Effective planning and organization of the working day: methods, rules and why it is important

How many important and urgent tasks are there in a day, how can you manage it all?

Time management will help us in this difficult task. Today it is a whole science about competent planning and time management.

In this article we have collected simple and effective methods.

Where to start? Here are a few simple steps:

  • We are creating a to-do list, because first it is important for us to decide on the tasks that we will perform. It’s more convenient to make a list in the evening and make adjustments in the morning.
  • We set priorities. Most often, the most important things are complex or time-consuming. The main thing is not to put off doing something necessary by replacing it with less important, but easier actions.
  • We make a plan and calculate the time for each task on the list. The plan must be feasible and simple.
  • The next step is implementation, specific actions in accordance with the intended plan and procedure for achieving the goal.
  • Control - check your plans and change them if they are not feasible or do not allow you to achieve your goal by the deadline.
  • Don't be discouraged if you don't completely follow the plan the first time. The main thing here is to exercise patience and self-discipline. The result will not keep you waiting long.
  • Motivation and satisfaction. Learn to praise yourself and encourage yourself to new achievements. Did you get everything done in a week as planned? An excuse to buy yourself some ice cream or go to the movies.

A start. Now let's look at some time management methods.

ABC planning method.

According to this method, tasks are divided by importance into A, B and C.

We will assign the most significant tasks to group A priorities.

Next on the list are simply significant tasks, this is list B.

The next most important tasks are those that can be postponed until tomorrow or even further—priority C.

Eisenhower Matrix.

According to this method, tasks are divided into groups according to urgency and importance.

The matrix looks like four squares, which are distributed according to the urgency and importance of things.

A. Important and urgent matters

- those that are done first, and it will be too late to do them the next day.

Examples of important and urgent matters: an urgent call to a client, completing a project task that is due soon.

B. Important but not urgent

- this includes matters of increased importance, but which can be postponed for a while.

Examples of important but not urgent matters: planned work in the company on current projects, development of new projects.

C. Things are not important, but urgent

- something that is not important for the final result, but requires an immediate solution.

An example of such matters could be helping a colleague with some issue on his project.

D. Not important or urgent matters

- those that you don’t have to do at all. Often this field includes things that help you distract yourself and relax.

An example of unimportant and non-urgent things is watching news on the Internet.

"Eat a frog."

For routine tasks, there is the “eat the frog” technology.

First of all, in the morning, you do something that is unpleasant for you, something that you are ready to put off until the last minute. In this case, if you did this first thing in the morning, “ate the frog,” the task itself will seem not so scary, and other tasks will seem completely easy

So, you've come up with a plan for the month or day. To avoid forgetting anything during the implementation process, use a planner. Use a paper notepad or give it to electronic options. Let's look at some of them.

Rule one: iron discipline

The main advantage of working for yourself is the absence of an annoying boss. No one is standing over your soul, no one runs into the office every 5 minutes in order to give out invaluable instructions and give the next task. But this is also a big minus. If in the case of a manager, all discipline comes from the outside, then when you work from home, this factor is completely absent. In fact, the absence of a boss can lead to constant procrastination .

The fact is that without a motivating kick, it’s quite difficult to force yourself to work. Such is human nature. The only way out is to cultivate iron self-discipline. While she’s gone, there’s no point in going further: scheduling a daily routine for yourself, setting reminders on your phone, and downloading time management apps. You will simply ignore the signals that it’s time to work.

Disciplining yourself is not as easy as it seems at first glance. Evolution has tried and made it so that our body tries to conserve energy in any situation where possible. Working from home is one of them. Your brain doesn’t understand why bother if you can go and drink tea and then watch another TV series.

In general, the only way out is willpower . You just need to pull yourself together and make it work. But the task can be greatly simplified using several methods:

  • sign up for trainings. There are plenty of professional psychologists who can help you with self-discipline. Take several of these classes, either individual or group. There, various situations are worked out in practice to improve discipline. Get ready: it will be very uncomfortable: you will have to perform uncomfortable and unusual tasks;
  • work with a partner. When not only you, but also other people depend on your discipline, it is very motivating. If you have a Skype call with your partner scheduled for 9:00, there’s no getting around it. An incentive not to let a person down will work just fine;
  • read motivating literature: biographies of successful entrepreneurs, books on self-control and self-development;
  • Find an external motivator. The simplest thing is to ask family members to remind you about work hours and rest times. And, of course, listen and act when you receive this reminder.

