Tips on planning your diary


However much we plan our time, nobody can foresee every crisis that can occur on the spur of the moment, or those well-timed interruptions from key customers or the boss who has just found an urgent task that must be completed now. These are all part of the job, challenges that make life exciting and interesting, opportunities for us to shine and demonstrate our management skills and show how well we have our time under our control!

When these events occur, simply take a step back (and breathe), get the event into perspective, and review your daily plan. Adjust your priority list accordingly, ensuring that those who will be affected by you not completing that B task today, are aware of the reasons why you will be giving that job the priority it deserves tomorrow, instead.


 To help you deal with these when they happen, make sure you follow these guidelines:

1. Allow for interruptions within the framework of your daily plan

2. Allow for follow-on tasks that may be generated from the ones you have just done

3. Allow for crises that will inevitably involve adjusting your priority ratings

4. Avoid frequent short meetings when a telephone call, fax, memo or e-mail will do

5. Divide lengthy tasks into units – the Swiss Cheese method

6. Plan time for each unit, include planning time, and review time

7. Avoid meetings or appointments which are back-to-back

8. Aim to achieve something positive each day

9. Review tasks daily and allow for changing priorities

10. Keep yourself motivated by giving yourself a reward for achieving those major tasks


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