Time is finite and a limited resource so we want to make good use of it. We can spend it as we choose. Over the next month and a half we are providing training to a financial management firm on how we can help them become more productive and use their time as productively as possible.
Think of time as an investment. We all want the best possible return on our investments — strong time management skills directly contribute to maximizing our time and accomplishing our goals.
Think of time as a rate of return. When we spend our time in areas where there is a high rate of return, we are managing it well. For example, if you are spending time with clients or taking a class that will improve your productivity skills, that’s a good ROI. If a skill took four hours and now takes 1 hour, that’s an excellent payout. Even if you are currently productive, there are always ways to improve it.
However, what if you are spending time on work that you can delegate or reading a publication that is interesting but perhaps not educational? These might be a low or negative rate of return.
Here’s a suggestion to amp up your productivity:
1) Revisit your activities, daily tasks and how you handle large projects to make sure that you are maximizing your time.
2) List what you need to do to change this situation including the sstart and due date, and the specific activity.
3) Then add it to your planner. The chances that you will implement the change are much greater if the task is written down on a specific date.
4) Assess the outcome. Is it making a difference in how you are using your time? If so, continue to improve upon this new habit. If not, evaluate what you did and how you can make it work.
It’s worth it, we promise.
If you are like the rest of us, there are projects that don’t fit into our current priorities. You want to do them but can not get to them right away. One of our clients recently told us that she would like to write a newsletter but other goals are more pressing at the moment. Still, she does not want to forget about the idea.
If not all of the projects you want to accomplish in 2012 fit into your goals, here’s good news. They do not need to be abandoned. Instead, create a someday/maybe list where you can review and reassess their viability often.
Below are some suggestions for how and where to save your someday/maybe projects for a later time:
1) Write them down. List them on paper or electronic folder.
2) Label the folder “someday/maybe” or any name, for that matter, that speaks to you.
3) Check the folder every week to two weeks to make sure you still want to do the projects.
Consider storing the list in One Note, Evernote, Outlook’s notes section or in a file folder in your inbox. If it’s a paper folder, place the file folder in a location where you will see it often.
Once the information is stored electronically or in a paper file:
For more on this subject, check out David Allen’s website http://gtd.marvelz.com/blog/2007/08/14/somedaymaybe-unlikelynever-3-tips-to-fix-and-avoid-this/
Do you have a someday/maybe list and, if so, what’s on it?
Leslie Walden is quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on November 28, 2010, about how to manage e-mail efficiently. She provides tips on how to reduce the number of e-mails in your inbox, how to write an effective e-mail, and how often to check e-mail.
Liz White, the publisher of Atlanta Parent Magazine and Leslie Walden’s client, was interviewed for the article. She spoke about how Leslie helped her make decisions about e-mail and the ways to reduce the number of e-mails in her in-box. To learn more about how It’s Time To Get Organized can help you be more productive, go to http://www.itstimetogetorganized.com/be-more-productive-at-your-desk/.
Leslie Walden from It’s Time To Get Organized spoke at the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) mid-year meeting November 5, 2010. The interactive workshop provided practical ways to manage time more effectively, handle work load more efficiently, streamline office procedures, and maintain and build stronger client relationships. Attendees received CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credit. For information on how you can book It’s Time To Get Organized as a speaker, go to: http://www.itstimetogetorganized.com/services/seminars-workshops/
Take charge of your schedule. Learn the secrets of handling distractions and prioritizing projects. Make your calendar work for you, juggle multiple projects and accomplish your goals on time. Time management training is available on an individual basis or as part of a group seminar.