The Time Management Tactic That’s Actually Making You Late & How To Be On Time From Now On
Most people are sensible enough to figure out what time they need to leave their house in order to make it to their intended destination on time.
Most people are late.
The flaw in the plan is that having only one time stamp in mind–and the final one at that–does little to help you manage all the minutes that precede it. In other words, knowing what time you need to be out the door doesn’t tell you: by what time you need to be out of bed, by what time you need to be done with breakfast, by what time you need to be brushing your teeth/through checking emails/through packing lunches etc, etc.
As a result, the chunk of time that comes between waking up and leaving the house is just that–one chunk of time. Without in-built time stamps for all the other activities that need to take place besides leaving, you’re more prone to take longer than you should/can on various tasks (since you don’t realize you’re technically running over the schedule for that particular task), and more prone to distraction.
Certainly there are people who can do this naturally, and we’d call them good at managing time. For the rest of you, you’re going to need to be purposeful about this tactic until it starts to feel natural. You’re going to need to get your anal retentive on is what.
Each night, take a few moments to review your schedule for the coming day. Note the appointments you have scheduled, the errands you need to run, and so on.
Then generate a time-based schedule for yourself based on those commitments. Break up the larger chunks of time you have into multiple units based on the major activities that need to occur within each.
You can work this out in whatever order feels easiest.
Where you would ordinarily say:
“I need to be at _______ by ________, so I need to leave the house by ______.”
Now you say:
“I need to be at _______ by ________, so I need to leave the house by ______.
If I need to leave the house by ________, that means I need to wake up at ________, be showered by______, be eating breakfast by______, be putting my shoes on by______.”
“If I need to leave the house by ________, that means I need to be done with breakfast by _______.
Which means I’ll have from between ______ and ______ to get dressed and do my hair, if I wake up at ______.”
The worse you are at managing your time typically, the more detailed your schedule should be. If you’re especially forgetful or ADD, you might try setting alarms for each time deadline, as well.
Mmmkay, lemme know how it goes, Doctor’s orders.Image credits: Home of Leanne Carter-Taylor, of Balmain interiors store Quintessential Duckegg Blue, and husband Trent Carter-Brugman; Photo by Sean Fennessy; via Lucy Feagins of The Design Files
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