Tag Archives: Franklin Planner

Time Management Strategies Part II

h 039With all the busyness of life recently, I haven’t spent as much time reading as I should. It seems a little ironic that I’m too busy to read about time management. 🙂

However, I have read through the planning chapter of The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith. Like the chapters before it, I have found this chapter to be very helpful as I try to get my days more under control. In it, the author provides a sample page from the Franklin Planner, the planning tool he helped create. He describes how he uses the daily pages to keep track of appointments, phone calls, and anything else he needs to remember.

Although I’d love to purchase that planner, it’s really not in our budget at this time, so I decided to make my own planner pages on the computer and make copies for my notebook. As I was doing so, my 13-year-old son came in and said, “Mom, I have so much homework to do for co-op.”

“What do you have to do?” I asked. He answered me with a long list of things he had to finish for his science and geography classes. He also had some scout projects that needed to be completed. That’s when I realized that he needed some planning pages too.

I pulled out some extra copies I had made and sat him down. “Okay,” I began, “this is where you list all the things you have to do. When you’re finished, bring it back to me, and I’ll show you how to prioritize them.” Within fifteen minutes, he had a written list with every assignment and a number by each one, indicating the order in which they needed to be accomplished. Then he got to work.

How easy that was to show him, and what a difference it made! Instead of scattered thoughts of having this and that to do, he had a concrete plan of what needed to be done and how he was going to do it. The day went smoothly, and he finished everything on time.

Having a plan really does work — for all ages!

Time Management Strategies

smithA couple of weeks ago, we were browsing through a thrift store when I came across a book entitled The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith. Smith is one of the creators of the Franklin Planner, a planner my father enjoyed using for years. Because it seems I’m always working towards a better schedule for getting things done, I went ahead and purchased the book without even browsing through it. I think it cost a dollar.

As it turns out, it was one of the best dollars I’ve ever spent. I’m only about a third of the way through the book, as each chapter gives the reader a lot to think about. One of the things I’ve found most helpful was the chapter concerning governing values, or those things that are the highest priorities in our lives. They are unique to each individual, and although they are most important to us, they are often the things that get pushed aside when the urgency of the less significant fills up our time.

Smith, then, encourages the reader to decide just what his or her governing values are and to list them as a “personal constitution,” a prioritized list with a short description of what each one means. Writing that list as affirmations also helps you see yourself as you want to be. The list might include something like “I am a joyful and patient mother,” “I am debt-free,” or “I am dependable.”

I have written down my personal constitution, and I can already see how helpful it is. I can also see how many of my activities aren’t really related to my values. This, Smith says, is what causes many people to feel so frustrated.

What is one to do? Well, the next step is to write down my long-term and short-term goals based on those values, then make my daily plan based on those goals. I’m still working through that part, but I can’t wait to see the difference it’s going to make!