Scheduling your day can be challenging for many. (This is especially true if others add activities to your calender! I have had others adding to my calender for over a decade now!)
Today I'll talk about how you put the pieces together to schedule your day.
Schedule the Boulders First
I'm sure that you have heard the story of the college professor that talks with his students about boulders, rocks, pebbles, sand and water.... The end result is that he teaches them how to focus on priorities. It cycles internet email forwards about every year or so. However, no matter how many times you have read it, it is still true. Check out the video below where I have attempted to recreate the experiment. http://www.productiveandorganized.net/2008/07/schedule-your-d.html
When you look at your schedule, what do you consider the most important chunks? When you worked through your priorities and goals, did you check to see how much on your calendar matched what you said was important?
Schedule Appointments with Yourself
So often we put things on our calendars that are appointments with others, but not with ourselves. Is that you? I have to admit, I was not good at this, however now that I have others that add to my calendar I have gotten much better.
By writing priority activities to your schedule, you are giving them the honor they deserve.
Recognize Activities for Their Value
Pagers, iPhones, PDAs, Instant Messaging, Twitter, email, phone... the list goes on and on. Why, with all of the ways that we can connect with one another, it is amazing that we get any sleep at all! Now, don't get me wrong, I think that all of the ways to communicate are fabulous if they are used in the appropriate balance with everything else. For some, these tools are a connection to the lifeline of their business. For others, it is a distraction from what will really take things skyrocketing.
Your Priority May be Someone Else's Goofing Off
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." ~John Lubbock
I had a boss once that felt that taking time off from work was the sign of a non-dedicated person. I disagreed with her then and I do now.
I'm a workaholic by nature, but my sons are very important to me. So, activities with them are equally important. One activity that my son loves to do is walk to the "resting rock" after dark.
There are many nights where I tell him no and decide not to do it in lieu of other things, but those are the nights I regret. You see, when we go to the "resting rock" (a big boulder that is flat on the top - we usually lay on our backs and look in the sky...) I learn all kinds of things about my son. We have amazing conversations. At the "resting rock" he feels free to share his innermost feelings. I am such a fortunate mom to be able to take part in that. Had I not taken time in my schedule for those few minutes, I would have never known...
Schedule Your Day to Reflect Goals and Priorities - Part 3 - Understanding Your Rhythm
Schedule Your Day to Reflect Goals and Priorities - Part 2 - Align Those Goals
Schedule Your Day to Reflect Goals and Priorities - Part 1 - What Are Your Priorities?
What do you do to make sure that the right things are on your calendar? How do you make sure to focus on the important things and less on the lemonade?
Stephanie L. H. Calahan is a Productivity and Organization Consultant, Coach, Speaker, Author. She is also the founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. – Productive & Organized, We'll Help You Find Your Way a premier productivity consulting firm, serving a national and local clients in corporate settings, home-based businesses, and residential environments. Her organizing expertise, Computer Science and HR backgrounds give her a unique perspective on what works at work.
My Favorite Websites for Business & Office
The Publicity Hound
Are you new to the business world and don't know where to start to get your business the recognition it needs and deserves? Then this site is for you! Joan Stewart aka the Publicity Hound shares all kinds of fabulous information about getting free publicity. Sign up for her free tutorial and learn ways to get noticed now!
Paper Tiger Productivity Institute
Get resources for organizing your business!
The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords
Google has a system that makes it possible, for the first time in the history of the world, to deposit five bucks, write a couple of ads, and instantly get access to over 100 million people - in less than 10 minutes. It's called Google AdWords and it's hot. In fact it may be the first and best thing to do to get traffic to your site. But it's not always as easy as I just made it sound - AdWords has some nuances, and most people have a rough time at first. Well my colleague Perry Marshall has written a very helpful e-course called "5 days to success with Google AdWords" and there's no charge for it.
