An Effective Time Management System

In our age of technology and information, you may have different tools that will comprise your Time Management System. For example, you may need to use Outlook or another networked calendar with your workgroup. You may have personal digital assistant (PDA), such as a Palm or other handheld device that allows you to carry contacts and appointments with you. You may even have a low-tech shared family calendar hanging on your refrigerator at home. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what’s where and which tool is doing what for you. In order to be successful with multiple tools, remember the following:

  • You need to clearly identify what information is going where and consistently put that information there. For example, what tool will have your appointments? That’s the tool you’ll check when you’re setting an appointment to see if you are free. What tool has your contacts? When you need to change someone’s address or phone number, that’s where you’ll put the new information.
  • Even if you keep appointment information in different places, identify one tool that will be your personal hub. That will be the “always-accurate, always-updated” part of your system and the one that tells you what your commitments are for the whole day. You can enter the relevant appointments into other tools that communicate with other people (like the fridge calendar or workgroup calendar). Try to make it easy and simple to synchronize information.
  • Make one part of your system mobile. If your primary tool is your desktop computer, make sure you have a Palm or paper planner that is always synchronized with it so you’ve got your commitments and needed information on the go.
  • When you use paper, make sure your pages are bound. There’s nothing worse than having floating pieces of paper as a part of your System—they have a tendency to float away.
  • With electronic tools, make sure you have a backup.

There is no right system to use. Most people will have a combination of tools—paper, electronic, or both. Just make sure that the whole of your system works together to consistently give you the information you need to follow through on your vision-connected personal commitments.

Your choice of time management tools is very personal; make sure that it is compatible with your planning and application needs.

How can I get more out of my time?

You should focus on prime projects during the prime time of your day and devote uninterrupted time slots to this endeavor. To achieve real and lasting success, you must create a schedule that includes large uninterrupted periods, for working on your most important projects. Your best work is done and your full potential achieved, when you perform during uninterrupted time frames


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