Break down large goals into subtasks

People like the fact of completing tasks, as well as those tasks for which the reward is immediate. Therefore, divide large goals into small ones, each of which you can achieve in a couple of hours.

This planning has several advantages:

  • When you achieve a major goal, you don’t know exactly how long it will take you to implement it. But when setting a task for the next few days, this is not required.
  • You have a precise plan of action for the next 24 hours.
  • At the end of the working day, you will receive satisfaction from the work done.


Rule two: develop a daily routine

The first thing that businessmen working from home face is the lack of a clear and established routine. “I’ll work whenever I want” is nothing more than a fallacy. The pitfall is that this “I want” will never happen - it’s been verified. Until the deadline starts to loom, many will not start work.

That is why structuring work and rest time comes in second place after discipline . You shouldn’t go too far and develop a multi-level daily routine with a description of breaks in work and other details of the process. It is quite enough to determine working hours during the day. For example, from 10 am to 6 pm - work with a lunch break. That's enough. The main thing is not to indulge yourself and stick to the established schedule.

The advantage of remote work is that working hours can be set at any time . If you are a morning person and work most effectively in the morning, set your working hours from 8 am to 5 pm. Owls can shift their deadlines a few hours ahead and work, say, from 11:00 to 20:00.

In the future, the daily routine can be adjusted and supplemented with details. For example, include time for playing sports, reading books and self-development, going to the movies and other entertainment in your daily routine. And remember: having a routine is not as important as its strict adherence .

Planning and organizing work in LeaderTask

To master the principles of proper planning, you need to know what not to do and what mistakes you should not repeat.

List of errors:

  1. No goals for the future
  2. There is no division into main and secondary tasks
  3. All targets in one category without additional designations
  4. The number of targets does not correspond to the real picture
  5. Tasks without deadlines

1. To be one step ahead, you need to think over a plan for the future. Yes, force majeure cannot be ruled out, but they can always be adjusted. LeaderTask flexibly adapts to new plans:

  • Creating and deleting tasks
  • Changing the name of tasks
  • Transferring tasks between each other in a list, to another date, or to projects

We create a plan for the future in the LeaderTask planner for the week, month, year ahead, and view tasks in the calendar (computer version).

2. Main and secondary tasks

To create a hierarchy in tasks, we use movement in the task list, labels and colors for tasks. Labels in the planner are available in colored or non-colored to choose from, and the color for tasks can be selected from a large set of palettes.

3. Break goals into categories

To do this, we use the project creation command. We create a project with any name and move tasks into it, distribute tasks into different topics and work in a convenient format.

4. If the number of goals exceeds the limit at the physical level, we remove them from the list or transfer them to another date. We calculate our strengths and set tasks according to realistic volumes!

5. Tasks without a deadline

Tasks without a date and time are not completed, but are regularly rescheduled, so we set a due date for the task. When the time comes, the organizer will remind you and provide information in the form of a pop-up notification.

Planning errors in the company

  1. A large amount of work for one employee or manager
  2. Manual control of the execution of orders (without using software)
  3. Data location in different repositories

1. A large amount of work for one employee or manager

Delegate tasks to LeaderTask, distribute the amount of work among several people, and then the tasks will be completed and plans will not be disrupted. To delegate a task, we use instructions. For this purpose, in the organizer there are commands “Assign” and “Reassign” a task.

2. Manual control of the execution of orders (without using software)

We control orders in the organizer using:

  • viewing employee tasks
  • task completion statuses
  • internal chat with the performer

3. Data location in different storages

In LeaderTask, information is located inside tasks and is always publicly available, and if you lose a task, the data can be found through a search in the program.

