Planning A Time Management System

Planning means preparing yourself with theories, ideas and concepts that will lead you in executing your task. A carefully crafted planning procedure doesn’t waste time and effort. Planning involves management of resources and tracking down the logical steps in executing a task or project. This also involves creativity and patience since you would not want to start with an empty hand or pocket.
Now that you are ready and energetic about your plans, your next step would be to manage your time as you execute your plans. In this case, you must have effective ways to manage time. Your strategies to work with your plan should follow logical, relevant, and intelligent moves that will make you adjust with the changes and flux of time. A good plan is not enough unless it is executed well. You will just end up with a good plan and not with the best result if you will just keep on reading and re-reading your plans. In the strategies of time management, you should:
  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Try to veer away from complications.
  3. Avoid mental contradictions.
These three important aspects will help you know your best moves. By looking at your strengths and weaknesses as an individual, you would also know what to avoid (like procrastination, boredom, laziness, low self-esteem) and what to bank on (creativity, flexibility, or cheerfulness). You would also work with your best effort because you want to finish the said task and succeed. By knowing yourself, you would also know how to adjust during trials and testing.
Make things simple. This doesn’t mean you can’t think of complicated matters over the period of planning or during the execution of your plans. Simplicity means that you reduce complication as much as possible. In making your calendar of activities or time frame, do not include irrelevant agenda or unnecessary tasks. Do not put too many variables in your plans. Just think of the needed resources. Finally, think of ways of achieving your goals without too many directions or strategies. Just focus on what you think is the most effective way in the execution of your work plan.
You are your own enemy. Mental contradictions are also called cognitive dissonance. This means that if you think of your goals or aims, and something bad happens which might cause some delays or change of plans, do not pressure yourself with opposing poles of thoughts. In other words, remove anxiety from your mind.
There are ideal scenarios in your mind (like remodeling your house during your given vacation leave and spending a week with a newly refurbished house). But there are realities to face (Because of the delay of materials, a one week delay was incurred and you weren’t able to enjoy the pleasant rest period you had envisioned). In this case, don’t grumble and complain. Instead, think of the future, or the succeeding days that you can have to extend your plan of rest and recreation. Lessen the cognitive dissonance or mental contradiction that you would feel every time a problem or hindrance comes across your desired path. This will only muddle your thoughts and make you less energetic because of dissatisfactions. Often, this kind of displeasure will lead you nowhere and will eat up your time in reaching your necessary objectives.
Now after keeping these in mind, you are now ready to execute your plan.
A plan, especially made for a targeted result in an organization or as a personal aim (like saving some money or thinking of an activity during the summer), should be written down to achieve concrete actions. Never underestimate the value of planning because it is the start of the creation of strategies in executing your moves to achieve what you envision to accomplish.
A long-term plan involves a lifetime endeavor or a long-range projection. This can be part of an individual’s journey towards his notion of success. This might include ambitions, the kind of life a person wants, or the philosophy which defines a person’s meaning of success. Long-term plans can also be part of the bigger plans a society would create to better organize human existence. It can also take a longer period of time and necessitates a lot of changes.
On the other hand, a short-term or short-range plan involves a plan for tomorrow, for the week, for the month, or for the year. This is a personal plan that manifests the shortness of time or the limitations of a day or week. Short-term planning needs a lot of skills in balancing between tasks or duties that require time. It also involves insight in the right usage of resources and its relationship with time, such as the availability of the required supplies or the delays in communicating messages.
There are ways to create a sound plan, both simple and complex. Here are some of the ways:
  1. The use of the calendar should be maximized. Calendars can help you plan for things you will be doing in the future. Make sure that in your house, in your office desk, your wallet, or through your gadgets, you are constantly aware of important dates and schedules.
  2. Use organizers and day trackers. Similar to a calendar is an organizer or pocket diary where you can write your important activities or agenda for the day, week, or month. Use this tool efficiently and you would have no hassle managing your schedule. Remember, these were made for the purpose of being used, and not to be stored on some dark, dank area of your house.
  3. Highly sophisticated electronic organizers such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) can give you more comfort and efficiency in managing your schedule. You can use these gadgets to give you details of your plans or important dates to remember without the hassle of turning the pages or writing it down with a pen. PDAs are designed to give you the most logical and modern method of locating your data and organizing them to create better timetables and goal projections.
  4. Make a list of agenda. A “What to Do List” is one simple way of planning your day in a very timely organized manner. You can write down your planned activities for tomorrow especially if you have to do various tasks in one day. You can also keep this list as an initial way of tracking down your activity until you can create your own mental note or a list of desired activities inside your mind for simple undertakings. However, for bigger and more complicated agendas, it would be better if you have your small notebook or PDA where you can store a list of what you need to do or finish at a particular point in time.

