It’s All About Timing

stop-watchI’m learning a valuable lesson lately about time management. I like being busy but it’s very easy to stretch myself too thin and I’m reaching that point … very quickly. I’m realizing that it really is OK to say “no” if necessary. Between a full-time job, numerous volunteer projects, freelance work, family life and more, there are times when I just don’t have time to actually get anything done. The ability to manage my time and focus on the areas that need to be handled on a given day are critical for my success personally and professionally.

Time management is a skill that I’ve worked on my entire life, but have yet to master. I would love to hear your time management tips. What advice would you give to someone trying to juggle many projects at once?

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6 Comments

  1. Here are a few tips I follow to help with time management:

    1. It’s important to have goals – know your core values. Every project you commit to should in some way be contributing to your goals.
    2. People tend to work on the urgent rather than the important – work on the important before it becomes urgent.
    3. Learn to say no – everytime you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else.
    4. Schedule everything on your calendar – family time, personal time, project time, etc.
    5. Plan for interruptions.
    6. Let go of perfectionism.

    Reply

    1. Terri, Thanks for those suggestions. Those are fantastic tips, and ones that everyone should implement in their lives.

      Reply

  2. LISTS! LISTS! LISTS!
    Each Monday I make two lists on post-it notes. One is the list of tasks I *must* do by the end of the week. The second is a list of tasks I *want* to do by the end of the week.
    Then each evening, I jot down a list of things to accomplish for the next day. The daily list usually includes one or two things from my weekly lists and four or five daily mundane tasks (like ironing a shirt or vacuuming the living room). I found going to bed with a to-do list for the next day makes it much easier to fall asleep.
    Through the day, as I finish each job, I make a single mark through the task listed on my post-it. That serves three purposes.
    First, it allows me to measure my progress which is always critical to having a successful plan.
    Second, I get a tangible sense of accomplishment by actually seeing what I’ve done. That’s why I write my lists on paper and mark the completed tasks in a way that allows me to see what I’ve done. It motivates me to keep working.
    Third, it keeps me focused on finishing one task before I start another. That had always been my biggest problem with being organized. I would begin work on several projects and finish none of them. I worked hard all day but looked around and realized I had accomplished nothing. That’s a terrible feeling.
    So the list-system is what works for me. And I must thank my wife for forcing me to come up with it! In fact, thanking your wife should always be on your weekly list. 😉

    Reply

    1. Andrew, I’m the queen of lists. 🙂 I have lists similar to those you describe. The greatest satisfaction for me comes when I cross an item off after completion. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  3. […] It’s All About Timing « Livin' on Tulsa Time tulsatimeapr.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/its-all-about-timing – view page – cached I’m learning a valuable lesson lately about time management. I like being busy but it’s very easy to stretch myself too thin and I’m reaching that point … very quickly. I’m realizing that… (Read more)I’m learning a valuable lesson lately about time management. I like being busy but it’s very easy to stretch myself too thin and I’m reaching that point … very quickly. I’m realizing that it really is OK to say “no” if necessary. Between a full-time job, numerous volunteer projects, freelance work, family life and more, there are times when I just don’t have time to actually get anything done. The ability to manage my time and focus on the areas that need to be handled on a given day are critical for my success personally and professionally. (Read less) — From the page […]

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