Are Your Time Management Techniques and Tools in Sync?

What’s are time management techniques anyway?  Well, a technique is a way to complete a job or assignment, and helps us make progress with task management.  While we know that using a calendar (the tool) is perhaps helpful,  the kind of calendar we use and the way we engage with it is our technique that makes it work, or not work.

As you know, there are many routes  to the same destination. One person may prefer electronic calendars and others like to actually write.  There’s no best way, but there are ways that we can each uniquely improve our time management technique, and remain open to what other possibilities are out there.

Be sure that whatever tool you use actually aligns with the way you are, not the way you think you should be.   One of the biggest time management behaviors that derails our efforts is thinking that we should employ the same tools and techniques that others do.  Not only is this false, it makes us feel weak when it doesn’t work. Further, thinking that we should handle time management the same, keeps our minds blocked to creative time management techniques that actually work.

Being clear about the way you best accomplish tasks is vital to ensuring that your time management techniques are effective for you!  You possess everything you need to be an awesome time manager.  Now, your goal is to observe your natural technique and infuse it with your time management tool of choice.

Additionally, it's important to consider new, specific time management tips that fit your natural technique.  Not all tips and tools are best for you as a unique time manager, so create an improved plan with your greatest strengths in mind. We also recommend considering Franklin Covey activities when considering the best tools and techniques. These strategies and tools are especially helpful with time management.

Tools versus Techniques - A Scenario

Alice is a student that prefers using her cell for almost everything.  Leaving her cell phone at home would feel like her right arm is missing, so it’s always with her. Because of this, she uses the cell phone calendar feature to keep track of what’s due in her classes.  It’s an ideal tool for her. When she received her syllabus for each class, she entered the assignments in the calendar feature, which seemed like a great idea.  Yet, Alice also knows that she is often forgetful.   She is a very ‘visual’ person and often remembers commitments based on what’s literally in front of her.  Yet, her calendar app is out of sight, out of mind.   She regularly forgets to look at her cell phone calendar because it’s only visual if she accesses it.   She’s frustrated that she forgets to look at her calendar so often, especially after the work she put into using it as her main tool to stay organized.

How can Alice benefit from using her cell phone calendar as her best time management tool, yet improve her technique for using it?

So, here are a few quick solutions to improve Alice’s time management technique:

  • Alice can print her calendar.  Attaching it to an area she passes everyday helps her ‘see’  what’s coming up. 
  •  Alice’s can set up ‘reminders’ that pop-up as text messages.
  • Alice can download a calendar app that’s linked to a larger calendar (like google or yahoo calendar), thus allowing her to use it on her cell phone, computer, and other devices.

No matter what, the actual way Alice uses her tool of choice determines if it’s effective.   You might be thinking, “Alice should just be more responsible and check her phone more.”  Not so!   We each need to explore which tools and time techniques work for us as unique time managers.

In fact, we've even created time management techniques for your type. Learning time management skills that fit best with your personality is a fun and effective time management activity that use your strengths to improve your week!

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