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Published by Gerber
article about business scheduling
article about business scheduling

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Published by: Gerber on Apr 25, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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We all have very busy lives! Full-time occupations, studying, fitness ambitions, family andsocial responsibilities adds up to a great deal of time to manage! A common complaint,therefore, is that there is just not enough time to go around...Confronted by several duties simultaneously, often people fail to do any of them. The
 purpose of scheduling is to free you from inefficiency and anxiety that is, at least partially, afunction of wasted time, stress, lost productivity, inadequate planning, hasty, last minutecramming, etc. Its not meant to enslave you - you will look forward to activities instead of dreading them.Being successful at any level requires habitually scheduling effectively. Preparing a well-organized time schedule as a routine is one of the best techniques for improving your timemanagement skills, achieving outstanding success and maintaining an active approach toyour life.
To-do list:
Make it concrete, make it happen! Begin by jotting
goals, tasks, errandsand appointments in your head onto your to-do list for scheduling.
Fixed activities:
Mark the activities that come at fixed hours and cannot be altered,this includes sleep, work hours, etc. with a coloured marker.
Flexible activities:
Mark these ones with a different colour. These time commitmentscan be interchanged with other hours if your schedule must be changed at any time.Mark all your interests and social commitments in yet another color.
Set-up a schedule:
Have a yearly calendar in front of you and lay out main eventssuch as holidays, birthdays, specialy occasions, training courses, seminars, etc. Thentake a weekly calendar and lay out when your activities will occur for the followingweek.
Plan Ahead:
Always complete your weekly schedule up to one week ahead of thecurrent date.
Create a general schedule for an entire year and a more specificplan for a week at a time.
Pencil in:
Write items that are likely to be rescheduled in pencil, which will serve as'color coding', when you have confirmed the appointment, write it in inc. Crossactivities out neatly where they are written in inc, so that your schedule will still beeasy to read and neat.
Prioritising activities:
When you have limited time available its necessary to prioritiseabsolute requirements first, then add activities with lower priorities.
The remaining items can be added to the schedule if you unexpectedlyfind that you have some time to fit them in or can combine them with anotheractivity - but remember not to over-schedule.
Combine activities:
Get more from your efforts by meeting a variety of needssimultaneously. For example by combining exercise time with family time etc.
Avoid scheduling many lengthy activities consecutively - you maylose focus.
Regular Hours:
In so far as possible, schedule time for specific activities in a similarsystematic way. Keeping regular hours makes it easier to habitually follow theschedule.
Similar things together:
To avoid running back and forth when you have to buygroceries, go to the post office and laundry each week, schedule those errands withinclose proximity of each other back-to-back on the same day.
Free Time In-between:
The hours between activities are very valuable - yet, mostfrequently misused. You may effectively utilize these hours by reading, reviewingtraining materials, planning, making notes of the preceding meetings or prepare for afollowing meeting or training.
Confirm appointments:
Confirm via phone or e-mail at least one week in advance thedetails of the meeting/activity, especially if you have scheduled it several months inadvance.
Be persistent:
Not getting an answer does not translate into "I don't want to meetwith you". The person might be out of the office for a few days. To increase yourchance of being read, send a follow up email.
Make that call:
Finally, if meeting with this person is important to you, pick up thephone and try to book the appointment directly.
Schedule in-hand when Phoning:
When you phone to book an appointment, haveyour schedule in-hand to check on your availability or how you may be able torearrange some other activities.
Contact Lists:
Establish a paper contacts list to keep close at hand in the event of youneeding to contact any person you have an appointment with, for instance toreschedule an appointment, or if you will be late for some reason, etc.
Change in Plans:
When things get in the way of following your schedule, and thingsinvariably do, cancel that item and reschedule make-up times immediately. Rathertrade time than steal it from your schedule. When you receive an unexpected visitorat a time reserved for work, then substitute an equal amount of work time for theperiod set aside for recreation.
Check and Update:
Its essential to overview your schedule first thing in the morningand last thing in the evening. Also check your schedule regularly during the day toensure that it gets adjusted, updated and that you are making progress and achievingyour objectives.
As you complete each item in your schedule, check it off.
Make adjustments to your schedule's look and feel, colour coding andthe entire process untill you feel comfortable with the way you do it.
Backup Plan:
Ensure that you have backups of all your scheduling and other criticalinformation!
Important activities to schedule
Time to reflect and energise:
Stephen Covey calls it
sharpening the saw 
in his book
First Things First 
. Take time to reflect, to get in touch with where you are at, how youfeel, just being with yourself and noticing what's going on.
These time-buffers are important! Lack of flexibility is the major reasonwhy schedules fail. This will help ensure that you don't get overwhelmed or feelrushed.
Personal time:
Leave yourself time for mealtimes, relaxation and personal care.
Special time:
Time to spend with a loved one.
Travel time:
You may also require time to get from the one activity to the next.
Reading and general knowledge:
Time to catch up on current affairs and finishreading those books you want to read.
Specify each hobby and choose the ones which you will enjoy the most andmay combine well with other activites.
Birthdays, parties, seminars, weddings etc.
Work exercise into your regular activities by using the stairs instead of theelevator or park further away in the parking lot. Take exercise breaks at work or youcan do a set of strength exercises during commercials - such as crunches - and wakeyourself up for the rest of the program.
The keyword here is timing. In some instances, your changes ceasingan opportunity may be much higher when you take care of the matter as soon aspossible or in a very well timed manner.
Expects claim that a student has to average about two hours instudying for each hour spent in the classroom.
Obtain the schedule provided by the organizers to plan your schedulefor the event and choose alternates in case some of the discussions are filled up.
Your objective is to schedule a meeting with another person, keepyour email or phone call concise and simple. Avoid sending attachments if you can, itmay cause hassles. Ensure that all your contact information is included in thesignature of your email.
Make sure that you schedule preparation for future events so that nolast minute cramming would be required.
Review time :
Reviews should be done whenever possible. The best procedure is totake a few minutes immediately preceding a meeting or a training course to reviewand do a quick stock-take. The weekend is a good time for a weekly review.
For more efficient performance, relaxation periods of ten or fifteen minutesshould be scheduled between work/training periods. It is more efficient to work hardfor a definite period of time, and then stop for a few minutes, than attempt to carryon indefinitely.
To reward your efficiency, you may want to schedule time to enjoy the timeyou've saved!
Schedule time to ensure that all crytical information, including yourschedule, are backed up and kept in safe place. Test that these backups are inworking order.Benjine Gerber, Author, Systems developerbenjine@itemporium.co.za www.self-educate.com 

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