Time Management: The Time is Now

Everyone in the workplace today feels the crunch of time. You probably have more on your plate now than you can remember in a long time (a lot to stomach!) A healthy does of time management could be a timely elixir to achieve some needed work-life balance.
Here are some tried-and-true time management tips:

•    Only touch something once such as e-mails, folders, invoices and other documents.  Be decisive about what do to with each item according to priority; don’t dwell on it or come back to it and dwell on it all over again. Move on.

•    Create a smart “to do” list each morning. There should be one broad project list and an immediate, daily version. Keep them on a desktop for flexibility.  The daily version can be kept on your smart phone or wireless device so that it can be changed hourly, if necessary. Constantly prioritize it, as the schedules of others and other time zones will simply require it.  While your daily priorities will re-shuffle, your core priorities should remain constant.

•    Make notes throughout the day. You can jot them down in a little notebook or on a wireless device. You can also email reminders to yourself.
(DG- can’t fix spacing on some of the bullets)
•    Always be aware of paperwork that can be handled after hours, versus business calls that are mostly restricted to the workweek.

•    Rethink your social life. Meet friends at the gym in the morning, at breakfast or for dinner. Limit or eliminate socializing with friends during prime work hours.  Schedule calls with friends after hours; go out with co-workers after work.

•    Sometimes work can make you feel overextended, spilling into your social life. You may feel overextended, missing out on seeing good friends. Consider occasional group get- togethers. Group hikes, museum outings, potlucks, movie nights and dinners, can all keep you in touch and help maintain balance.

•    Maximize your time with your boss by having an organized list of topics to discuss.  Always walk down the hallway with a notebook so at any point you are prepared to update your boss about an assignment or receive a new one.

•    Rethink e-mails. Cut and paste whenever possible. Set periods of time each day to respond to e-mails.  Remember that the world won’t stop if you are not looking at your e-mail every minute.  Create a signature. Set up rules so e-newsletters can be automatically filed. Use advanced e-mail features to automatically color code, file, and/or categorize emails.

Time is a non-renewable resource. Use your time wisely – and you’ll always find yourself with plenty of it available.