You don’t have to go at it alone – delegate to others for their expertise where you can to get the best outcome for each task.
8 Celebrate the small wins
Celebrating the small wins like “just starting” a massive project, or completing a component you’ve been working on is important – because small wins become bigger milestones and achievements. Not only will you feel productive and excited to be making progress through your list – but a positive attitude and a vibration of excitement and momentum will attract more reasons to celebrate.
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