Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Advice Review - Time Management
Let’s check it out:
1. Obvious (their words not mine) tip one: Make a to-do list (electronic or paper). Put the most important item first and work down from there.
I needed an expert to tell me this. My whole life I have been making lists –I even put a sticky note on the back of my phone every day with obvious things to do – still doesn’t help me find the time to get any of it done!
2. Obvious tip two: At the end of your day, review what you've done and make a new list for the next day. In order of importance.
The problem is finding the time, now you want me to add more time by making two lists every day and then check them – twice. But most importantly I will have to re-write my list several times because the order of importance changes as I think of more things to do – this list making thing is not going to work so well for someone like me.
3. Be ruthless about setting priorities. Make sure that what you think is important is really important.
If I am putting it on my list I am pretty sure it is important but if I were to ask someone else how important –let’s say, vacuuming is, I am pretty sure they are going to tell me they’d rather I cook dinner instead. Then I have to add to my list: plan dinner, groceries, cook dinner, clean- up after dinner. Then I have to be RUTHLESS about it – GREAT- my family already thinks I am a you-know-what when I get home -this is going to be PERFECT.
4. Learn to differentiate between the important and the urgent. What's important is not always urgent. What's urgent is not always important.
I am so confused? Important vs. urgent. Is from a fortune cookie the author had at lunch before they wrote this advice?
6. All things being equal, do the hardest, least fun thing first. Just get it over with!
Pretty sure the things on my to-do list are all hard and not so much fun. Otherwise they WOULDN’T BE ON THE LIST!
7. If a task takes less than five minutes, do it right away. If it takes longer, put it on the list.
OK, so everything then goes on the list? HOW IS THIS HELPING??
9. Schedule some uninterrupted time each day when you can concentrate on important tasks, even if you have to take refuge in a conference room or at the library.
I thought we were trying to figure out how to get things done? Now I have to SCHEDULE uninterrupted time each day. What exactly am I supposed to get done at the Library or in the conference room??? Whose list are you looking at?
To Do: Look for a New Book to read, Make new friends, Sit in all the chairs like you are Goldilocks, Pretend you are Donald Trump and Fire somebody.
11. For a couple of days, take an inventory of how you spend your time to find out where and how you're wasting it.
OK, let’s now add to my TO DO list – find time to figure out how I am wasting time.
Results: Spent an hour sitting in the library. Spent an hour sitting in the conference room testing out all the chairs. Spent an hour re-writing my to do list.
14. For big, complex tasks, schedule wiggle room. Projects tend to take longer than you think/hope. Give yourself a buffer.
So I don’t have time as it is and now I need to add wiggle room. This is like watching one of those bad home improvement shows where they don’t have enough money to flip the house but they keep adding more and more things to make it look nice.
15. If part of your day involves routine repetitive tasks, keep records of how long they take and then try to do them faster.
Get the stopwatch! Kids, I’m going to start vacuuming –Time me! (WAIT! Let me add this to my to-do list first!)
16. Go one step further and set specific time limits for routine tasks. Work tends to fill whatever amount of time you happen to have.
Really??? So If I schedule 15 minutes to do laundry, there will actually be LESS laundry to do??? NOW WE ARE TALKING!
18. Value your time. People who wander into your workspace to chat do not respect you or your schedule. Set boundaries.
My husband, my kids, my blogger friends, my pets they do not value me or respect my schedule –NEWSFLASH!
20. In general, guard against overscheduling yourself.
I wear a Kevlar vest daily- it doesn’t work.
[See 39 Ways to Annoy Your Coworkers.] (Now your talking!)
21. Bottom line to items 19 and 20: Learn to delegate, wherever and whenever you can.
Is this person FOR REAL??? You don’t think I have tried this? My kids are ON TO my Bribes!
23. Reward yourself for completing tasks on time. No fun stuff until the work stuff is done.
Story of my life. So I should be rewarded in what, 20 years??
25. Schedule demanding tasks for that part of your day when you're at your peak.
I better go ask my hubby – or better yet, let’s not.
26. Group related tasks (e.g., sort papers on your desk and then file them). It's more efficient.
What kind of To Do list does this person have? I have a feeling the Author has a personal chef, housecleaner, tutor for the kids, Nanny, and Lady for Hire for the hubby – shuffling papers????
27. Use down time (e.g., waiting for meetings to begin) to, for example, update your to-do list or answer E-mails.
FINALLY –ONE way to find some extra time! Let me help – if you don’t wait for meetings, I find when you are going to the bathroom a brief moment of “down time” – might be a place to UPDATE THE TO DO LIST (WHEN DO WE GET THE STUFF DONE ON THE LIST???????)
28. This advice applies to life outside work, too. It's better to be excellent at a few things than average at many.
NOW I FEEL LIKE A TOTAL LOSER- THANK YOU! (still thinking this was from a Fortune cookie.
29. Don't be afraid to get projects done early. It takes them off your mind, and it doesn't mean you'll just be given more to do.
HANG ON. WAIT A SECOND. YOU MEAN WE HAVE JUMPED FROM FINDING ME MORE TIME TO GETTING THINGS DONE SOONER – HOW DID WE GET FROM THERE TO HERE????????????? (Yes I am shouting)
30. Create the business environment that works for you. Adjust the lighting, turn off your E-mail pinger, get that cup of tea. Set the stage and get to work.
Hang on Boss – let me dim the lights, get my cup of tea, turn on some slow music and we can get started…………………
Wow! That was HELPFUL –AND SOMEONE GOT PAID TO WRITE THIS!
Busy working on my To Do list, HOW ARE YOU??