Taking Control of Your Time

Time is valuable. How you spend it is up to you.

If I don’t decide in advance, how I am going to spend my time, it usually decides for me. This usually means, I don’t get anything done that I should be doing. Here are 5 tips that I use to help me control my time.

Write it down.
Put it on your calendar, in your planner, on your phone…wherever you keep your schedule. Just write it down. My schedule is on Google Calendar and I can access it from my phone as well.

Set Reminders
Google Calendar allows me to set reminders telling me when my next event is coming up soon. This keeps me from getting drawn into my current project so much that I would miss my next event. I also use a reminders app on my phone to remind me to do things each day.

Use Timers
Did you ever have a meeting that was scheduled for 30 minutes but it turned into an hour? Set a timer and make those who you are meeting with aware of the timer so that you accomplish the meeting on time. You should be respectful of other people’s time as you are your own.

Plan your breaks
I often get so busy working that I forget to take breaks. Constantly working without a break wears me down and makes me useless for the end of the day. I have learned to put them on my calendar and set a reminder so that I remember to take a break in the middle of my day.

Allow for Margin
It isn’t possible to schedule every second of your day. Things come up and plans do have to change on the fly sometimes. If you add margin to your schedule, that will help when you have to adjust your schedule. Don’t plan your meetings back to back all day either. Give yourself time in between to process the meeting you just finished. Margin can be 5 minutes or even an hour. This will allow you to make adjustments and still make all of your planned events for the day.

Do you have any hacks or tips that help you to manage your time?