Adjusting Your Time Management For Change Part One

As baseball continues its season and basketball and hockey are getting closer to wrapping up theirs, I’ve been thinking about how an athlete has to completely adjust their schedule with every seasonal change. When you enter preseason, during the season, postseason (with any luck!) and then in between the seasons – your availability, your schedule, your needs and your responsibilities completely change.

For athletes, this happens at least 2-3 times per year! But it will also happen when you leave your sport and move into the next phase of your life. And it will happen with major changes in your life, such as a marriage, the birth of a child or the change in health status of yourself or someone in your family, whether you’re looking for a job or starting/running a business.

There is one thing you can count on in this life – your scheduling needs will change and a sustainable and productive time management system must be able to flow with those changes.

How do you create a schedule that is both structured enough to help you get done everything you need to get done – taking care of your fitness, your family, your team (whether your sport team or your business team) and yourself – while being flexible to easily transition in the different phases of your game and still having a life?

One of the tricks I recommend for all of my clients who are working on time management is to block out the time by category – rather than by appointment or task. If you create a master week schedule by category, then adjust that master schedule when you go through these major changes, you will always have a useful model schedule to work from.

What is a Category?

Your time category is the bucket definition for a group of tasks. Some examples of categories could be:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Self
  • Finances
  • Health

For example:

Self-Care – could include personal hygiene, medical appointments, etc.

Family – could include children, spouse, parents, siblings, god-children, etc.

For my entrepreneur clients – I recommend these 5 sub-categories for their work/business:

  • Creative
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Admin
  • Fulfillment
  • Vision/Planning

If you are an employee and not the business owner, these categories can still work with some tweaking.

If you create a master schedule for an ideal week, but instead of putting in specifics, you label each time block by category, it becomes much easier to imagine rearranging it as things change. The idea is that you rearrange the time blocks – while still preserving the same QUANTITY of time for each category that you’ve pre-determined in your master ideal week.

In this way – you can easily re-organize your schedule as your needs change, without losing your balance or priorities.

One important note

When you create that master schedule – make sure you INCLUDE TIME TO SCHEDULE! (Notice Vision/Planning is one of the five main categories for your business.)

I know, it seems obvious – but almost everyone forgets and then wonders why their time system falls apart. You must include time to schedule every week – so that you can adjust your plan to suit the specifics of this week and to identify and manage your task priorities.

If, once the changes settle, you have a life where every week is mostly the same, you can probably just do this once per month, except for the task decisions. But for most business owners, every week is different – so you really must do this weekly for it to work.

Next Up

Stay tuned to the VIKTRE Career Network, as I will cover how task management fits in this concept in “Adjusting Your Time Management for Change – Part II.”

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