by Erica Johnson
Short on time? Always running late? Or feeling like you’re pulled in about 20 directions at the same time? Think that many of us feel at least one of these attributes at one point or another…so what’s the solution? Time Management! To some those two words may sound impossible, to others it’s part of their every day life. For me, I’d like to think I fall under the uber organized “planner” with my calendars and to do lists that keep things in order and place.
Although I’m far from perfect on time management, I’d like to think some of my tid-bits may be helpful to jump starting a time management gameplan:
• Keep a calendar (or two). My calendar…it literally holds my life in it. I have two that I keep; one on my phone (that keeps all MAJOR daily time blocks which directly impact my personal availability) and a physical spiral bound calendar that keeps daily assignments, due dates, other team member’s events, etc. I can’t live without my calendars. And for anyone trying to work on time management, it’s a must.
• Invest in Post It Notes. If only I owned stock in the Post-It Note company for how many I go through…large sizes, small sizes, square sizes…Post It Notes are my second key thing to time management. I always have a “hot list” going on my desk for the week…but then use small post it notes to flag KEY things that are a must do for the day or will post a small one on the back of my phone to remember things I need to do at home that night. It keeps a key reminder in front of me and is a huge reward when you get to throw it away because the task is complete!
• Block Out Time. This is one area I need to work on more, but it completely works if you make it a priority…if you’re an on the go gal like I am, you’re constantly being asked for your opinion here or there; to approve or sign this or that; pop into a strategic meeting or follow up with a donor/patient/partner and the next thing you know the day is gone. However, when I do take the time to block out my day (close my door to focus on one project until it’s done) it’s amazing how much gets accomplished. Vs. when I’m freely available to anyone/everyone 24/7, my time gets pulled and my Post It Notes don’t get accomplished. So block out time, focus on a project, accomplish it and move on.
Time management truly is a choice. We all have friends that are in constant chaos or never seem to get tasks accomplished and yet they’ll complain that they don’t have time…however they sure are busy talking/texting on their phones or getting their nails done, etc. When handled properly, time management is something that will become easy and part of daily living allowing for free time to go get your nails done and still have checked off your to do list! It’s very possible and will make your chaos, seem much more organized and easy to manage. (Now back to my to-do list…still have some Post it Notes to complete before I can call it a day!)