Fall Guest Post Series: Morgan (Life After Bagels)

Oh, time management! This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, and I know I’m not the only one! Now that my school semester is in full swing, I’m constantly trying to find ways to stay healthy (and sane), while juggling a million things at once. Since I know a lot of you are trying to get your schedules figured out this month, too, I think it’s the perfect time for a time management post!

So, take it away, Morgan!

Hello Rosey Fans!  I’m Morgan and I blog at Life After Bagels.  It’s time to talk about time management.  This is a topic I am very passionate about.  It’s something I teach daily to my management team at work.  But more than that, it’s something I need every single day to help fit in all the wonderful parts of my life.  I even had the opportunity to present the topic at last month’s Healthy Living Summit.

Shall we start with a quote . . .

“ People who want to appear clever rely on memory.  People who want to get things done rely on lists.” – Peter Mcwilliams

Yes lists are what we are going to talk about today.  I use a three tier approach to my home planning.  Believe me this is not a complicated process at all.  You can very easily incorporate these steps immediately and see dramatic improvement to your organization.

Step 1:  Use an agenda

It doesn’t matter if you go tech style on the computer or old school with paper.  You really must have somewhere to write down your schedule and obligations.

How to:

  • Write your schedule (work, appointments, social engagements)
  • Write down your to-do’s for each day (blog posts, emails, pay bills, fitness)
  • Check off and/or highlight when complete (if you were at the Healthy Living Summit you remember my “check, swooooooosh”)

Things to consider:  

  • Don’t over schedule, be realistic about what you can get done in a day.
  • Know that something unexpected will pop up each and every day.
  • Almost every task ends up taking more time than you think.
  • Sometimes things get bumped, that’s when prioritizing is key.  Figure out the right thing to scratch off your list or move to another day.

See what I do:



Step 2:  Make a meal plan

How to:

  • Write your week out (or I use two weeks at a time.)
  • Leave a section for lunch and dinner (no running for fast food because you didn’t have time or think about packing lunches.)
  • Start plugging in meals and making a separate grocery list at the same time.

Things to consider:

  • Be realistic about what you will feel like making (I know that when I work 11-8 I’m not going to be making homemade soup with tons of cut vegetables and time for simmering.)
  • If you like to pack leftovers for lunch then you have to be prepared to make enough servings.
  • If you have plans to make something later in the week, or next week, leave the fresh items off your immediate grocery list and plan for one more produce run later in the week.

See what I do:

2 week plan
Step 3:  Plan each day

How to:

  • I only plan my days on my days off.  On my working days I know I will only have an hour or two for extra tasks or gym time.
  • Look at your agenda of everything you’ve planned to do that day.
  • Plan out what hours in the day you are going to complete the tasks or outings.
  • Plan in time for meals and snacks and rest time, you can’t go all day.

Things to consider:

  • You have times in the day where you are your most productive, put those times to good use.
  • If you have a preference of what time to work out, plan your workout for that time.  It will make you less likely to skip it.
  • Have you heard the phrase “eat the biggest frog first?”  It means whatever task is the suckiest to you, do that first or you’re likely to put it off all day long.

See what I do:

daily agenda

In the FYI: For Your Improvement A Guide For Development And Coaching book it describes someone who is skilled at planning:

  • Accurately scopes out length and difficulty of tasks and projects
  • Sets objectives and goals
  • Breaks down work into the process steps
  • Develops schedules
  • Anticipates and adjusts for problems and roadblocks
  • Measures performance against goals

Good luck in getting yourselves organized!  I would be more than happy to answer any questions and delighted to hear about your success stories.  You can email me at morgan.shuker@gmail.com or tweet me @LifeAfterBagels.

Thanks, Morgan, for taking the time to write this post! You have such great tips!

Don’t forget to check out my giveaway for a chance to win a piece of my friend’s handmade jewelry! You have until midnight EST on Friday to enter!!

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  1. I am so glad to see this blog post … Morgan, I watched the HLS session on the website, and was really inspired and learned a LOT. I used to be uber-organized in school, but once I was out of that structure I just let things fall by the wayside. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in how I manage my time and the quality of how I use my time since watching that session.

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