Rule three: planning

Planning and daily routine are not the same thing. The daily routine takes into account only the fact of working time, without taking into account how it will be used. When planning, you need to develop a list of specific things to do for some time in advance. For example, tomorrow at 10 am, make an important call, work with documents, or submit a tax return. This will allow you not to put off important tasks until later.

How to technically solve this issue is up to you. If it’s convenient to write down tasks in a diary or on a piece of paper, that’s no problem. If you prefer mobile apps, that’s great, as long as it works.

Types of planning

One of the founding fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin, developed his own planning system . A portrait of this man is placed on the hundred dollar bill, as if reminding entrepreneurs: time is money. His planning system is called the Franklin Pyramid. The bottom line is that all tasks are arranged in a pyramid depending on priority:

  1. Plan for the day. These are current work issues that can be resolved in one work shift.
  2. Short term plan. These are tasks that require more detailed study and preparation. For an online store, this could be a change of supplier, expansion of the product range, and so on. Compiled for several months.
  3. Long-term plan for a year or several years. Includes strategic business objectives.
  4. Master plan for achieving the goal. These are the things that help you achieve the main thing: earn a billion dollars, become a sales leader in the region.
  5. Global goal. What you strive for in your life.
  6. Main life values.

The essence of the approach is that the entire pyramid must be subordinated to a higher task . And everyone has their own. Some people dream of becoming a millionaire, while others dream of living in the Bahamas.

Let's learn from geniuses

The methods of geniuses can be useful to any working person, because they are time-tested. Benjamin Franklin was the son of a soap maker, but he succeeded in many areas of life through self-organization and discipline.

Catch phrases - “Time is money”, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” belong to Franklin. At age 20, he developed a system for organizing time. She helped him all his life. Its model is similar to a pyramid.

At the base of the pyramid are moral virtues. Franklin identified 13 virtues for himself: temperance, silence, love of order, determination, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, calm, chastity and meekness.

In the notebook, Franklin lined each page by day of the week. Then he drew 13 horizontal lines according to the number of virtues. Every day he focused on one of the virtues, noting the mistakes he had made.

Rule four: prioritize

All work questions have different values. There are more urgent matters, and there are those that can wait. Another popular management expert, Stephen Covey, proposed his own system of prioritization . According to this system, all tasks can be divided into:

  • important and urgent. Such issues need to be resolved first, and independently;
  • important, but not urgent. This is the main block of tasks to which you need to devote most of your time. It is the solution of important non-urgent tasks that Covey considers the locomotive of progress;
  • urgent but not important. Small work issues that need to be done here and now. For example, ordering a product: it seems to be just a current moment, but if it is not resolved in time, the consequences will be sad;
  • not important, not urgent. Strictly speaking, they can be done at any time or even entrusted to someone else. For example, you have long wanted to renovate your office. This has almost no effect on the work process, unless, of course, the pipes are leaking and the tiles are not falling off.

Let's return to planning working hours. If you prioritize things from the second and third blocks, you will definitely encounter problems in the form of time troubles, missed deadlines and unfulfilled tasks. You need to focus on the first two and do them first. And the questions from the last point can be sacrificed or postponed until better times.


One of the main responsibilities of many secretaries is planning the manager's working time. Many articles have been written about this (and our magazine is no exception*), there are special courses where they will teach you this, and if you don’t have the time or money, you can go to a specialized forum, and more experienced colleagues will help you with advice. It would seem that this topic has already been covered from all sides and it is unlikely that anything new can be said. Why do you and I, working time planning gurus, so often stay late at work, fail to complete assigned tasks on time, and sometimes even completely forget about some things? Maybe because, while planning the daily working hours of managers, we forget about our own?

I can easily foresee objections: why should a secretary plan his working time if his schedule is clearly tied to the manager’s schedule. I made a list of tasks for the boss, based on it - a list of my own tasks, and this, it would seem, is enough. Why do double work?

Yes, most of us are tightly tied to the manager’s work schedule. But by drawing up a work plan for your boss, you organize his time . To work effectively and preserve your own resources, this is not enough: you need to learn how to plan your time . Of course, it is much more difficult for a secretary to do this than for other employees, but we are not used to working in difficult conditions.

