Q: What are the three most important elements of time management?
A: 1. Planning 2. Planning 3. Planning.
This is such a simple truth that I’m almost embarrassed to mention it. Nevertheless, it is often the one thing people fail to do.
I have a very simple planning system. I’m not saying that it’s the best, but it works for me.
Here’s what I do. Every Sunday night I make a list of tasks and goals for the week ahead. Typically, about half of these involve my professional life. I use a Franklin-Covey Planner and I write this list on the page for Sunday. My planner goes with me everywhere so it’s easy to refer to my list. This process takes 5 minutes at most, but it gives me a much greater focus for the whole week.
Then every night before I go to bed, I make a list of action steps for the next day. Priority items get marked with an “A” while less urgent tasks will get a “B.” This process takes two minutes at most.
Here’s the amazing thing. I rarely complete everything on my list. Many items are moved forward to the next day or the day after that. There are even some days when most of the items are not checked off.
Nevertheless, since I started using this simple system, I have experienced a surge in my productivity that I wouldn’t have thought possible.
If you like this idea but aren’t sure how to make it happen, this might be a great time to get a coach.