Time Management Planner: The Drip System

When I said that keeping it in one place is the key, did you throw your hands up and say “THAT IS the problem, not the key!”?

I have found that the most frustrating part of trying to keep a system is the fact that we know it needs to be in one place, but that seems impossible because that information comes to us from different directions.

For example:  You have business plans that are on your desk blotter at the office, your daughter brings a school calendar home that is posted on your refrigerator, your son’s soccer coach sends one home that is on his bulletin board, you put an appointment into your phone while you are in the carpool lane, and your husband mentions that you have been invited to dinner with his boss, so to put that on the calendar – leaving you to think, just WHICH calendar?

Here is the actual problem, we get overwhelmed with the shear volume of information and that pretty new planner we bought seems inadequate so we just throw up our hands and give in to the feeling because we cannot keep up with it all.

I am going to suggest that the reason we are overwhelmed is becasue we are not anticipating all the possible places information comes from and did not set up a good system to funnel it into the right place.

The time management planner is not the trick.  The plan you give it is.

I call these sources Information or Schedule Drips.  They are precious important pieces of information, but they drip on you, they don’t pour.  And they can catch you unaware.

But like a faucet left on, you can know they will drip.  So you can either make a plan to fix that and catch the information or you can leave it alone and wait for the potential disaster it may cause.

Anticipating where all these drips of information might come from and having a plan in place to catch them and put them all in one place, will lead to your System.

For example:  If on the last day of every month, you routinely took your planner (whatever form that may be) and went around to each of your potential leaks (your children, your spouse, your business, your phone, answering machine, email…etc.) and put all of their information into your master schedule.

Then, each week on a Sunday, you go back around and confirm all of the information and check each of the potential leaks again for more drips, then you have a System.

We know that information comes to you at different times and in even through different media, but only you know where it comes for you.  So, I can’t give you an exact step by step plan and that may be what is frustrating you, you are trying to follow someone elses’.

Make this your own.

Know where your drips are coming from and set up a system to catch them all and put it in one place where you can use it.

Time Management Tip of the Week: MAP Your Time

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Time Management Planner: The Drip System
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