Thursday, August 27, 2015

Organizing tools of the trade: Time management

I can organize a drawer with the best of them, but time management and organizing my time are not always my strong suits. Like many people, I'm very good at wasting time or just simply doing a poor job of managing my time. I've gotten significantly better at this in recent months, and I'll happily share some of the things that helped me become better at managing my time. As always, I'm not an expert. I've still got a lot to learn. If you have things that have worked well for you, please feel free to share them.

1. The Home Binder-

It's a monthly calendar, a budget tracker, a weekly calendar, a meal planner, and many other things all rolled into one. There are even sheets for project planning, shopping lists, and books I'd like to read. It has made my life significantly easier. I made this one, but I drew upon some home binders I found on various blogs and Pinterest to create something that would suit my needs. My mother-in-law graciously agreed to bind it for me. One thing I'd change- next time I'll have Staples or Kinkos bind it instead of using three inkjet cartridges to do it myself. If you like this idea, but you don't want to create it yourself, Jen Jones at I Heart Organizing has an amazing home binder you can purchase. 

2. Command Center

Again, I didn't invent command centers. I wish this had been my idea, but just like the home binder, this is another idea I stumbled upon on the Internet and decided to make it more useful to my life and my needs. My command center contains a monthly calendar, a weekly calendar, a dry erase list of bills to pay, a weekly cleaning to do list, a menu planner, a bulletin board, and three bins for sorting mail.  For a more in depth look at my command center, here is a post about it. 

I  also do something similar in my classroom: one for me and things I need to do, and one for my students and things they need to remember. 

In addition to my command center, here are some other examples. These aren't mine :)

One Creative Housewife: Time To Get Organized

Man Oh Man Command Center

3. The Tried and True To-Do List! 

Honestly, this is probably my most-often used time management tool. I make to-do lists allll the time. I make them on a dry erase board at school to keep abreast of all my responsibilities and tasks. I use one at home to make sure I get everything done that I need to do and I don't forget anything. I write out a list of home maintenance duties each year so I can make sure I get everything done that I need to do. You get the idea- the easiest way to make sure you get everything done that you need to do is to simply write it down. Seeing it all on paper helps you manage your time better, because you know exactly what needs your attention. 

to do list

I hope you enjoyed this post about time management tools. I am going to be talking about time management smartphone apps next week, so please stay tuned. Thanks for reading, and remember to share any ideas that you yourself use for time management. 

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