Feasibility Studies
This kind of planning involves technical details and a lot of logical questions regarding a projected plan. Business establishments, organizational developments, and personal studies involve a kind of study or plan that will create timetables, projections, and strategies to be employed in getting the conclusive result of an activity or endeavor. This kind of planning requires a lot of preparation and critical inquiry. However, feasibility studies can also be employed in creating simple projections like the possibility of earning or saving money because of some available business opportunities. Also, a simplified feasibility study would be helpful in creating an annual career plan that involves an array of achievement possibilities in one year. An example of this is working while studying (or finishing a graduate degree) at the same time enjoying some other activities or engaging in some social organization. An annual plan for all of these could be a skeletal framework that will remind you of your priorities in life.
In making plans, you have to remember important key points that will help you become a better organizer of resources and time. Here are some key elements in strategic planning.
  1. Productivity. Always remember that in your move to success, there should always be a clear or concrete result. Though the result won’t always be in your favor, just be reminded that you are doing something because you want to achieve something. Productivity also means that you are not wasting time or effort in doing something or as you move on with your plans. You are gaining something. You are moving forward. In making business plans, you should consider the result of your effort and the limitations and eventual expansion of your resources. Productivity as a key should follow the rule that “there’s no day but today” in getting what you want or keeping yourself on track.
  2. Logical Decisions. A plan should be empirically based, meaning you are not basing your assumptions on fantasy (becoming a millionaire after a month or so of working, or getting the dream house without any concrete move or action). The rule of logic also follows the rule of intelligent decision-making. You are to minimize mistakes with the use of logic and step-by-step analysis of things and situations. You must base your decisions after realizing the pros and cons. Don't make hasty decisions. Logical steps create logical results, and these results are efficiently following the rules of time. Following the process will keep you definitely on time to reach your goals.
  3. Resources. The availability of your resources may affect the execution of your plan. In estimating the time frame, you need to get to the end of it all. Good managers are insightful about the limited conditions due to the limited quantity of materials, manpower, and most importantly time. But because there are expected limitations, a good plan can help an individual who is expecting these possible problems or scenarios prepare better. Time, though not a basic resource, is a factor itself that affects the availability of the said requirements. For example, delays in delivery or the absence of a particular reference material would mean a lot of things for an entrepreneurial venture. To manage this situation effectively, a good estimate or an initial expectation would cause less panic on the part of the people involved in the operation.
Finally, your plans are just plans and they are not the products of your achievement until you begin taking actions. Moreover, your plans should be flexible and should not be a source of anxiety or frustration in case you do not meet your set of expectations.

The Use of Action Plans
The use of action plans is different from making a “what to do list” since in the latter, you are just making a list of what to do for a particular task or project. You must give focus on what you need to do in a period of time to reach for your aim. Action plans will give you concentration and a clear line on where you would start and how you would utilize your effort/energy to become an achiever. In making an action plan consider the following:
  1. Go back to your goals, what are your objectives?
  2. Go back to your strategies, how will you do it?
  3. What are the most logical ways of doing your tasks or plans? What are the points between A and Z?
  4. How will you do you plans within a period of time? One day, a week, a month or a year? How realistic are you in getting the desired result?
The most important and valuable insight of an action plan as a strategy or tool for time management is how it gives you focus and motivation in finishing your task in less time. It will also give you an organized feeling of finishing a project. You need the list of your possible moves and the time frame that will require you to achieve such actions. For example, if you are making plans and you are still confused on how to execute your theoretical framework, try solving the basics first. In organizing an event, you may compartmentalize the different sets of tasks that need to be finished within a period of time. List down the necessary actions you need to do on each of the defined tasks. Then try to picture the situation in a more general manner and you would realize that you are actually defining the blueprints of your move, and therefore becoming more organized in your attempt to achieve success.
Remember to make plans in every important aspect that you do, either for complicated projects or mundane activities. Just keep in mind that you are here for a purpose and that is to be positive as much as possible, everyday of the week, every minute of every hour. Mental plans will give you a feeling of security especially in facing scenarios like meeting new people or your boss or your parents-in-law. However, do not become slaves of your plan since this will make you obsessive and anxious. Just make sure that if your plan doesn't work or you are not able to achieve your expectations, go for your next move. The more choices you have, the better planner you are.
Scenario: You feel unmotivated because every move you make seems futile. You think that you are not getting any younger and your achievements are as tall as the newly cut grass of your lawn. You don't seem to be getting anywhere, you are a floating ship and your sail is broken. You feel sick and tired of your routine inside the office. You feel that time does not cooperate with you since it became wicked, forcing you to finish things and tasks beyond schedule or boring you with a slow melting trepidation.
Solution: Now what you can do is scrap this kind of life and start with a leap of faith by changing your destiny. You can start this by getting a pencil and a paper and listing down your past and present, and highlighting what you want in the future. Motivate yourself with aims that will give your heart a different and cheerful smile. Remove the dread by having positive projection and by thinking of what you want as an individual, as part of your family, friends, and society. Write the word SUCCESS in bold letters and take action


    1. This looks good. Im really bad at planning, so far not planning is working for me, but Im going to uni soon, and that might come in handy.

    2. wow nice list of interesting points! Think im might use that plan:)! Thanks


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