Where to begin? Before choosing a system by which you will organize your working time, grab a diary and draw up a plan, I would recommend writing a list of all your responsibilities - not the one that can be seen in a resume or job description, but a real list of your daily (weekly, you'll never know how repetitive duties are).

My colleague called me shortly after returning from vacation with the words: “Can you imagine, only when I returned to work and saw what was happening there, I realized how much I was doing!” We often underestimate the amount of work we do, which is why we have such a hard time planning it.

Where does working time go?

Let's look at examples. Let's say a short list of your responsibilities looks like this:

  • full paperwork;
  • organization of business trips;
  • registration of visas, invitations;
  • office provision;
  • organization of meetings;
  • reception of visitors;
  • business correspondence;
  • planning the manager's working day;
  • receiving and distributing telephone calls;
  • translation of documentation;
  • making tea/coffee.

Perhaps if a future employer sees such a list, he will want to invite you for an interview. But he gives no idea about the actual volume of work and its complexity. So first, make a short list of your responsibilities (or take a job description) and describe each item in detail.

Example 1: organizing a business trip. Your boss is going on a business trip to a subsidiary. What do you do in this case?

1. Find out the purpose and timing of the trip to complete the documents.

2. Develop your trip route yourself or with the help of an agency.

3. Coordinate it with your boss.

4. Book or buy tickets.

5. You fill out an order, travel certificate, official assignment for a business trip.

6. Write to the company about the arrival of the boss with a request to arrange a meeting and accommodation.

7. You receive confirmation and hotel vouchers from the company.

8. Print out tickets, vouchers, collect all the documents, check them for the thousandth time, and give them to your boss.

9. Order a taxi to the airport/train station.

10. You send out a newsletter with a message about the manager’s business trip.

That is, in the simplest version, you need to do ten others to complete one task. In fact, the list provided is also quite short, because to order tickets through an agency, you need to call the manager, write an application, send it, receive confirmation, and coordinate the issuance of tickets. And it can also be difficult to get through. And all this is time.

Example 2: making tea or coffee for the boss. It would seem that this is a mere trifle, which is inconvenient to even talk about. Do you think this should not be taken into account? But in reality, how much time do you waste if the boss drinks coffee four times a day, tea three times, twice green, once black, and this tea needs to be brewed! Also, don’t forget about serving time. And if you have been working with your boss for several years and your relationship is very good, but his blood pressure is high, then every cup of coffee is also accompanied by bickering about whether it’s worth drinking. And then who runs for the blood pressure monitor?

So keep writing. We need this for several purposes:

  • Understand what we really do.
  • Determine what tasks need to be solved and with what frequency.
  • Identify those tasks that are not necessary to do, but on which we spend time.

When this list is finished, write another one. And let it include everything that you do at work, but that has nothing to do with work - smoking, drinking tea in the accounting department, correspondence with friends, looking at pictures of cats on the Internet and much more.

For what? To understand whether it is necessary to do all this or whether you can completely abandon something (for example, pictures with cats), move something in time (organize a tea party during the lunch break), and allow extra time for something (for example , you are not going to quit smoking, but it takes 60 minutes a day - don’t be surprised now why you are late at work for about an hour every day).

Underwater rocks

What can prevent a secretary from organizing his time? After all, laziness and disorganization are often not about us.

First of all, organizing your own time is hindered by the need to organize your boss’s time. Be that as it may, your work schedule will always depend on his schedule. Is it that bad? This is even good for a secretary. You always have starting points in the form of your boss's work schedule to optimize your time. It’s bad for us when a manager doesn’t strive to organize his own time. Moreover, many managers really like to hide their plans from everyone - for example, leaving without saying where and for how long they are going, or not informing the day before that they will be delayed for three hours tomorrow, etc. This is really a problem , because even if in this option you do not plan his time, it becomes almost impossible to plan your own. For a secretary, such a leader turns into a real nightmare - believe me, it is much easier to work with a pedant than with a slob.

What to do in this case? First of all, always check with the boss where and for how long he is going. Don't be afraid or embarrassed. You are doing your job and you must know where he is and when he will return.

