Time management tips that are heart-based never turn you into a drone. Quite the contrary – you function at peak productivity when vital and proactive. Heart-based time management helps you build capacity by going deep. Start by exploring 5 tips to sharpen your scheduling skills with intuition.
Make the Calendar Grid a Canvas for Your Creativity
Interestingly, that standardized grid of a calendar is a wonderful partner to intuition. That’s because it provides you with an overview. While intricate details are the province of logical left-brain activity, overviews, patterns and systems are discerned by the intuitive right brain.
Intuition helps you perceive and ultimately coordinate the rhythms of your life. It helps you pace yourself to avoid burnout, and to coordinate demands. Here are 5 ways that you can delineate important patterns using your calendar:
1. Color Codes Coordinate.
Color-coding is a powerful scheduling tool. It helps you conduct quick scans and avoid logjams. For example, make all the action steps of “Project A” the same color, and assign a different color to the action steps of “Project B”. Then, it’s easy to discern the steps of each individual project when you take a quick look at your month.
2. Perceiving Patterns Protects Priorities.
Which tasks recur cyclically? How do these cycles coordinate or clash with other cycles? For example, one evening activity might meet every other Wednesday, while a second one meets every fourth Wednesday. You will either have lots of schedule conflicts or none, and it will show up immediately on your calendar.
Many electronic devices only project ahead for set intervals like two weeks, monthly, etc. For other rhythms, a large desk calendar with colored markers is invaluable to chart your month’s progression. The earlier you catch potential collisions, the more options you can explore.
3. Sync Your Steps.
You’re already beginning to see how emerging and receding demands form the dance of your priorities. To further refine how you use your time, note on your calendar when each project must claim precedence and for how long. If you create a visual symbol, you can take in at a glance the time durations that are ideal. (For example, one check mark may represent each half hour you assign to a task.)
As much as possible, chunk down each project into action steps that you enter into your calendar. Then you can better coordinate how to group activities for your maximum effectiveness.
4. Stay on Schedule Using Soft Deadlines.
Soft deadlines are due dates ahead of your final deadline. By focusing on your soft deadlines, you maximize your chance of staying on schedule, even if faced by setbacks.
5. To Energize, Enlist Your Intuition.
Burnout develops when you focus on the specific individual parts of your projects and neglect your health, values and personal welfare in general. Again, your intuition is a priceless ally to keep you whole and effective, not disconnected and exhausted. Remember to schedule in time to recharge your batteries along with everything else. Color-code it prominently! Then, your calendar supports your overall well-being as well as your productivity.
Using these tips consistently takes willpower. In times of stress, it’s easy to clench and shut down. Breathing becomes shallow. Responses become rote. Don’t fall into this trap! To maintain balance every time, use these intuitive scheduling tools as the allies they are. Remember, you magnify your power by aligning right and left-brain strengths with your top priorities. Then you know you make the very most of your time!© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.