Marie Kondo is a master of organization. She began a tidying consultant business as a 19-year-old student and has since become an author and TV show host. She is now heralded as a master of tidiness and organization and is an individual who many look up to when trying to get their messy lives back on track. While much of Kondo’s advice is for tidying up your physical space, she can teach you a lot about tidying up your schedule and your time management.
By taking her decluttering approach to your schedule, you will be less stressed and have more free time. Here are just some of the ways you can channel your inner Marie Kondo to take control of your daily schedule:
Combine Your Calendars
Your schedule consists of many different parts. There’s your work schedule that contains your weekly shifts, team meetings, and project deadlines. A family schedule reminds you of all of your kids’ after-school events and homework due dates. Finally, you have a personal schedule for pursuing hobbies and tending to certain responsibilities, such as bills and dentist appointments.
Managing all of these calendars separately can be exhausting. Instead of clicking through multiple calendars trying to get through every day, try combining them into a single schedule. Most online calendars have this function, allowing you to combine your separate schedules and even share them with others.
Once you’ve combined your calendars, all you need is a proper organizational method to keep everything tidy. This could be as simple as color-coding your events based on different criteria. For example, all of your work events could be labeled in red so that at a quick glance you know exactly what’s going on at work that day.
Prioritize Your Task List
Some tasks need to take higher priority than others. Subconsciously, it can be difficult to remember which items on your task list should be labeled as higher priority. If you haven’t made a priority list before starting your day, you can get caught up in the menial tasks that get in the way of completing meaningful work.
Start by writing down your entire daily or weekly task list. Next, start marking the tasks that have urgent due dates or can’t be delayed. Other parameters you can use include the amount of time required to complete each task and whether certain events rely on another person.
Once you’ve done this, you can lay out your schedule more effectively. Low-priority tasks can take a back seat to the items that made the top of your list. This can help you cut down on the busywork and focus on the tasks that really matter.
Learn to Say No
A big part of Kondo’s philosophy is learning to let go of certain things. Clutter builds up when we are unable to discard certain items or clear our space of the things that hold little value. You can bring this same mentality to your schedule by learning when you should say “no” to certain events and commitments.
Sometimes you need to decline an invitation to a meeting that you know you won’t benefit from. You can say no to certain tasks that aren’t your responsibility rather than forcing you to pick up others’ slack. And you can even learn to say no to certain bad habits, such as sleeping in or going out to eat for lunch every day.
By saying no every once in a while, you can free up your schedule a little bit. This will give you more time to focus on the most important things in your life rather than letting a jam-packed schedule stress you out.
Let Automation Do the Work
Any time there’s the possibility of automating your schedule, you should look into it. By automating simple tasks, you can save time for the things that really matter.
An example of automated schedules is scheduling links. These links display your availability to others. For example, a client of yours can look at your scheduling link to see when you might be free for a phone call. They can book a time with you straight through the link, automatically filling your schedule with important events.
Another thing you can do is add recurring events to your calendar. These events will cycle through your calendar on a designated loop. You won’t have to constantly add events to your schedule, and you’ll always receive the reminders you need for each event.
Time management requires discipline and a concentrated effort over time. However, it certainly helps to have people like Marie Kondo to learn from. Take advantage of the tips above to seize control of your life through more effective time management.
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