There’s an Easy Way to Prioritize Your Tasks with a Printable Calendar
If there’s something constant and demanding about anyone’s life, then those are tasks. You have things to do every day for work, your personal life and sometimes even your family. Solving each of them may sometimes feel difficult but prioritizing them can turn out to be impossible. Instead of looking for alternative solutions, you can switch tools and discover a useful technique using a printable calendar.
Handling a printable calendar for time management requires a few tools you will need. Grab a pen and a sheet of paper to develop your prioritization plan, before marking the notes you need on the calendar.
A useful calendar should have a simple design which leaves more room than average corner shop options which come with drawings. You can save money and time by printing out a horizontal or vertical sheet available on websites such as Calendartable.com. If you’re environmentally-conscious, think about old invoices or sheets of paper you no longer need and print out 3-months sheets.
Take an average month – the current one – and make a list of your usual tasks. Split them into categories such as work, house administration responsibilities, family occasions and events and personal development initiatives. Write down everything you need to do and everything you might want to do. If you already have or plan to get a fitness subscription or other projects you plan to pursue, they should appear on the list. There might be large projects which include individual tasks that you will need to break down. Once the file is completed, it’s time for the next stage – the technique you will use.
Former US president Dwight Eisenhower came up with a productivity technique that marketers and tech workers with many mini-tasks still in use nowadays. His principles divide tasks into four sections which you will later use for prioritization.
Urgent and Important
These are the tasks that you’ve left until the last minute or the ones that came up, and you couldn’t have foreseen. They are usually related to crises and unexpected issues which you need to solve. They also make good reasons why you should always leave some room unoccupied in the calendar.
Identify what you could have foreseen and schedule similar activities to solve before they become urgent and add time pressure.
Important but Not Urgent
These tasks and responsibilities help you achieve professional and personal goals that improve your overall work and activities. Make sure you have the time to complete them and decide when you can work on them.
Remember that you will have to dedicate your time to these projects to secure the focus that can speed them up. Stop postponing such initiatives and start focusing on their results.
Urgent but Not Important
Urgent tasks which lack importance usually prevent you from working on projects and achieving higher goals. They need to be completed but only have short-term effects.
You can reschedule these tasks or delegate someone to complete them – if refusing such responsibilities is out of the question. Insert them into morning work, as you are more concentrated and active, and they might be completed faster than you think. Also, group them by similarity.
Not Urgent and Not Important
These are the activities you can postpone but oversee this possibility due to the continuous work they involve. Consider which of them are actually distractions and ignore or cancel them.
Think about tasks that other people ask you to do, even if they don’t fit your needs. They might be acquaintances or work colleagues. Such activities take time and effort. Other said they work as boundaries against your projects.
Once you’ve fit the tasks in the above categories, you should define a color and symbol code for each of them. For example, urgent and important to-dos can be marked as red circles, while blue squares can be essential but not pressing responsibilities.
You can go even further and choose colors for the above categories and symbols for which type of tasks they are – personal, work-related, family related. Developing color codes helps you instantly determine what you need to do and where you need to go. You will also create a system that allows you to quickly update your calendar without thinking about where to fit a trip or lunch in.
The plan development stage lasts for as long as you use the calendar. Here are some tips to develop your printable calendar task plan:
- Tick as you solve tasks to have an overview of how you’ve managed your time.
- Write down something you need to do as soon as you find out about it.
- Provide others with access to your calendar, to let them know when you’re unavailable. However, don’t allow them to edit the schedule – as you will have trouble understanding the notes.
- Make a ritual out of consulting the current month’s calendar in the morning, while drinking coffee and planning the day. Check out things you have to do next week also – such as buying gifts or paying invoices.
- Be realistic. The calendar is a month planner, not a to-do list. Refrain from including tasks that last for less than 3 – 4 hours, unless you tend to forget them.
- Don’t fall into the trap of filling up the calendar. You will need both times for rest and for spontaneous activities or last-minute tasks.
Plan Evaluation and Improvement
The printable calendar can be your long-term time and task management solutions. Consider it an investment into your own free hours. Therefore, keep the sheets of previous months as they pass and evaluate your work.
See what you need to improve and which activities you should re-group. Some experts claim that the brain works faster if you work on similar tasks in a day. See where you should improve your work and develop strategies for the months to come.
The Printable Calendar’s Future
Despite the traits of digital solutions, the paper calendar market survives and continues to be profitable. Many choose calendars as tools to handle their home tasks or even work schedule. Corner shops are full of calendars each December and January. Also, companies still use them as giveaways for partners and clients.
Meanwhile, printable calendars have their place in the market as free and unique methods to work on your schedule. They come with simple and versatile designs that allow you to use as much space as possible freely. The printable calendars turn out to be environmentally-friendly options as you can print them on the back of written papers. Also, you only print out the months you need, instead of an entire year. The sheets remain your reliable allies against overcharged days, exhausting work and those time-consuming tasks that sometimes seem impossible to organize.