Once upon a time, time management systems came in a box.
I remember when I got my first Franklin Dayplanner. It was packaged in a neat little box with everything I needed from a binder, to note paper, a calendar, and a todo list.
Today, time management systems aren’t packaged as simply. In fact, most people’s time management tools consist of a variety of items ranging from paper to apps to hybrid systems.
What’s in your time management tool set?
Is Your Time Management System Complete?
The same tools that years ago came in my dayplanner box are still applicable. Some are still paper-based, while others are now apps on my phone.
Having the correct tools in your system ensures that you have the essentials to keep yourself organized and on task.
Completing your time management tool kit may seem elementary, yet most people are missing at least one essential productivity tool from their system.
Here are the 4 Key Components of Any Time Management System:
1. Todo List
It is amazing how many people say that they are “too busy,” yet when asked, they don’t even keep a list of their tasks.
It doesn’t matter where you keep your todo list, as long as you keep one.
Some prefer paper so that they can cross off tasks with a swift stroke of their pen. Others prefer software to track their myriad todos.
Many people do not keep a calendar other than reacting to their Outlook calendar at work. In other words, their calendar runs their life versus the other way around.
Make sure you own your calendar. With the advent of smartphones it is easy to keep all of your calendars in one place and in sync. You can even share your calendar with family members so that you are always on the same page.
3. Address Book
Don’t make the mistake of not keeping an Address Book of your contacts. It is easy to take for granted connections like Facebook or LinkedIn, however these will not give you the contact information you need at your fingertips.
Capture phone numbers and email addresses whenever you have the opportunity. You never know when you will need them in a pinch.
A common mistake people make is to keep all of their contacts in their work email or Outlook account. This can have dire consequences if you ever depart your job. Always have your contacts in your account and make sure you back them up.
4. Notebook for Notes and Reference
Where do you take notes? The most common missing tool from time management systems is a note-taking tool.
Paper or technology is not as important as having one place that you take all of your notes. Resist the urge to use random pads or scraps of paper. You won’t be able to find those notes when you need them.
The Essential Time Management Tools
Every time management system needs the same basic productivity tools.
Check what is in your time management system. Chances are you are missing at least one key component.
You can add other great tools such as habit trackers and more, but first make sure your basic time management tool kit is complete.
A calendar, todo list, address book, and good notebook are the foundation of every time management system.Question: What essential tools are you missing from your time management system? You can leave a comment by clicking here.