Are you keeping those New Year’s Resolutions?

Remember those elaborate plans you made for 2012 just a month or so ago?  Right about now is when many plans are forgotten.  Fortunately, February is National Time Management Month.  This is the time to revisit your goals and get organized so you stay on track all year. 

Did you resolve to spend more time with your family, get to the gym more than once a month, or finish up a home project? The best way to stay committed to your goal is by making time for it.

Here are some tips for how to manage your time better:

1) Have a plan.  Whether you use an online scheduler, a smart phone app, or a “black book” planner, you’ll do better if you plan your day in advance.  The simple act of writing down a task makes you more committed to completing it.  Schedule more time than you think you’ll need in case you get interrupted or run into an unexpected issue.

2) Set aside a few minutes every day to prep for tomorrow.  Take a look at your calendar to see what’s on deck.  Do you need to organize your files for an early meeting?  Going to the gym after work?  Pack your bag so you can just grab it in the morning.  Check the weather so you can decide what to wear. 

3) Break big projects into smaller pieces.  Projects seem less daunting when you break them down into steps and tackle them one at a time.  You’ll feel good crossing one task off your list and will be motivated to move on to the next step.

4) Make the most of idle time.  Keep a pad or notebook with you wherever you go. While you’re sitting in the waiting room at the dentist or are early for a lunch date, you can jot down errands that you need to add to your schedule or ideas about that work project you’re close to finishing.

Take time this month to renew your plans and optimize your time. In a few weeks, you’ll have developed a routine that you can stick with all year.