By Julie Morgenstern
My philosophy about time management is that every system must be designed from the inside out—based on the unique way you think, your natural habits and goals. That’s why I am so excited about the collaboration between Boundless and the Balanced Life Planner. The flexible format allows you to build a portable system that captures the information you want, the way that you like. And since time is dynamic, (and life has a way of throwing curveballs), the re-arrangeable page design allows you to switch things around while making sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Why paper planning in this technology age? Science indicates we need regular “screen” breaks to access the more thoughtful and strategic parts of our brains. Planning is not a mechanical task, it is a time for deep reflection…to make decisions on how you are spending your time, in relation to your dreams, goals, and ideal balance. The act of writing emblazons information on your memory, and connects you to your commitments. The coaching messages embedded in the pages are designed to guide you, provide support, and bring daily encouragement to spend time on the things you value.
TIPS FOR A BALANCED LIFE
- Capture all your to-dos in one place. You have one life, use one planner. Keep it with you wherever you go. Record 100% of your calls, appointments and to-do’s. This reduces pressure to remember, and enables wise choices when prioritizing.
- Schedule “when” you will do things A to-do not connected to a “when” simply doesn’t get done. Schedule tasks into your planner on the specific day you intend to do them. Add a time estimate next to each item to ensure do-able days.
- Use the 4D’s to Lighten Your Load. Proactively streamline over scheduled days by applying the 4 D’s:
Delete (discard tasks) Delay (reschedule for a more appropriate time). Diminish (create a shortcut) or Delegate (give to someone who can do it better, faster or good enough).
- Group Similar tasks. Batching tasks boosts efficiency, and minimizes the time and energy lost when constantly switching gears. Group DO’s separate from CALLS— separate WORK tasks from PERSONAL ones.
- Track Your Balance What is the highest and best use of your time? Record the important activities you tend to neglect under Maximize, and the time wasting habits you want to avoid under Minimize. Track your successes daily with a check for each good choice you make.
- Plan tomorrow +2 at the end of each day Close-out each day by spending :15 minutes reviewing what you completed and your schedule for tomorrow plus 2 days beyond that. A 3 day arc gives you the necessary perspective to adjust your balance as needed and mentally prepare for the upcoming days.