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 Post subject: Time management
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:03 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
For those of us that are struggling with time or just trying to better ourselves... I thought I would start a discussion on how to improve on ourselves.

What tips and tricks did you use to get where you are right now?
How did you better manage your time and get more things done?
What has worked for you and what hasn't?

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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
Time management is tough to learn. It comes from good habits and prioritizing.

Biggest tip I've learned is to clean up after yourself. If you make a mess, clean it up right then, dont wait. This goes for both literal messes(spilled salsa on the carpet) and figurative messes(transferred money into wrong account or something like that). If you take of things when you have the oppurtunity to do so, then it wont pop-up later in the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:23 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:05 am
Posts: 329
Yeah, time is the most important asset I have, and in everything I do, I try to spend it as wisely as possible.

I don't really have any good tricks or tips though. I just try my best not to squander it.

I will say this though: I don't like to multi-task. In theory, you can try to get as much done in as short amount of time possible, and while efficiency is a worthy goal, it is not efficient if it means compromising quality. Even with time, you want to be frugal but not cheap.

So, I try to do everything as though it's the next rung on the ladder that I myself need to stand on while building the next. So, I do one thing at a time, and in that moment of time, it is the most important thing in my life. I want the result to be so good that, when it's done, I don't ever have to think twice about it again (since I'll be "standing" on it).


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
One of the big reasons I am looking into the time management advice is for my business. I KNOW I could be doing things better as far as my time goes.

I am however trying something new for the next few weeks and will see what that does to my available time. If things go as hoped... I will not only improve on the quality of my facility but also open up some time for other business related duties (like getting my website updated for the 2010 season).

Keep the ideas coming... chance are I will try to impliment some of them in my current way of doing things.

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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:07 pm
Posts: 1
I highly recommend "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I've been using the "GTD" method for about three years, and it's pretty effective. It's not easy -- you have to develop the habits to make it work -- but it's totally worth it. There are a million blog posts on GTD, so I won't repeat much here. But here are some of the key insights that I picked up from the book.

1. When you think of something that needs to be done (or even if you just have an interesting idea that you believe deserves more attention later), capture it somewhere that you habitually refer to. Freeing your mind from keeping track of things that you have to do is a real stress-reliever.

2. Ending each workweek with a "clean sweep" of all your outstanding work-related projects allows you to truly unwind over the weekend, secure in the knowledge that everything that needs to be done can wait until Monday. Or not. In which case you know you'll be working this weekend. Either way, you're better off.

ps: I also recommend the first half of "The Four Hour Workweek." It makes you think: what am I habitually doing that actually accomplishes little or nothing?


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:05 am
Posts: 329
Quote:
1. When you think of something that needs to be done (or even if you just have an interesting idea that you believe deserves more attention later), capture it somewhere that you habitually refer to.


That's good advice. I think half the battle is just to be and stay organized. I am a PDA user for years, and I use it to handle all my productivity stuff, such as to-do lists, calendar events, contact info, small reminders with alarms, even budgeting. I'd be a mess if I don't write things down. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
Organized? Another area of my life I need to work on.

Come to think of it... Im a mess. If I was a horse ya'll would just shoot me. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:33 pm 
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I have been very successful in life. Most people would say that good organization and time management skills are critical for success. I'm the poster child for those people being wrong!

I manage my time well enough to get everything done that needs to be done but that means doing things at the last minute in far too many cases.

I'm pretty good at organizing things at work and in life in general. But when it comes to filing things and keeping things neat, tidy, and well organized at home, I'm a disaster.

I think time management and organization are important. But I'm proof you can get by without those skills. You just might have to work extra hard or stay up late to get things done at the last minute now and then.


Some of the smarted and most productive people I have ever known have had extremely messy, cluttered, and disorganized offices.


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
DoingHomework wrote:
I think time management and organization are important. But I'm proof you can get by without those skills. You just might have to work extra hard or stay up late to get things done at the last minute now and then.


Im already up till 2-3am every morning as it is.... this could get ugly.

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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:04 pm 
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N2Deep wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
I think time management and organization are important. But I'm proof you can get by without those skills. You just might have to work extra hard or stay up late to get things done at the last minute now and then.


Im already up till 2-3am every morning as it is.... this could get ugly.



