If you missed my December Read find it here.
January is a great month to get back to basics and focus on what is important to us. This months read does just that. Anyone who wants to get organized is probably familiar with must-read author, Julie Morgenstern. Although I’d checked out a few of her organizing books I had never taken a look at her systems for time management. I had high hopes for her book, Time Management from the Inside Out, and she did not disappoint!
Time Management is such an important, I dare say the most important, thing to getting organized. In fact, if you don’t have your time organized it is a struggle to get any part of your life in order.
Even if you feel you have a good handle on your time management this book is guaranteed to provide at least one useful tip.
If you don’t have time to read a book about time management. Ha! No, really I’d recommend it to anyone.
“Keep your planner accessible at all times for jotting down thoughts that come to mind. When you don’t have a single, consistent place to record the new to-dos that you think of or ideas you want to follow up on, it’s really tempting to jump up and do them right away. If you create a safe, reliable place to record this information, you can fight this temptation. Keep your planner nearby and record ideas as they occur to you.”
Most Beneficial Strategy
Look at how you spend you time with your overall life goals in mind and then create a Time Map to correct any imbalances in your life.
”A Time Map is a budget of your day, week, or month…it reflects who you are and what is important to you.”
Your activities are placed in boxes or compartments to provide structure to your day. This allows you to focus on the task at hand instead of your long list of to-dos. You dedicate space to the areas that are most important to you while still scheduling time for everyday chores and tasks.
I created my own time map and was very satisfied by the little bit of ‘me’ time I was able to fit in everyday. It has energized my day more than I would have imagined. Instead of feeling like errands are always on my list, I have a scheduled day to do errands. It’s helped me to stop feeling like I am running out to do errands every day of the week. On my designated errands day, I do the most urgent errands first and if there are a few I don’t get done that day, they wait until next week.
I’ve employed the same strategy for my paperwork. I have set side a “desk day” when I work on paperwork. If paperwork comes up throughout the week, I schedule it in on my Wednesday afternoon paperwork session. As things arrive in the mail I don’t feel like I have to drop what I am doing to sort and file every paper. I can handle the urgent ones and keep the rest in my inbox until my next desk day. Once you have mapped out your time you can easily move things around to fit your needs without feeling like you are neglecting a part of your life.
If it is sounding too restrictive for you, Julie Morgenstern also offers options and examples for people who have a fear of structure or those who can’t realistically schedule in detailed parts of their day because their job relies on too many unpredictable factors.
There really is something for everyone in Time Management from the Inside Out It opens your eyes to how much control you do have over your time. Once your time is in order it is an energizing and freeing feeling.
Do you have a daily or weekly schedule? Do you follow it to the exact minute or is it more of a guideline? Has anyone else felt the freeing benefits of time mapping your day? Is there a book about time management that you really loved?