Time Management Tips
Can you Stop for a Quick Question?
I don't know about you, but time seems to fly whether I'm having fun or not...!
Has anyone ever asked you: "what did you do today"? And you really had to stop and think.
Have you ever looked at the clock and wondered: "where has the day gone"?
Did you know that it takes 5 minutes of Recovery Time to get back on track after a 30 second interruption?
This means losing an average of 2.1 hours per day because of unnecessary interruptions and recovery time!
This can include a call from a telemarketer, a knock on the door from a salesman, even a call / visit you weren't expecting...you get the idea. And that 2.1 hours seems conservative, to be perfectly honest (LOL)!
What can be done about these interruptions?
I am striving to get better at limiting my availability. I can check my phone message through the day. I do not need to answer my door unless I am expecting someone, which is also a safety consideration.
I'm trying to get better with e-mails and social media. As my work and passions are teaching and writing, the very computer that I work with can also be a source of distraction and interruption.
There is high potential for communication breakdown, especially when working in groups. It can be dizzying when trying to remember if all parties have received the same information, as well as time consuming in the tracking.
Pink Floyd: Time
- You receive a group e-mail. You do not always have to make a response. Or your response can be a simple: "I completely agree with ____"; "Sounds good".
- You can plan times of the day that are dedicated make phone calls and respond to e-mails. I find this works especially great with my students. Nurses work all shifts yet those of us who work from home do not have office hours 24/7. I also write one e-mail and answer several shorter e-mails the student may have sent.
- So much time is wasted in 'verification communication' by follow-up calls or additional e-mails after the first communication. As a current instructor and former administrator, I strive to put responsibility where it belongs.
Let it Go...
Sit back with your eyes closed, no interruptions and listen to the soothing instrumentals and the insightful lyrics of this classic Pink Floyd song: "Time".
Time is a precious and short commodity. Take as much control of your time as you possibly can... one moment at a time.
I am a work in progress. I have the tendency to be a perfectionist, having a difficult time saying 'no'. I am also curious and easily distracted.
According to Audri and Jim Lanford, we can get 3-5 times more done by eliminating interruptions and distractions by focusing on the projects and tasks that are the most important to you -- even for just 15 to 55 minutes.
As such I have started very slowly, with 15 minute time increments of focusing on one task I want to get accomplished at a time. I set a timer and am amazed at how much I can accomplish in such a short time without interruptions! Try it and see for yourself.
Recent studies have shown that standing up and stretching after about 20 to 25 minutes of sitting is healthy for you and helps you be more productive. So, I always get up and put on some music and move after one of my focused tasks.
For me, I strive now to have at least 3 to 5 of these chunks during the day. Time matters.
It's About Time
I have included a sample of sage quotes about time from my collection of quotes, along with some tasty musical selections that are most applicable.
When you have small blocks of time, I hope you'll stop back to check them out:
Be Wise With Time
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
Make use of time, let not advantage slip.
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Dawes: Give Me Time
Know Your Priorities
If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.
It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau
Doobie Brothers: Minute by Minute
Moments are Precious
Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.
You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.
Doc Childre and Howard Martin
Aerosmith: I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing
Do What You Are Doing
To do two things at once is to do neither.
One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
Brandon Flowers: The Clock Was Tickin'
Never let yesterday use up today.
Richard H. Nelson
The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.
Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.
Speaking of 'Time Flying' ...
I received a congratulatory e-mail from HubPages staff for my 3-year anniversary milestone.
In turn, I couldn't let another moment pass without thanking each of you who have become my friends and colleagues along this wonderful journey. I continue to learn something each and every day. I feel valued and respected in this community where we have so many differences, yet in many ways we are the same.
It seems fitting that I write a piece on time management at this time! I thank each and every one of you who take the time to support my writing, whether on HubPages or my website. I will try my best to read your work as well. Now I believe it's about time for Spring!
Reference: Audri and Jim Lanford's Newsletter
© Maria Jordan (March, 2014)