Is Time Your Enemy or Your Friend?
When we only have 24 hours in a day we tend to try and do as much as possible. But have you noticed those days where you seem to spin your wheels and feel as if nothing was accomplished? You spent time working, yet nothing was completed. It can at times feel like an out of body experience. You know you worked, just have no proof that you accomplished anything.
Many times, this can be because of interruptions throughout the day. I asked a client to break down her daily schedule and to do list and this is what she came up with:
|8:45 – 10:30am||- Morning staff meeting|
|10:30 – 11:30am||– Return calls/emails|
|11:30am – 12:00pm||- Phone call|
|12:00pm – 1:00pm||- Lunch|
|1:00pm – 2:00pm||- Return calls/emails|
|2:00pm – 2:30pm||- Client call|
|2:30pm – 3:30pm||- Research for report due on Friday|
|3:30pm – 4:30pm||- Last minute team meeting|
|4:30pm – 5:00pm||- Return calls/emails|
|5:00pm||- Head home|
Sound like a day in your office? We tend to waste much of our time playing catch up due to meetings or interruptions. So how can we feel we accomplished anything with a schedule like this? By making time your friend instead of your enemy. Here a few tips that may help you manage your time better:
- Return calls/emails at the same time each day. Note on your voice message and email that you check emails in the hours of 10:30 – 11:30 am and 3:00 – 4:00 pm each day.
- Take your laptop with you to your meetings to note action items that you can add to your calendar upon your return to your desk.
- Work on only one project at a time for 1 hour and then move to the next project and work on it for 1 hour and so on ensuring you set a timer on your computer.
- Work on one deadline at a time.
- Make realistic time slots when working on projects.
- Allow for delays outside your control
- Give yourself one day a week away from your work. This is ever so rejuve-nating and gives you better focus on the tasks to complete.
This will help you to feel accomplishment as you complete your projects one by one. At times you may need to take some time to simply take a breath and regroup. Either way, by working smarter you get more done.
I realize there will be times when you feel this is not attainable however, by sticking to your plan of action you allow yourself to manage your time instead of allowing time to manage you.