Clever Carly: Time Management Goals for 2019

Stay on schedule and stress-free with these planning practices

Hello, dear planners!

As 2019 ramps up, I’m thinking back on 2018 and what could have gone better. Looking back on both the accomplishments and challenges I’ve enjoyed throughout the past year, one thing sticks out in particular: time management. With a busy schedule and never-ending to-do list, planners have a lot on their plates—sometimes with little time to get everything done. And that’s totally normal. But poor time management skills can also cause chaos and panic in your meetings, which is also something that is totally preventable. 

Now, I’m not saying you should overhaul your entire planning process for a new one that can magically add hours to the day. (It’s not possible; I’ve tried.) Instead, I’m thinking about ways to amend my current schedule that would create more time for myself, both professionally and personally, without turning back the hands of time. 

So, below are the small goals I’m setting in 2019 to make every second go further—care to join me on this journey?

1. Stop setting unrealistic expectations.

The fact is, no matter what we planners do, there are still only 24 hours in the day. That means we need to be real with ourselves about what we can realistically accomplish in any given time period. Sometimes that might mean checking only two items off the to-do list per day, and sometimes that might mean 10. Either way is fine, but the event’s schedule should accommodate both scenarios.  

2. Delegate more.

Despite how hard we might try to take care of every element of a project ourselves, for quality control purposes alone, it’s just not possible—nor recommended—and that doesn’t even account for the health implications too much stress can have. (Remember, meeting planning is one of the top five stressful jobs of 2018!) To free up some time and eliminate stress, it’s important to surround yourself with a team you trust and can delegate tasks to, especially when working on an aggressive timeline. 

3. Stop procrastinating.

If “I’ll do it later” was your signature catchphrase in 2018, let’s practice saying this next sentence together aloud: “I’ll take care of it now.” Cramming every detail of any meeting into the final pre-event hours can come with great consequences (a small audience turnout and booked venues and vendors, just to name a few). If you’re a chronic procrastinator, try breaking up your to-do list into small chunks and setting weekly check-ins with your team to keep everyone accountable.

4. Learn when to say no.

As you already know, planners are busy people. And though we might want to take on every project that comes our way, saying “yes” to every request that comes our way can make the balancing act of tasks and time unmanageable. Going back to point No. 1, it’s important to be aware of your strengths and be reasonable with yourself. If you are too busy to take on a new project, it’s OK to say no and wait until your schedule frees up for a new pursuit. 

Now, bearing all this in mind, I think I will take my own advice and step back from writing in an effort to stick to my own personal to-do list. It’s never too early to start on your goals, right?

Until next time, friends.

Plan well,
Clever Carly