The Definitive Guide to Writing & Promoting White Papers
If you sell any kind of complex service, technology or sophisticated product, a White Paper is the best way to educate your customers about that technology. You can use a white paper to build your credibility, get free exposure in the press, attract new customers, and drive new technology into change-resistant, conservative markets. Most white papers are either too technical (boring) or too commercial (thin and cheesy) - but Perry Marshall has written a guide that shows you how to strike the perfect balance. But what's most important of all, though, is promoting and publicizing your white paper - because the best white paper in the world is no good unless somebody reads it!
Most sales people spend all day dialing for dollars, chasing prospects who are mentally if not physically backing away from them, and they waste most of their time chasing deals instead of closing them. At the same time, most companies spend all kinds of money on advertising and don't get nearly enough bang for their buck. Perry Marshall's "Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People" is an information-packed audio CD that discusses 21 principles that you can use to eliminate cold prospecting and wasted advertising dollars in today's fiercely competitive B2B marketplace.
My Favorite Organizing Tools
EasyReach Find & Workspace - ask for a 30 day free trial
EasyReach Find & Workspace are the ultimate in digital organization. Spend less time looking for information and more time working with it.
Paper Tiger Software
The Paper Tiger software is a powerful filing system that uses the power of your computer to help you get organized and stay organized. Find anything in 5 seconds! We use it both at home and at work.
I LOVE this paper organizer! Get control over your loose receipts, business cards, personal taxes, home office taxes, expense reports, business documents and personal documents. It is amazing how it can read off of the papers it scans.
Get control of your desk with the SwiftFile Desktop filling system. They can be ordered with or without the matching file box. This is the Best Action Filing System I have seen.
Send Out Cards - Try their free guest account
This is one of the best tools I have ever used for contacts, reminders and physical cards too! Go to the site and check out their free guest account. Better to see it for yourself than for me to try to tell you.
My Favorite Websites for the Home
Mrs. A's Coupon Organizer
Mrs. A's has done it again. They developed a great coupon organizer that allows you to find things quickly and actually USE the coupons you cut out.
Introducing BOX4BLOX ™... the Simple Toy Storage Organizer for LEGO ® That Gets Rid of That "Lego Disaster Zone" From the Floor ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Send Out Cards - try their free guest account!
This system lets you type a message then they print it in your handwriting, stuff it, stamp it and mail it when you tell them to. All for LESS than what you would pay to buy a card at a store.
My Favorite Goal Setting Tools
My Goal Manager
MyGoalManager.com's Online System takes Goal Setting to whole new level! If you like online tools, this one is fantastic.
My Motivator is a great online service that helps you identify your goals and then stay on track with those goals with audio to learn from and reminders that are sent to you.
My Favorite Books on Paper & Information
Taming the Paper Tiger at Home
Strange as it may sound, having the right information at the right time can help you save money or have a good time. Barbara Hemphill tells you how to tame the "paper tiger" with quick, practical solutions to managing every piece of paper that comes into your house. She'll show you how to decide what to keep, what to toss, where to keep it—and most important—how to find it exactly when you need it, so you make room for your life!
Taming the Paper Tiger at Work
Despite the promise of the paperless office, most of us are mired in the stuff—and deluged with electronic information as well. The use of computers, e-mail, the Internet, and faxes probably forces you to contend with more paper than ever. But setting up and efficient system to organize all the information is easier than you might think. Barbara Hemphill will show you how.
My Favorite Books on Time & Productivity Management
30 Hours A Day - Ultimate Time Management Program
How Much More Money Would You Make With An Extra 6 Extra Hours Of Productivity Every Day? Drop-dead Simple Tutoring Of Rapid Results Coach Dave Navarro Makes It Easier Than You Ever Thought It Could Be.
Outsource And Delegate
How To Work Less And Make A Lot More Money!
Successful Time Management
Successful Time Management. An Easy-to-read, Ebook That Will Have You Getting More Done, In Less Time, Than Ever Before. It Just Takes A Few Minutes Each Day To Put These Time Management Systems In To Place.