It may sound crazy, but I developed an interest for time management and what tools to use to make the most of my time way back in elementary school! I drew a four frame cartoon that showed what my routine was every weekday. I remember having a lot of fun doing this exercise! I can still see those drawings in my mind today! Ever since then I have had a time management mindset. Have I always been efficient? No, but I have continued to read and educate myself on how to use my time efficiently and then insert those practices in my daily life. I have a friend who has told me that he gets up each morning and then decides what is important to do that day. “No planning, no prioritizing, and no pain” ,this person says to me.
Time management is not a good description for managing your time. You cannot manage time like money. You can give every dollar a name just as you block time out for appointments and such, but you cannot save time for another day like you can money or other resources. The following is a list of tools I use as my task managers that really help me to make the most of every day:
I am an android user so I have chosen Google calendar as my calendar of choice. I really had a hard time a few years ago trying to decide which calendar format would be best for me. Outlook was my first choice since my office computers were linked to Outlook in our customer service system. Then I started syncing both google and outlook calendars, but that got to be very cumbersome at times. Time blocking is the way to go. I really feel it helps me to focus on what I should be doing depending on where I may be at a certain time during that day. Now unexpected things happen…emergencies and such, but learn how to deal with them and go on! Here is a link to a video of a young man who does a good job explaining this tool:
I absolutely love Evernote! I use it as both a task manager and reference tool. I store all important documents and such in my evernote library. At first Evernote did not really click for me, but during the last 5 years I have realized what a great tool it is to have at my side. The app allows me to collect everything of importance. One can easily organize your life areas of focus with Evernote. I used it especially in my Christian life. It is a powerful prayer organizer for me! I hope to have a demo on YouTube soon covering how I use Evernote to keep my prayers organized. Check out Evernote if you have never heard of it before at the link below:
Todoist is my newest tool to implement into my life. It is the best task manager I have used! I use this as a reminder to do small daily tasks as well as my major projects. I used Evernote as a task manager but when I tried Todoist I was blown away at how well it performs to help me get things done each day! Check it out here (this guy has a large series on Todoist that helps you with anything concerning the tool):
By the way the IFTTT app (if this then that) uses great technology to sync and tie all of your tools together. Check it out on the web.
The Getting Things Done system created by David Allen has proven to be the best system to follow to get tasks done each day. The tools above can be used to help you follow the GTD system more efficiently daily! It has really changed the way I do things!
In conclusion, these tools and systems help to remind me of what I should be doing based on where I am and even at what time of day it may be. Am I following them religiously…well…I’ll just say this: “I’ve come a long way baby!” There are a few days, but failing to carry out my planned tasks is not failure…failing to plan is planning to fail! Do I feel good by completing every task some days? Sure! Do I feel bad for not completing all tasks…no! It depends on the importance of the task and where I was that day. In context maybe the time wasn’t right…just postpone until tomorrow at end of day and make it priority one then.
Remember you only have 168 hours? Make the most of them by using the right tools!