In addition, try to gradually organize his working hours. Start bringing documents for signature at the same time (although there are managers with whom even this is impossible to guess). The next step might be to write down a few of his tasks in a diary. Does he not tell you the exact time of the meeting? Write it down for any time and bring it to the boss’s attention. If he doesn’t agree, he will endure it himself. Gradually, he will get used to coordinating at least part of his plans with you, informing you of his absence, and may even want you to plan his working hours.

Planning methods

After compiling a list of responsibilities and eliminating unnecessary things from it, you can begin planning your working time. Planning can be daily, weekly (or ten-day, but for us the first option is more relevant), quarterly and annual.

Of the many planning methods, such as the Eisenhower principle, the Alps and Pareto methods, I would recommend using the combination of the Eisenhower and the Alps method. Why?

The Alps method is based on compiling a to-do list and estimating the duration of each task. In addition, according to this method, only 60% of the working time needs to be planned, leaving 40% in reserve.

According to the Eisenhower principle, all assigned tasks can be divided into urgent and important, non-urgent and important, unimportant and urgent, and non-urgent and unimportant. As you might have guessed, often the latter need not be performed at all. Additionally, you won't always have all four groups present. Guided by this principle, you can set priorities when planning your working time.

And the secretary needs 40% of the Alps method not only for all sorts of unexpected tasks, but also for answering phone calls. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to calculate how much time we spend on this. So the manager has 40% of the time as a reserve, but for us it is “telephone”.

Our advice. What else should you pay attention to when planning your working time? Unfortunately, advice to do routine work at a certain time does not always help us. Documents often need to be registered immediately upon receipt; many managers do not have a clear time for signing documents; we sign them as they accumulate or due to urgency. That is, often the secretary’s routine work also turns into urgent work, and this confirms that it is impossible to plan more than 60% of the working time.

Let's start planning

So, let's look at an example of how to use the methods described above when planning your working day.

Input data. The secretary's working day is from 09:00 to 18:00, the manager comes to the office at 10:00 and stays until night, but this is not required of you. The manager, coming to work, immediately asks for coffee, and a little later - tea. He has lunch from 13:30 to 14:30. Yours is from 13:00 to 14:00. Documents must be signed by 17:00. On the calendar July 18, Wednesday. For the current day we have:

10:00 – a conference call, at which our manager will be present, is held in another directorate. Estimated time – 60 minutes.

15:00 – working meeting, conducted by the director, heads of all departments present.

The task set by the manager: connect him with the deputy director of the branch (the branch is in Khabarovsk, the time difference is 7 hours, but the working day in the branch rarely ends before 22:00).

Other tasks:

  • Organize a business trip for an employee to the Magadan branch (departure in 10 days).
  • Check the availability of products and office supplies to order goods for the next month (until the 20th)
  • Submit documents on three business trips of employees to the accounting department.
  • Write applications for the accounting department to withhold funds from employee salaries.
  • Send an employee on a business trip to China.
  • Prepare documents for the boss’s business trip to China (departure is July 20).
  • Prepare an application form and documents from your boss for a visa to Japan.
  • Order a meeting room from the head of the administrative office for July 20, for which you need to write a memo and sign it from the head of the service department.
  • Call the branch in Vladivostok on behalf of the manager and find out a question about one of the contracts.

So, we break down tasks into smaller ones and set priorities.

The conference call begins at 10:00 and will continue until 11:00. From work experience, we know that the manager will go straight to the meeting and only then go up to the reception area. In the meantime, we will sort things out according to the Eisenhower principle.

Urgent and important. Of the entire list of tasks required to send an employee on a business trip, the most urgent is ordering tickets. Since the employee is flying through Moscow, and there are not many flights, there may be problems with tickets if we delay purchasing them. The agency through which we book tickets is open from 10:00.

Alas, there is nowhere to put off checking the availability of food and office supplies any longer; we will have to sort it out today. But you can allocate time for this based on how other tasks are distributed.

Business trips and applications must be submitted urgently, since the accounting department calculates wages.

To send an employee on a business trip, you only need to order a taxi.

It is also better to reserve a meeting room as quickly as possible before anyone else takes it.

