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Monday, January 30, 2012

A "Tickler" for Time Management

Always on the lookout for ways to use time more efficiently (for myself and my clients), I was recently introduced to The 45-File System, a “tickler” file for planning and organizing your time and responsibilities for up to 2 years in advance. Although I haven’t personally used it, the 45-File System has all the characteristics I look for in this type of system: simple, easy to set up and maintain, proven effective in the field.

Here’s how it was explained to me by a highly efficient businessperson who has used it successfully for years:

Preparation

STEP ONE:  Clear space (a desk drawer, stand-alone file, etc.) making room for 14 hanging files,

STEP TWO: Label 45 files: 31 of them numerically labeled for days of the month (1 through 31); 12 of them labeled with the months of the year (January through December); 2 of them, one for each of the next two years (e.g., 2013 and 2014).

Action

When you have a task or responsibility for six months from now, drop it into that monthly file. At the beginning of each month, take out all of your tasks/responsibilities for that month and sort them into your daily files, numbered 1 through 31. When you prepare your “to do” list or action plan for the day, start with the file for that day.

If you decide to add this system into your routine, let me know how it works for you. Do you have any time management or organizational hints, tricks or systems you would like to share?

NOTE: One of my clients -- an exceptionally successful businessperson – has been using the 45-File System for years and suggested I share it on this blog. I would like to publicly thank her for sharing, but she asked to remain anonymous.

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