I’ve kept notebooks off/on for the past 10 years….wondering how I ever got through the prior 10 years…I maintain work notebooks and ‘personal’ notebooks…wonderful pack of ‘secrets’ in both sets…and I have a drawer in my file cabinet full of these notebooks…all dated and placed in order…it is amazing how these notebooks help keep me organized as well as help to ‘refresh’ my memory once perused….
I maintain a ‘print’ calendar but I also maintain an electronic calendar. One of my primary Time Management skills is to include ‘everything’ that I have to do in a given day on the electronic calendar. I find that if I place items on the calendar in a given ‘time’ frame, I am more inclined to complete them within the confines of the time frame. For instance, if I have to make five (5) particular phone calls in a given day, I will set aside a particular hour to do so….this is a skill I learned a while ago and it has worked very well for me….or if I have errands, I try to clump them together at the beginning or end of the work day or over a lunch hour…I put them in a selected time slot on my calendar so that they all will be completed within the time allotted. Consolidate your routine actions.
1. DO the most important items first; only you can prioritize. This is the golden rule of Time Management.
2. Organize paper ‘to do’s; have separate files or bins for various ‘topics’. Taking the time to sort through paper items once they are received or come into your possession will help when it comes to the next step for that paperwork. Look at a ‘to do’ carefully and if it can be completed or disposed of in 30 seconds or less, do it at the time it is received.
3. Think positive; instead of constantly complaining to yourself and other people as to how much you have to do, self-talk about what you do have time for…start talking or thinking about that instead. Valuing your time will help others respect it as well.
4. Again, set aside particular times during the day to check social media…and this includes email….unless you have a job that ‘follows’ your email, you should not have it in front of your face constantly. Allocate a certain amount of time to follow and a certain amount of time to respond….this is a good, long term habit to adopt. You can also learn to ignore social media completely when things are really under pressure in your work environment.
5. Get enough sleep: 7 – 8 hours per day. I can’t emphasize this enough and it is one of my weaknesses. I also have an arrhythmia that has been a challenge whenever I’ve been suffering from undo stress since I was 25 years old; it happens to manifest itself during the course of the night…never was it more apparent than a few years back…during an intense period of pressure at a former place of employment, I was rushed to the hospital after awakening at 4:00am with my heart rate at 180 beats/minute and (after calling 911) learning that my blood pressure was 200/105 once the para-medics arrived. My sleep is often disturbed with an irregular or rapid heartbeat, however, never as challenging as the night notated….and, I’m told I can live to be 100+ with this phenomenon.
6. Don’t waste time; you can get a great deal accomplished in 30 minutes. If you have a half an hour between appointments, make sure you utilize that time productively. However, if you need ‘down’ time, take it. It will help you in the long run. Take lengthy breaks on the weekends and set aside a few evenings a week to have ‘free’ time….no work, paid or volunteer.
7. Periodically do time audits. Look at your schedule…..how much time are you spending or work?….Is your volunteer/social schedule balanced? How much time are you spending on social media? My writing has not become habitual for me as of this point in time…I still need to force myself to do it…but, my goal is to have this become a habit or a routine. There are web sites on the internet that help one develop new habits… http://jamesclear.com/new-habit...as an example….I am certainly trying to make this writing a ‘habit’…
8. Always delineate time limits to complete a given task; always keep appointments within a certain time period. This is why allocating a specific amount of time on your schedule for a task will cover not only appointments but tasks, also.
9. Maintain a separate ‘to do’ list that is long term….cross off items that you have completed, star the ones that you have begun but may need attention. Don’t look at the ‘totality’ of the list; look at it in groupings or individual items.
10. End your day at a specified time. If you are scheduled to end at 5:00pm or 7:00pm, do it. You don’t want your work to fill your entire evening. I have a few nights per week when I have meetings scheduled; those are, naturally, my late nights. I am usually completed my work by 5:00pm, no later than 6:00pm, on the other nights…however, I begin my day working, at my computer, around 5:45am…
Another thing I would like to state; there is no such thing as good multi-tasking. It just does Not exist. If you think that you can ‘juggle’ many tasks at a time, something will suffer in the long run. Please be careful!!!
I hope this list has helped you; I have done Time Management plans for companies and organizations for the past 10 years. If you need help with this either from a corporate or individual perspective, please contact Rosanne Bennett at 484-798-1236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org