Time Management

Is time -too much or too little- an issue for you??

We all know them. The, ‘I’ll be there in five minutes!’ people, who we’ve learned for whom ‘just five minutes’ is more like 20 minutes real time.

Everyone’s internal clock is different. Some people, let’s call them Type A’s, perceive time to be an exact science, a nonnegotiable standard. Therefore, if they set a time for 10 a.m. they mean 10 a.m. sharp. For others, let’s call them Type B’s, time may be a relative and fluid construct, more like the Spaniards who would ignore time in preference to good food and good conversation. So, how then do we manage time? And is time even something we can or should manage?

For the Type A folks, let’s say a series of unforeseen obstacles disrupt their carefully timed plans, or for the Type B’s an unmovable deadline has been set on their relaxed mindset. Will both A and B become so overwhelmed that they completely halt their projects?

When completing an organizational project, time must be viewed as a flexible standard. You must schedule and meet goals while also anticipating and allowing for obstacles and changes to the schedule.

Tools and Approaches to Time Management

External tools and systems can be used to enhance perception of time. Tools and systems such as calendars, timers, cell phones, schedules and even daily personal check-ins such as, ‘Why am I doing this? What is my goal? How far have I gotten?’ are all very important. They can help to set plans in motion and keep progress.

• Clocks, both digital and analog, placed in various areas can keep you aware of time. Use a watch or cell phone for portable time devices. Get in the habit of checking them as often as you need to keep yourself on task.

• Set a beep on your watch or cell phone at certain intervals to mark the passing of time. Whether you are training yourself in time awareness or using it to keep yourself on task, schedule alerts accordingly. For example, set a beep on the hour and an alarm for that day’s completion.

• Ask yourself: "What should I be doing at this time?" Use visual, auditory or other cues to remind yourself of this question. For example, notes placed on the TV to remind you of an important priority, a picture or saying set as your phone screen to remind you of your goals, or a bell attached to a door to remind you to get back to work can all aid in productivity.

• Schedule extra time on your calendar for shifting from one task or project to another, or for obstacles that may arise.

• Plan enough sleep and set a bedtime alarm. As we talked about, sleep deprivation can cause many problems. Ask for help in these areas form a doctor, physical trainer or nutritionist.

• Get help from those with better time awareness or from someone that specializes in time management. Professional organizers, coaches or therapists are just a few who can help you manage and maintain a healthy schedule.

Furthermore, schedules and To Do lists are incredibly useful. Schedules are for tasks that are time specific and To Do lists can have a deadline but are not time specific. Successful people need both schedules and to do lists.


• Write out your daily schedule and check it, especially when plans change.

• Schedule in time to get ready and transition from one project or task to another. Planning, gathering supplies, implementing action steps and cleanup need to be a part of every project. Transportation, arrival and departure issues need to be factored into your schedule as best you can. Remember children and the elderly may not be able to move as quickly as others.• Blocks of time on your schedule are for specific tasks.

• Remember to always add in extra time. You can always fill that space with something, hopefully relaxing or nourishing yourself.

• Use reminders time Post-it's, digital alarms or prompts on your calendar about future commitments and goals• Don't fly by the seat of your pants. It rarely ends well!

To Do Lists

• Write down supplies to buy that day and for the coming week

• Write reminders for phone calls with plumbers, contractors, or family members

• Write down DIY organizational hacks you’d like to try

• Write any information important to the completion and organization of your project

Now that you’ve been given the tools to both adhere to time and be flexible with it, it’s time to get started! If you need more help, please reach out at (716) 560-5990 to schedule a consultation.