There are so many tools out there these days, there is really no excuse to be late or miss a meeting or date. I know that my friends, relatives and huband hate it when I put my stuff out there, but as an example, I have set a reminder on my phone and through my outlook to take my birth control every day.
I put EVERYTHING into outlook. OK, if you don’t have outlook, thunderbird is free. If you don’t want to use a client server for email, gmail has a calendar. If you don’t use the computer alot, whose phone doesn’t have a calendar, or the ability to set tasks and reminders. There is just no reason not to use these tools.
Now don’t get me wrong, it takes some getting used to, but once you decide to do it, give it less than a month and you will wonder why you hadn’t started doing this sooner.
Once you get used to using some tool, the next more important thing to time management, is being realistic. Will you be able to get the grocery shopping done with enough time to get home and cook dinner. Many people plan that it takes 30 minutes to do the shopping, 10 to drive home and 45 to cook dinner. Do we all take into account the time it takes to power down from work and actually get into the car to get to the store? Do we take into account the 7 minutes it takes to get from the store to the car, unload the cart and put the cart back in the cart return? (You better put the cart back in the cart return) Did you account for the time to heat up the oven and get the groceries unloaded from the car?
I am sorry, but most people take those steps for granted and those steps alone just accounted for about 15 – 25 mins. This is enough time before dinner is ready to have the kids screaming at you that they are hungry. It is enough time to be late for an important meeting that makes you look bad. It is enough time to be late to dinner with your wife and have her be fuming by the time you get there.
The point is: put buffers on either end of your time guesstimating.
Although it is not directly related to time management; my last piece of advice is be respectful and professional. If you realize you are going to be late, or not make an appointment/meeting at all, call someone or email them and let them know. People are not nearly as irritated if they are informed. If they are left to wonder why you are late or didn’t show, they are left with the opportunity to think the worst.
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