In 1996, I  have read a book which had a profound influence on my  personal time management. The title of the book is “The 7 habits of highly effective people”.The reason why this book had a greater influence than other books is that I systematically put into practice its content. I used to work with  daily to-do lists and when my day was over, I was very frustrated that I did not accomplish what I wanted. So here is what I learned from this book.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

One of the great messages of the book is to plan every week in advance, preferably the Sunday before the workweek begins. Then, review your planning every day in advance, preferably the night before. When you make a list of everything you have to do the following day, your subconscious mind works on that list all night long. When you wake up in the morning, you will often have ideas and insights to help you accomplish the items on your list. 

Sometimes in our daily routine, things can get out of control and we end up not doing what we were supposed to do. This is why when we plan a week in advance, it gives us the opportunity to organize most of our tasks throughout the week. It gives us a better way to deal with the unexpected situations.

Another key message is to separate the urgent from the important. In the process of managing your time, you must separate the urgent tasks from the important ones. Urgent tasks are determined by external pressures and requirements. You must do them immediately. Once you took care of the urgent tasks, it gives you the freedom of mind to give your full attention to the important ones.

If you feel frustrated at the end of your days with the impression that you never have enough time to do all you want, I recommend that you try this very simple technique of planning a week in advance.

One more thing, leave some free time in your agenda to have time to deal with the unexpected situations. There will be some.