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Time is one of those rare things we all have in common; the difference is how we manage it and still get the most enjoyment out of our lives.
Published 13/05/22 05:59 PM
333 3 mins
Written by Dean Harries
I'm no expert, and still have a lot of learning to do. But I have been using time management techniques for over 12 years now and I thought I'd share how I currently manage my time and stay as stress-free as possible.
Please keep in mind, everyone is different and has different things going on in their life.
The first break through in time management for me was the first day of high school when you get handed your timetable. I couldn't believe how organized it was. I knew instantly this was how I wanted to manage my time moving forward. I got stuck in, scheduled every second of my day; from start to finish, put it on my iPod calendar (high tech at the time lol), and off I went.
Through the years, my technology changed, but the theory was always the same; schedule everything.
Years later, I was working for a company and became friends with a quiet older gentleman who mostly kept to himself and cleaned. We grew close, talked about work, what I did for the company, and different things about life.
I often came in a little stressed. But one day I was having a more stressful than usual day and he asked me what was wrong. I explained that I felt like I was always running out of time, even though I thought I'd planned everything well. I showed him my calendar and he looked shocked.
He told me I needed to simplify everything and things would flow a lot better. I took his advice and it was the best thing I could have done.
I like to use project management techniques, mixed in with a time-blocked calendar to manage my time. The tools I use are Trello & Google Calendar. Read on to see how I put it all together!
I break everything down into parent groups (Boards, in Trello); Personal, Family, myPortableFinance, Consulting Business, DH Blog.
Inside those groups I have a kanban board setup pushing things forward so I can see any bottlenecks. The columns I use are; New Tasks, In Progress (5), Review/Implement (3), Monitoring (5), Complete.
You'll notice the (Number). This limit helps me see when something is stuck or I need to get more support.
If I think of a task or something pops up, I pull my phone out and add it to new tasks in the specific group (board) for later.
Thanks to my wise old friend, I no longer schedule everything. Time blocking is how I now take control of my time and honestly it's reduced all my stress related to time management.
I use my groups (boards) with color codes and plan my time out in time blocks on my calendar. Always making sure to leave space for enjoying life.
I used to spend most of my time either studying, working or doing hobbies. But it's important to add time blocks for rest, fun and some reserved time in case of emergencies.