Non-urgent and important. The boss’s documents should be double-checked and collected in a separate folder

The issue of a visa to Japan needs to be clarified before the boss leaves on a business trip.

So, based on this, the work schedule might look like this:

Time Telephone conversations Holding meetings Affairs
09:00 Call to Vladivostok (15 min)
09:20 Ordering a taxi for an employee
09:25 Searching for flights for a business trip to Magadan, drawing up and sending an application
09:45 Preparing the meeting room
10:10 Call the ticket agency
10:30 Memo regarding the meeting room
10:50 Brew tea
11:10 Connecting the chief with the deputy director of the branch
12:00 Preparation of statements for accounting
12:40 Checking the availability of products, office supplies
15:00 Preparation of business trip documents for submission to the accounting department
16:45 Preparation of documents for the manager
17:00 Collect documents for the manager's business trip
17:15 Familiarization with the requirements for documents for a visa to Japan
17:30 Drawing up a plan for the next day, coordinating it with the manager

At first glance, it seems that we have quite a lot of free time. But the phone rings without stopping. The director of one of the branches urgently asks to connect him with the boss. The taxi has already arrived, but the careless employee walks around unknown where, and even does not answer calls to his mobile phone. And then the equipment supplier called and asked to give him the telephone numbers of all subsidiaries - yes, all fifty-seven.

For a secretary, time reserve is not a fashionable whim from a time management book, but a strict necessity of life.

Planning for the long term

Daily planning should be the basis for organizing your working time. But the secretary does not have the opportunity to limit himself to only this. We also need to make monthly, weekly plans, as well as quarterly and even annual plans!

I think there will be no objections to planning for a week and a month . This is why we compiled detailed lists of tasks: with their help, you can identify which tasks are repeated and with what regularity. For example, every Friday at 15:00 your manager holds a meeting with the heads of departments. Your responsibilities include reminding everyone about the meeting, preparing documents for it, and preparing the meeting room. By writing things down in your diary, you already know that you will have to devote an hour of working time on Thursday to preparing for this meeting, and you will plan your Thursday based on this. Other tasks for the week will be distributed accordingly, because you cannot postpone Wednesday’s tasks until Thursday, since you already have an hour less time.

In addition, it is advisable to introduce monthly planning . We all have tasks that we perform precisely at this frequency.

At the end of each month we send applications for products and office supplies, that is, by the 25th of the month you need to complete applications and send them to the Administration. This means that no later than the 20th of each month, I must send a letter to the employees so that they can report all their needs before the 22nd. In addition, it is necessary to check the stock of stationery in the reception area, the availability of coffee, tea, and mineral water. I know that all this work takes about four hours. Not so much in relation to the whole month, but I have no right to delay its implementation, so I will distribute all the tasks that arise taking into account the fact that I have four hours less per month (or I will have to stay late at work).

The need for quarterly planning depends primarily on the specifics of the organization’s work. It is possible that you do not have tasks that arise once every three months, and there is simply no need to make such far-reaching plans. In this case, you can limit yourself to key tasks for the current month.

Long-term planning is also necessary for this reason: we all have so-called important, but not urgent tasks. This could be transferring things to archival storage, choosing a new coffee maker for the office, organizing minor repairs, etc. Usually we do this either in unexpected free time, or when these tasks turn from non-urgent to urgent. And they invariably change: when the old coffee maker finally breaks down, you will not have time to meticulously choose a new one, you will have to urgently buy any one, based on the money that is in the budget at the moment. Therefore, if in May you know that in July there will be a move of employees to other offices, an office renovation, or a visiting commission that is already boring to everyone, you can solve non-urgent tasks before May or review them again to determine how important they are (maybe not at all). not worth doing).

