One of the first and fundamental lessons at Living Peace is the 6 steps to organizing: Sort, Weed, Assign a Home, Buy/Locate, Setup, and Label. What I love about these steps is that they can be used to organize anything, including your time. I learned this at Living Peace and also through books like Julie Morgenstern’s “Time Management from the Inside Out.” This concept is something I had never considered before – organize your time just like you organize your things!
SORT: Sort like things together. For example, household chores go together, errands are done in one trip, and for some people, paying bills and looking at mail make sense to do together. Sorting this way is logical and efficient. Your mind is focused on one type of task during one block of time. The categories are up to you.
Just like sorting “things” you can sort “tasks” into groups. Take a piece of paper and list all of the things that you want to fit into your calendar, in a given day, week, etc. Then group them into categories that make sense to you. Once you do this, you will see the size of each category and you can start to plan – or schedule these into your calendar. You can create a logical flow from one time period to the next. For example: drop the kids off at school, stop at the post office, then stop at the gas station before heading home.
This is also an efficient way to schedule work- related tasks. If your days tend to have you running from meeting to meeting, set aside time in the morning to catch up on your reading, or your emails. Then maybe an hour again at the end of the day.
One real benefit to this is that you will be using blocks of time to accomplish tasks, rather than 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there. It can be difficult to really focus and accomplish something this way. And you will have a difficult time trying to schedule things that require a significant block of time.
This process will also help you recognize where you spend most of your time and whether or not everything you are trying to schedule is truly necessary. Which brings us to Step #2: Weed … another blog for another week.
Image by quyenlan