Seven Steps to Blissfully Better Time Management

If you need an entirely new way to process and complete the overflowing demands of your day, this system is for you.  Maybe you’re a student juggling a crazy course load or the application process.  Or you may be a staffer trying to serve students, attend meetings, take/make endless calls and clear an overflowing inbox.  Either way, you wake up each day overwhelmed – but this new approach to To Do-ing is going to help you breathe deeply and look forward to your days again.

  1. Accept that the “daily blitz” isn’t going away. Rather than try to control the number of emails, texts, calls, meetings and deadlines that are stressing you out, resolve to adopt a different way of managing them.
  2. Define one clear, “big picture” mission with a set deadline and a quantifiable “win.” Do you want to apply to eight colleges or graduate schools by January 31?  Do you want to prep 35 students in your program for the SATs by December 1?  TIP: State a mission that you actually control (as opposed to “I will get into eight law schools” or “My 35 students will get 1600s on the SATs”).
  3. Brainstorm every possible way to advance your mission. Whether it’s you or a group or team, list any possible step – the word “no” is Inflatable Tent For Sale not allowed in the room.  Get rid of any steps you can’t control (or re-word them so you do).  Then rank the ones most likely to move you forward the soonest.
  4. Choose one (maybe two) immediate goals to pursue. Choose your top “mission influencer” from your brainstorm.  State it with a quantifiable win and a deadline.  This is your P1 (Priority #) goal.  This goal, plus the blitz, sums up all you will do each day.
  5. Start each day by making a quick schedule. Take 10 minutes to review your To Dos, emails and schedule at the top of each day.  Schedule realistic blocks of time to get critical things done.  Leave the rest open for “the blitz.”
  6. Schedule a task that advances your P1 goal as your first item every day. First item.  Every day.  Soon enough, it will be done, and you can move to the next goal.
  7. Review and revise your schedule as needed throughout the day. If the blitz interrupts a critical task, take a moment to reschedule that task.  Review at the end of the day, too, to see if your time estimates were realistic for the tasks you need to do.

If you commit to a measurable mission, broken out into measurable goals, that you tackle one at a time, at the top of every day…you will move your mission forward even as the blitz keeps coming!  Even better, you will look forward to each day as a chance to review accomplishments and plan the next one.