At first glance, planning for the year However, it is worth planning the year based on some starting points:

  • New Year. Even if you are not involved in preparing a corporate event, in December half of your working time will be taken up by preparing and sending congratulations to partners, preparing gifts, and receiving contractors arriving on a friendly visit. What to do about it? It is unlikely that you should start preparing for the holiday in July, but you need to work with a clear understanding that there is always a shortage of time in December, and therefore nothing can be postponed for this month.
  • Chef's birthday. You need to find time to choose a gift and organize a holiday. Most likely, you will not be able to plan a vacation during this period (unless your manager prefers to celebrate his birthday away from home). In addition, during the period of preparation for the holiday (usually from two weeks to a month), the amount of your work may double.
  • Vacation period. Summer is a busy time for a secretary. While everyone is resting, we work for three. But staying late at work during this season is the most annoying thing. Therefore, we often have to prepare for summer in winter. After all, we need to not only organize our own vacation, but also prepare our workplace for the deputy so that when we return from this vacation, we do not end up in an emergency situation.

What will all the efforts described above lead to? Moreover, when the boss’s birthday, his vacation are marked on the calendar, the schedule for the next day and even week is written, you suddenly have thirty minutes of free time left. And you will plan your own long-awaited vacation. And when you stop constantly staying late at work, you can sign up for dancing or Spanish courses. And finally develop a strategy for your own development. Why are you worse than a company director?

* See: Osipova S.V. Planning the manager’s working time // Secretary-assistant. 2012. No. 2. P. 6–11.

Rule five: routine is a matter of habit

Psychological research says that if you do something for 30 days in a row, it will become a habit, even if it is difficult at first. You can also use this technique to develop a suitable working time schedule. You shouldn’t wait for the moment when everything goes back to normal by itself: it’s better to wait a month and then enjoy the result - everything will happen as a matter of course.

Here are some useful skills that will help you manage your work time effectively:

  • get up and go to bed at the same time;
  • do business in a work environment: at your desk, in a cafe or other place;
  • develop a diet;
  • allocate time for rest during the working day;
  • follow the regime.

Follow a healthy lifestyle

Playing sports or any daily routine disciplines and makes planning a habit.

Active rest will allow you to gain strength faster.

In addition, a change in activity in itself puts you in the mood for work.

Go to bed on time, before midnight. Maintain the same routine on weekdays and weekends.

By the way, excessive sugar consumption reduces productivity, increases drowsiness and apathy.

Also, ventilate the room in which you work.

And if someone in your office is always cold, at least take a walk during your lunch break.

Such little things significantly impair performance.


Rule six: reward yourself for the work you do

It turns out that you also need to be able to rest. The main principle here is that relaxation must be achieved before you get tired . The fact is that it takes much longer to relieve severe fatigue. Just like a disease that is easier to prevent than to treat later. Therefore, after completing another task, reward yourself with a minute or two of rest.

In general, Soviet-style sensitive enterprises have internal labor regulations. They provide several breaks during the working day. The same approach is applied at production facilities abroad. They even say that if a German swung a hammer before the bell for a smoke break, then after the bell he will not make a blow, but will put the tool aside and go to rest. War is war, but lunch is on schedule, as the famous saying goes.

In general, short breaks from work greatly increase work efficiency . You can use the break to drink a cup of coffee, go for a short walk, or eat something tasty. This also works at the psychological level: it’s easier to complete a task if you know that at the end, a reward, albeit symbolic, awaits you. But here again, nowhere without self-discipline. If you have planned a break for 10:00, then don’t give yourself any indulgences until then. It will be difficult at first, but then it will also become a habit.

How to plan a working day: main rules

Planning your daily routine must begin with prioritizing. Identify the tasks that require your initial attention. Carefully consider all possible ways to complete urgent work and choose the most effective ones.

Determine deadlines for completion, including breaks (yes, free time and rest also need to be managed). You must learn to meet the established time frames.

Write down each day's schedule in your diary. It is also necessary to make notes about plans for the month and year. Remember that you must strictly monitor the implementation of all intended goals.

Also try to follow these simple rules:

  • Start your morning with a positive attitude. This basically determines your success (or failure) throughout the day.
  • Unlearn how to “swing”. Often a person needs at least 30-40 minutes to completely lose sleep and start working, even after a shower and a cup of invigorating coffee. Unlearn this habit and you will notice how the days become longer
  • While having breakfast, already “scroll” today’s routine in your head
  • It is desirable that there are no deviations in the established schedule. If changes do occur, record them in your diary.

