Stress With This Simple Time-Management Tool
keep track of? Do important things sometimes fall through
the cracks? You can reduce your stress and stay on top of
important details by using a simple time-management tool that
I call a "skeleton schedule."
The skeleton schedule is simple enough
to use on a regular basis, yet powerful enough to organize
an entire week. It works because it reduces your scheduling
to the bare bones - the minimum that you need to do to make
your week a success.
To understand it better, consider the
more typical approach to scheduling
Suppose that you sit down on a Sunday evening and decide
to plan out your week. Inevitably, you will end up with a
schedule that is part high-priority and part "wish list"
- in other words, alongside the things that really must get
done will be an assortment of things that sort-of have to
get done or that you've been meaning to give attention to
(so why not this week).
A skeleton schedule, on the
other hand, has an important difference: it includes ONLY
the things that MUST get done
the appointments that
are set, the to-dos with deadlines, the routine necessities
that keep life orderly, and the things that - if left undone
- will cause unwelcome or embarrassing consequences.
In short, it is a concise summary of the bottom line
the bare minimum that must get done in order to stay on top
of things. Think of it as the backbone of your week.
With this time-management tool,
you can begin each day by reviewing exactly what you will
do to make your day a success. You can then feel free to use
any remaining time for those other "wish-list" items
- or for relaxation, hobbies, or time with family and friends.
* Reduced stress
At the end of the week, you can feel sure that you've covered
what was most important - and everything else you got done
* Less overwhelm
You can turn to your one-page summary at any time to get your
bearings and review your priorities.
* Greater freedom
To make the most of the time that remains after the necessities
A skeleton schedule is easy to make. To begin, choose
a time of the week when you will routinely create your schedule
(I recommend Sunday evening). Although a skeleton schedule
could be created on a daily basis, it is far more effective
and time-efficient to look ahead to your week as a whole.
Second, for reducing stress ,set up a scheduling
format. Typically, a skeleton schedule for an entire week
can be fit on a single page, using seven columns for each
day of the week. A useful format has an appointment grid in
the upper part of the page, and space for a daily list at
Third, for reducing stress ,transfer information into
your schedule from your calendar and other places where you
if you don't have a good system for keeping
track of such details, now is the time to set one up! I recommend
using the skeleton schedule in conjunction with a monthly
wall calendar and a set of four "tickler" files
(one for each week of the month).
Finally, put any items that aren't absolute "must-dos"
into a list on a separate sheet of paper. During the week,
you can refer to this list whenever you have extra time above
and beyond your skeleton-schedule items.
This simple time-management tool may be the key to handling
your busy days as well.
Management from Mind Tools - How to manage time
and maximize and how to use personal time management skills.
Time Management Tools to Help End Procrastination
Of all time management tools, this one alone will end procrastination,
reduce stress, and add value and balance to your life.
Visit Ruth Anderson at www.vantagepointcoaching.com
and click on "Free Time-Management