Author Archives: Jeff Doubek

About Jeff Doubek

Jeff Doubek believes everyone can find new ways to better enjoy their time. Read the Day-Timer Blog for useful tips on time management and productivity that you can use today. Contact Jeff with any questions or comments regarding planning and time management tips using Day-Timer solutions. Connect with Jeff Doubek on: +Jeff Doubek

6 Daily Planner Tips for Being More Organized

AAG Planner

There’s an easy way you can enjoy better time management in your life: make daily planning a habit.

Here are a few key guidelines for making time management a habit:

• Set your “Plan Time:” Choose a specific time each day for your planning activities. For example, you can devote 5 minutes over breakfast each morning and hold a 15-minute weekly review every Sunday afternoon. Setting a schedule keeps you accountable and makes planning a normal everyday life activity.

• Commit for 1 month: Make a goal for yourself that says you will unfailingly stick to your planning system for one month. You’ll start feeling a sense of progress and accomplishment with each passing day. Be sure to write your goal date into your planner so you can celebrate your success. Then, commit to another month of planning.

• Be realistic: Start at a planning level that feels manageable. For example, you might want to start simple and keep just a weekly schedule and to-do list. Don’t attempt a process that may overwhelm you. Once you get the ball rolling, you can add activities such as monthly goal setting and time tracking.

• Carry it: Keep your planner with you at all times, and spend a few minutes reviewing your plans during downtime at work or at home.


Read the rest of the tips at the AT-A-GLANCE Planning Center…


4 Must-Know Steps for Following Through

Planner and iPhone by koalazymonkeyBelow are the steps to making a powerful list that will offer you confidence that you are doing what you need to be doing, when you need to be doing it.

1) Write your list

Your first step is to write down all the tasks you can foresee having to do today and in the future—this is your master task list. Tasks that you don’t see doing anytime soon can be put on a “Someday” list.

Once you’ve chosen the specific tasks you wish to accomplish today, write them in your planner and organize your list by context. Simply put your work tasks at the top, your home tasks at the bottom and any errands or on-the-go tasks in the middle of your list. Some individuals like to go a step further and differentiate their contexts by using different colored inks.

2) Categorize your tasks by urgency and importance

This is an important step because it ultimately determines the path of your productivity.

Categorize your tasks with a coding system, using letters and numbers:

  • Scan through your list and select items that absolutely must be done today. Assign those the letter A. Be sure to be selective here—these are strictly time-sensitive tasks that must get done today.
  • Review the list for tasks that need to get done and assign the letter B to those. While not urgent, B-level tasks include the most important steps you take toward reaching your goals. You must get them done, but you won’t suffer consequences if they’re not completed today.
  • Put the letter C by items that are neither urgent nor important. These are items you want to do, but they can wait for another day. C-level tasks are the expendable part of your daily plan.

3) Give your tasks order

Now, number your tasks. Number each task in an order that suits your daily flow. Take into consideration your own patterns of productivity, daily energy swings, anticipated locations, and how one task affects another.

As you complete your list organization, it’s important to keep in mind that new tasks will undoubtedly pop up as you go about your day. Use the A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s of your list as a decision scale for choosing where this new task fits in. For example, you may have to decide if returning a phone call (a “B” task) is more important than meeting a project deadline (an “A” task).

4) Follow through on your list

The final step in prioritizing your list deals with your own behavior as you go through the day. The best course of action is for you to honor the priorities you’ve assigned to your tasks. By being impeccable with your word, you will enjoy better productivity and balance in your life.

Let us know if this method of prioritization works for you, and be sure to include new tips of your own.

Get more tips on planning, organizing and productivity for every facet of your life by visiting the AT-A-GLANCE Success Center.

 

How to Use Your Planner Every Day

AAG Planner

You’ve purchased your planner, now it’s time to begin your daily planning process.

Here are some tips for using your planner every day:

Keep your planner with you

The best way to begin using your day planner everyday is to simply just begin. A great tip for starting out is to carry your planner everywhere, to meetings, to the grocery store, and event to the coffee table as you watch evening TV. By simply making your planner omnipresent you will find yourself more frequently using it in different facets of your life.

Create a daily planning routine

To begin your planning process it’s a good is to create a cheat-sheet that offers quick reminders. It might say: “1) list appointments; 2) list daily tasks; 3) review yesterday’s notes;” and so on. At first follow the blueprint for your schedule to a tee. In time you will learn areas where you can be more flexible. Be sure to include time for planning throughout your day.

Commit yourself to the process

The hardest part of integrating planning into your lifestyle is forming the habit. Learning a new planning system requires breaking old habits like working without a task list, not keeping a schedule, and writing notes on random slips of paper. Commitment is necessary, otherwise you may find yourself skipping steps and falling off the planning wagon. You will enjoy better time management and productivity when you’ve bought-into your personal organizer system.

Plan in daily sessions

Schedule a 15-minute daily appointment with yourself. Choose a time of day that works best for you. How? Go read the rest of this tip at ataglance.com: Use Your Planner Daily