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Using Planners to Master Time Management

Time is the most precious commodity any of us have. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Another year is over. The question that I'm asking myself is how effectively did I manage my time in 2019?

All people need to manage their time, but different people see things differently.

Some people work so hard as if there's not enough time in 24 hours. While some people seem not to care much about time as long as they can do what they need and what they want.

What is the balance? King Solomon said, "There is a time for everything." There is a right time for doing particular things. If you're not doing something when you should be doing it, then you're probably doing it wrong.

I must admit that I made terrible mistakes (in relation to my use of time) this past year that I probably won't forget. But it doesn't mean that I won't forgive myself. Mistakes should never stop us from doing things right or better. What's done is done. If we can do something to correct it, then we should. But sometimes, we just got to do what's best (what God wants) and move on.

So, this 2020, one of the things I really want to do is to better manage my time. How can I do that?

The simple answer is by using a planner as a tool for time management.

As a student in my early years, I always make a to-do list to help me prioritize things, my chores at home and my school-related activities. When I started working, I continued to use a planner.

However, when I got married and became a stay at home mom, I somehow didn't think that I needed to use a planner anymore. Why? Well, it was because things at home were pretty much routinary. I almost always do certain things at particular times. And if there are any changes at all, my schedule is very much flexible because I don't have any work or other matters to worry about.

But things changed when I started working from home. It could be tricky sometimes to balance work, caring for the family and doing house chores. Of course, there is a good advantage of working from home and that is my flexible work hours.

Nevertheless, it is still a challenge to be really productive.

I have used simple to-do lists in the past 5 years or so, but I think it's not enough as I fail to follow through with the to-dos and be productive.

This year, I am using a planner that I also published for sale here. It's a very simple planner that has sections for stuff that I want to keep track of like chores, important events, prayer items, and certain habits. It also has notes pages for jotting down notes of the preaching on Sundays.

Here's how I think I want to use this planner:
1. Set weekly goals.
2. Write the things I want to do every day preferably at the start of the day to accomplish my goals.
3. Make sure to do the absolutely essential.
4. Tick off the tasks when done at the end of the day.
5. Evaluate what was left undone and schedule again.

Reminders to myself:
1. Try to schedule only what is essential and can possibly be done during the day.
2. Don't forget prayer/ devotion time and exercise.
3. Don't spend the time allocated for family/chores on doing freelance work.
4. Avoid multi-tasking. I used to believe in multi-tasking because I do it a lot when I was young. But now, it seems counter-productive. Perhaps it's because I've aged. Well, I just have to stick to what is most productive -- doing one thing at a time.

Hopefully, I'd be wiser and more disciplined in spending my time this 2020. Help me, Lord to do what needs to be done that I may bring glory to your Name.


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