Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Organize Your Time

In this busy time of year, it might be helpful to review some principles of time management (if you have the time).

Remembering everything can be overwhelming. Using a time management tool like a planner or calendar will enable you to forget when you plan ahead. I usually recommend that you have no more than 2 calendars -- one large calendar for everyone's schedules/events, and one personal planner that you can carry around. (Otherwise you do a lot of transcribing and duplicating information).

The large calendar provides an overview for everyone at-a-glance and incorporates each family member’s priorities. If you have kids, you can consult your school calendar and transfer all important dates onto the calendars to cover holidays, school activities, etc. You can also color-code the items you write in according to type of event or by family member. Your personal or work planner can be a paper planner or PDA that you can take with you. Carry your planner/calendar system at all times. By having your system on hand, you'll review before you commit and remember events when the time comes.

Remember that you can use your calendar both for events/happenings AND tasks/to-do items. This ensures that you will do things on the day they should be done. The most important key to success, though, is to synchronize the 2 components, which isn’t difficult but it is something you have to remember to do. My husband and I both have electronic PDA's so we're able to 'sync' our calendars by beaming events from handheld to handheld. Then I upload the PDA's info to our computer so I can print out 8 1/2 x 11 sized calendar printouts to be viewed in the kitchen.

My rule at our house is that if it is not written down, it isn't happening. That goes for things we're doing, things my husband is doing, work schedules and even what we need to buy at the grocery store (i.e. my husband: "did we buy more ginger ale?" me: "was it on the list?" -- no, so it didn't get bought). The more you write down, the less you have to remember and the more that will get done!

Designate one central spot for communications; you might have a notepad, a dry erase board, a bulletin board, or something similar near the phone or in the kitchen. You want something that will communicate information (i.e. calendar and messages). Think through how your family comes in the door, where they go, what they look at, etc. to determine good placement.