What strategies are you using to make sure you’re working on the right activities?

I don’t know about you but growing up no one showed or gave me strategies to help me prioritize or manage my schedule. In school, you were just given assignments and the due dates, but no one explained how to fit homework, studying and other school activities into my schedule to make sure you I achieved success.

powerful planning strategies

Powerful strategies for taking control of your schedule

Thinking back, I’m still not sure how I came up with my plans, it seemed to just happen or it could be I was so afraid to fail that I found a way to make it all work.

Jump ahead 20+ years and I’m now watching my son struggle with some of the same things. The difference is, he has the internet and I’m trying to show him and talk him through some techniques to use so he’s not stressed.

Two strategies to help you prioritize what should go on your schedule.

There seem to be thousands of techniques out there to help with organization. I usually lean towards the easy ones that make a big impact on my life.

While doing some research, I came across two techniques that I think would help in managing your priorities and schedule.

I found these techniques in a book called “10 Time Management Choices That Can Change Your Life” by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims.”

I was so intrigued by each activity that I decided I’m going to incorporate each of them into my monthly planning.

Remember, you’re never too old to learn new techniques to improve your life

  1. Tournament Bracket Format 
  2. Four Quadrant Format

The Tournament Bracket Format

This format was created for professional and college sports. Wikipedia defines it as One method of arranging a double-elimination tournament to break the competitors into two sets of brackets, the winners’ bracket and losers bracket.”

We will be using the same method to eliminate or narrow down what goals or activities take priority.

Here are the steps.

1. List your sixteen priorities down the side of a piece of paper.

2. Group those by twos using the greater than sign (>). Example 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, 9 and 10, and so on.

3. Now decide which of the two are the most important in each group and keep paring them down until you get to the four items that are most important to you. 

Four Quadrant Format

First, you create four boxes that connect together to make one large square. At the top of box 1 write urgent, box 2 not urgent, on the left side of box one write important and on the side of box three write not important.

Here’s what you would place in each of the boxes.

1. Inbox 1 urgent and important items that need to be completed right away

2. Inbox 2 not urgent and important. You could put items like register for night classes, take a trip with girlfriends or review the article on grilling techniques.

3. Inbox 3 urgent and not important. In this area, it could be something important but could be delegated to another time.

4. Inbox 4 not urgent and not important. In their book Sandra Felton and Marsh Sims state “This is the relaxation quadrant. This is what the water cooler concept is all about. People want to have an excuse to take a break, stretch their legs, and refresh themselves. Television and computer games in this area. The problems come when this quadrant is overused. Items in this area can be dropped without causing problems.”

They have many more wonderful suggestions the “Handling Activity Clutter” section of their book, but these two really caught my attention.

To help you with the process just in case you pick up their book, I created handouts for the two activities I mentioned above. You can use them to help you simplify the process.

Click the link below to get your Free copy.

Remember to get the future you want you have to be intentional about your plan!!

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