Remember: if you plan your day correctly, you will have time to get a lot of work done in a relatively short period of time. This way, you will have more time for relaxation and favorite things.

Rule seven: sleep is king

Poorly organized sleep greatly reduces work efficiency. The trap is that, unlike an office worker, you won’t get up early tomorrow. Many entrepreneurs working from home fell into this ambush. Watching TV or surfing the Internet until 2 am - they can, they can, they practice it. And in the morning they reap the benefits in the form of low performance, distracted attention and other delights of a sleepless night. To prevent this from happening, just follow these simple rules:

  • go to bed and get up at the same time;
  • don’t think about business problems in bed;
  • after waking up, do not rush off the bat and get to work, but give yourself time to recover, plan your day and schedule other things to do;
  • go to bed even if the work is not finished. The morning is wiser than the evening, but you still can’t change everything.

Rule eight: give yourself weekends and vacations

It is necessary to structure not only the working day, but also the week and even the calendar year. Give yourself at least one day off a week, for example, Sunday. Turn off your phone, don't check your email, and generally think about work as little as possible. It’s even better to spend time usefully: spend time with your family, attend a cultural event, or just take a walk. This will allow you to restore your strength and begin work on Monday with renewed energy.

A separate topic for conversation is vacation. Don’t think that in a week things will slow down in the online store, employees will start slacking and you’ll miss out on a lucrative contract. There is a sufficient arsenal of tools to prevent this from happening. For example, delegate authority, correctly distribute tasks, or appoint a temporary deputy.

No one will argue that vacation is a short life. Spend it with maximum benefit: go on a tourist trip, arrange a trip, in a word, relax properly. Many business ideas come just at those moments when you are most distracted from routine affairs. This allows you to shake yourself up and look at business from the outside.

And we wish you to manage your time correctly, because time is money. Good luck in business!

Where to find the time, or the 25th hour of the day

Sometimes you need extra time to get everything done. And then you have to sacrifice something.

But most often it is enough to simply reconsider your view of familiar things.

Calculate what is more profitable for you - to spend an additional 15 thousand a month and receive ready-made lunches every day or to spend 3 hours on cooking, losing working time and, accordingly, your salary.

Evaluate all possible sources of free time:

The road to work and home

It’s difficult to reduce this time, but you can fill it with doing useful things – listening to audio lessons, making calls, planning for the next day.

Again, do the math - perhaps it’s more profitable for you to rent an apartment near your work:

Yes, you will spend extra money on rent, but you will gain up to 3 hours a day, which can ultimately lead to a promotion.

Going to the store

Buy groceries on the weekend, for the whole week. And fill the entire refrigerator with them.

It is irrational to spend 0.5-1 hour in line every day. This not only saves time, but also money.

Better yet, use food delivery.

Now this is much more profitable than any weekend shopping.


Use homemade preparations (cutlets, dumplings) in case of lack of time.

Prepare meals in advance for the entire week and pack them into containers.

Listen to audio courses while cooking.

Gradually buy time-saving appliances: multicookers, microwaves.

If you live in a large city, look for ready-made food delivery services.

A complete diet of 3-4 dishes (breakfast-lunch-dinner) costs only 12-17 thousand per month (for Moscow).

And this is more profitable than daily trips to cafes, rolls and chocolates for snacks.


Keeping things tidy takes less time than weekly cleaning.

A dishwasher or robot vacuum cleaner will greatly reduce cleaning time.

Think about delegation: use freelance exchanges to find performers who will do spring cleaning for you a couple of times a month.

It's not as expensive as it seems.

About additional costs

Yes, some may consider additional expenses on lunches, cleaning services or food delivery unreasonable, but before jumping to conclusions, think about this:

  • Calculate how much an hour of your time is worth by dividing your salary by the number of hours.
    In 90% of cases, your time will be more valuable than contacting a specialized specialist who will take on some of the tasks.
  • In addition, if you keep up with everything at work, it will bring you closer to raises and promotions.
    And even if not, then you will spend the gained time on yourself - this will save you from depression, procrastination and dissatisfaction with life.
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