No problem, just get up earlier!


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:06 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 961
Give yourself an allotted time to do a particular thing. Every item on your daily to do list is a mini project.

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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:49 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1356
I'm a disorganized person by nature and a terrible procrastinator, but almost all the jobs I've ever had required me to be extremely organized and to meet tight deadlines, so I've learned how to overcompensate for my deficiencies.

I started reading "Getting Things Done" a few years ago but realized that I had already come up with a similar process myself over the years. Here are a few things I do:

1. Staying on top of things: When I get a request that'll only take a few minutes to complete, I do it right away instead of putting it on my to-do list. That way I keep my to-do list (which for work I maintain as tasks in Outlook) relatively manageable instead of growing to an overwhelming size. I find that if I pile up these short requests and do them all at once, they become a collectively large task and it's a lot harder to deal with than just handling them as they come in. This applies to emails, phone calls, etc.

For requests and tasks that take longer, I turn them into tasks in Outlook and create a deadline and a follow-up date. I'm not an "inbox zero" kind of person; I do keep some messages in my in-box until I've figured out how to address them, but I never let my in-box grow to more than 100 messages, and usually it's less than 50 unless things are really busy (I often get more than 80 emails a day at work).

Some people can't stand being interrupted and prefer to work for hours on one project and then turn to another. If your work can accommodate that approach, fine, but I've never had a job that allowed me to work that way. I manage about 16 projects at work, and almost all of them require my attention every day, so I've learned to work in a fragmented way. Since the 1980s I've been using the standard approach of dealing with "urgent and important" things first, while trying to always make at least incremental progress every day on the things that are "important but not urgent" and ignoring or delegating anything that might be "urgent but not important."

2. Filing: I don't keep paper files anymore, at least not for work, and my filing system on my computer is not very detailed (i.e., I don't have lots of subfolders). But spending a lot of time organizing your computer files is a waste, because you can search your computer for anything and find it in an instant. The key is to have a good search utility and to know how to use it. The search utility built into Windows is a lot better than it used to be; I also used X2 for years and loved it. Google Desktop Search is great too. The Mac's built-in search tool is excellent as well, and you can find most files on your computer in a few seconds with the right keyword search.

When I did keep paper files, I didn't bother trying to organize them: I set up a database that would assign each new record a number, and I put each item that I wanted to file into the database with its title and a very brief description, plus a few keywords. Then I put the item into a manilla folder with the record number, and filed everything in numerical order. This saved me from the headache of trying to figure out which topic a particular article or report fell into. If I needed to find something, I just went to the database and typed in my keywords, and it took only a few seconds to find the folder in my drawer since all the folders were numbered sequentially.


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:56 pm
Posts: 12
Things that made a big difference for me:

- Wake up early, and get the most important things done before noon.
- After you finish planning, make sure you concentrate at the task at hand at any given time and do what you planned. (gets much easier to do once you have it planned)

Another thing is try to minimize distractions when doing focused work. This might mean separating your socializing time at work/home etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:04 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 88
I make appointments to work on project related tasks that need to be addressed every day. My appointments are actually me leaving my desk and sitting in a conference room with the door locked and no phone so I can focus for 30-45 minutes.

Everyone at work thinks I'm in an important meeting which makes me look good - AND I get the time i need to work effectively.

My other best tip is to utilize the away feature in outlook - I change the message so it will say things to internal staff like - "I'm currently focusing on a project with tight deadlines, and it may take me up to an hour to return your email. If this is an urgent matter, please call me!" or "As you may be aware, bad weather on the east coast has caused massive travel headaches - especially for our executives who were in New York at a conference. As soon as I get them on their way home, I'll get back to you." Which stops the people who think that you should respond to them in 5 minute or less, and makes everyone happy because they aren't left hanging and confused.


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 Post subject: Re: Time management
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:49 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:31 am
Posts: 12
Initially I embraced the GTD methodology, but I made some changes to be able to implement everything on a couple of computers, smartphone and a tablet.

* First I organize everything by project or responsibility. No free standing tasks.

* Separation of active and incubated projects.

* Putting all tasks, projects and materials in one place - B-Folders for easy syncing across devices and for security.

* Weekly project planning.

* Daily project and related task tracking and execution.

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