Time Management Series: Plan Out the Week Ahead

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| |

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

At one point this semester, I worked three jobs on top of classes and still managing to go to bed before midnight. Only once did I ever think I was in over my head and that was the days leading up to the two-day Main Street festival I was helping organize. So I think it's safe to say that I know a thing or two about how to maximize every minute of the day. 

For the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the practices that work best for me. They are not revolutionary or out of the box, but sometimes you just need a reminder. Also, changing your habits and routine is easier said than done. 

Plan Out Your Week (or Day) Ahead

If you want to begin using your time more effectively, start at the beginning. On Sunday afternoons, I sit down and look over all of the assignments, meetings and due dates that are coming up in the week ahead. Before Monday I have already prioritized assignments and carved out time in the afternoons and evenings to work on them. 

Know about how much time each task will take, and then add in some wiggle room. This is especially important if others are contributing portions of the project, but you are the one who ultimately has to turn it in. Plan for the worst so you are not stressed when tasks take longer than you would like them too. Also, budget time for interruptions.   

Of course, you will not know of all tasks and meetings a week in advance. As new assignments arise, adjust accordingly. You can't expect to always follow your schedule with military precision, so be flexible and adjust as needed.

Take the time beforehand to make a game plan so you aren't caught off guard in the middle of the week and have to burn the midnight oil working to finish a project. The importance of looking to the week ahead is to make sure you don't let anything slip through the cracks.

Recap: 
  • Look over all assignments, meetings, due dates coming up 
  • Prioritize deadlines and pencil in specific time in your day to work on each one
  • Budget extra time for delays and interruptions
  • Each day quickly look over your schedule and to-do list and adjust it for any last-minute tasks that arise

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

great advice! I do this each week too :)

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

great tips!

The New Frontier: A New Future for our Music and Art Nonprofits said...

Great advice! I'm a busy college student, and I know what it feels like to be busy. I also blogged about this too! Check it out:http://theartisticbrunette.com/2013/09/20/treading-in-deep-water/

Natalie said...

These are awesome tips! I am guilty of planning to plan but never executing - perhaps in 2014 I'll get it right!
:)
x Nats ~ coraltintedperceptions.blogspot.com

Jess Boyd said...

Hope they help! And yes, the new year is always a great time to try and break all of our bad habits :)

Robert Macklyn said...

My kind of time management is done up only with the sort of a better time tracking. The tool that makes me stay ahead in terms of the time tracking is the cloud based time tracking software from Replicon - http://www.replicon.com/time-tracking-softwares.aspx