5 Tips To Overcoming Time Management Issues
By: Jacqueline T.D. Huynh
The average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 7 in an hour, or 50-60 per day. The average interruption takes 5 minutes, totaling about 4 hours or 50% of the average workday. 80% of those interruptions are typically rated as “little value” or “no value” creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day. The cost of interruptions to the US economy is estimated at $588 billion a year.
Do you make time work for you or are you at the mercy of it? Do you always seem strapped for time? Do you feel that you can never fit
everything you want to do in a day?
Strategy #1: Awareness.
Recognize how often other people interrupt you, how frequently you have to stop and look for things, or how long it takes to complete certain job functions.
Strategy #2: Make the most out of small pockets of time.
Keep a list of 20 to 30 things you can do in less than 10 minutes and have at hand the supplies or information you need to accomplish at least some of these tasks.
1) Reply to email
2) Make a phone call
3) Review materials
4) Confirm/cancel appointments
That may not sound like much time, but over the course of a week, you may find yourself with anywhere from 10 to 20 extra 10-minute blocks of time.
Strategy #3: Thursday Instead of Friday Team Meeting.
Why is this better?
1) By Friday afternoon, you generally want to: (a) go to the beach, (b) do aimless online research/surfing or (c) meet up with friends for happy hour. You do not want to have to think.
2) Thursday, midmorning, you can remind people of (a) what you are doing for them, and (b) what you need from them. This gives me the rest of that day and all day Friday to get those things done.
3) You’ll see the progress that’s been made over the previous days and you’ll get an extra boost of energy to move on to the next two days.
4) Organize things that need to be done before finishing up the next day.
Strategy #4: End of Day Review.
Before finishing up work at the end of the night review your calendar and to-do list.
1) Plan how your work day will be for tomorrow
2) Schedule 30 – 60 minutes chunks of time to focus on one single project without interruption. (This means turning off your email and phone)
3) Review next week’s calendar and ask yourself if you can collapse 2 meetings into one with two people at the same time.
QUESTION: What is the most powerful word in our Time Management vocabulary?
At the very least learn to say, “I’ll get back with you.”
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