In order to plan time properly; one must evaluate the work load. Although, not a difficult task, it takes time to ponder on the duties and responsibilities. One has to make time for this as it will save time in the long run. Beginning all new projects, responsibilities, or tasks with a planning session. Getting answers to these questions will go a long way:
What tasks must be done?
When should they be accomplished?
Aside from myself, who else will need to be involved?
Can this task be passed on, if yes, to whom, etc?
How much time will each project need?
What part of my duties and responsibilities are static and unchanging?
What intermediary steps need to be completed?
Not only should new work start with a planning session, but all on-going work must be reviewed, evaluated, and re-planned. Schedule planning time every day. Plan the day as the first thing in the morning, or as soon as one arrives at work or the previous day as the last thing one will do at work before departing for home. When describing the work load, note the following four points:
Is the task really one’s responsibility? Don't fall into the trap of taking on others’ responsibilities. One may be able to track the task or project to those who are directly responsible for it in the first place, eventually creating time for those main tasks or projects one is directly assigned to. It is very possible you may be able to assign portion of the project with others, thereby sharing the work load in half. Channel projects to others who have responsibility for them by being correctly confident and using clear and succinct communication. Sometimes, concession and negotiation may be desirable to result in a collective effort on a project. Remember, your responsibilities come first and require the majority of your time.
When describing the work load, ask if you have "bitten off more than you can chew". It is likely that one has a larger work load than any person can faithfully handle in the accessible time. After pushing yourself hard, as this might affect the quality of the work, and if it starts to decline in order for one to take on an additional quantity of work, then an unhealthy habit may be forming. The success of an individual is built upon quality services, and quality management action. Do not permit this standard to drop as a shortcut to getting another task concluded. It is your accountability to communicate to your direct supervisor when you assess that you have gotten involved on more than any "mere mortal can handle". Planning includes being aware of one’s limits, as well as brainstorming, problem solving, and communicating when those limits have been overdone. Be the first to ask for help, a true sign of strength not weakness.
Be genuine when estimating the time it will be required for you to complete each responsibility or project. Operative planning is built upon authenticity. Underrating the time required to do a task may result in disturbing other's time schedule when one is not able to deliver as one had estimated. Subsequently, it will be a poor replication of one. Likewise, overestimating the time it will take to execute a project is also a poor practice. Although, it may appear to make one look more resourceful, it can as well disorder others who are ready to receive the report or completed task at the expected earlier time. Proper planning requires correct and realistic time estimations.
Adequate planning includes the planning of breaks (lunch) and personal events. It has been renowned ever since that total, sustained, and intense focus on high pressure tasks and responsibilities can lead to trauma and deterioration of working capacity. It is one’s responsibility to plan proper action to prevent oneself from becoming "burnt-out". It is authentic to plan for lunch. Breaks can be scattered within long periods of intense attention. Planning for these events are carried out with the same validity just like the way the other important duties and responsibilities were planned.