Oh no, there’s that email again reminding me that my blog is due! When will I find the time to write about what I do? Yes, I hear all of the many organized people out there thinking, “Here is a great candidate for Time Management training.” Been there-done that and actually did pick up some good pointers to help keep the many demands of life activities well organized. A few of these timely time saving tips follow:
Prioritize: Each Friday afternoon, I review my workload (or at least the items I remembered to write down) and prioritize for the upcoming week. Then along comes Monday, and by noon that workload list has been completely disrupted by other more pressing emergencies. When trying to define activities as “important and urgent” as Stephen Covey recommends in his book First Things First, I find everything screams they are both urgent and important.
Assign a time for email: This is a great tip except for extremely optimistic people like me who believe we are just an email away from the one that will eliminate a task from our workload. What if I failed to open an email as soon as I got it and it was one of my colleagues asking if they could have the opportunity to write this week’s blog for me?!
Delegate: I’m a pro at this technique. The only problem is that the only person to delegate work to is myself. Let’s face it, delegating to someone who admittedly does not manage time efficiently is an inefficient strategy.
Multitasking doesn’t work: Certainly this must be a myth! If I do more than one thing at once, doesn’t that mean I’ll get more done? Susan Weinschenk, PhD, in an article in Psychology Today entitled “The True Cost Of Multi-Tasking,” reported that you can lose up to 40% productivity by multitasking. She advised that instead of multitasking, we are really task switching. Well, that explains why I never seem to make progress on my to-do list, and why it seems my mind is a constant stream of tumultuous thoughts.
Time flies when you are having fun: Even though this may not be an actual time management skill, it helps keep in perspective your accomplishments versus your ability to manage both the internal and external daily chaos. Time spent pursuing a goal keeps us motivated and our minds occupied creating the sensation that time is passing quickly.
The time was allotted and the blog completed in a lighthearted manner. When you read it, I hope you enjoy what I have written and smile as you relate it to your life of pressures and deadlines. While managing one’s time is important for productivity, of equal importance is the ability to enjoy life. I am blessed to have a rewarding job that allows my work to positively impact many lives. I hope you are as fortunate.
Darlene Lukshin is a Program Specialist for OSU Extension in Washington County.