Mid-State Staff Resources

Mid-State Staff Resources

MSED Time Management

Take the attached time management assessment and see what might apply to you.  

“I like to do weird things in the shower, like drink my coffee, brush my teeth and drink a smoothie.  It’s good time management.”  Michelle Williams

Link to Time Management Assessment

Check out the Time Management Tips below:

Time Management Tip #1: Plan your day/week!
Every day, schedule in and use 5-10 minutes to plan your day or the next day.  Use a system that works best for you. Such as To-Do lists, Post it Notes, Calendar notes, Voice memo.  There is probably an app for that!  Every week sit down for at least 15 minutes AND PLAN YOUR WEEK.  Decide how you want to spend your time and schedule in work tasks and personal activities.
“Doing a better job of managing our time is meaningless unless we are managing it to accomplish those things that are of greatest importance to us in our lives.”   Hyrum Smith, Creator of Franklin Planner
Time Management Tip #2: Telephone calls
Use voicemail and answering machines to your advantage.  Batch calls during a certain part of the day.  Cue others to shorten calls; announce “you are busy”, “have only a minute”, “are expecting a call” and hint the conversation is done “it’s been good talking to you”, “thanks for calling”.  Limit personal calls to your work phone and/or answering your personal cell during work hours.  Co-workers notice personal calls when you are on the clock and it is translated to the idea that you do not have enough work to do.  Safety first- checking messages or returning calls should not be done while driving. 
“I don’t believe in email.  I’m an old fashioned girl.  I believe in calling and hanging up.”  Sarah Jessica Parker

Time Management Tip #3: Drop In Visitors
Drop in visiting should happen in the social areas of your building not at someone’s desk or in their office.  Stand up when people come in and start towards the door as you answer their immediate question.  If necessary be assertive and say “This isn’t a good time for me.  Can we set a time to meet.” Closed doors mean a co-worker is hard at a task or in a private meeting so come back later.   It is important to connect with co-workers when they are out and ready to socialize not at their desk.”
“Boundary setting is really a huge part of time management.”  Jim Loehr

Time Management Tip #4: Good Enough is good enough!
Some things can be done “quick and dirty”.   Some tasks will die a natural death so bury them, get rid of the file or pile.  You cannot do it all and sometimes you have to ask for help or delegate.  At the end of each day, clean off your desk space.  It will lift your spirits!
“If you only do things you can do perfectly, you stop learning new skills, stop taking chances and stop having fun.”  Ann McKee Cooper
Time Management Tip #5: Maximize your Energy!
Be aware of your energy cycle when scheduling things.  Low energy tasks like mail, attending meetings, and filing can be done when you are not at your performance peak.  High energy tasks like leading a meeting, dealing with an angry person, problem solving, important paperwork should be scheduled when you are at your peak whenever possible.  Schedule a transition time before and after high energy tasks.
“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.”   Golda Meir
Time Management Tip #6: Procrastination
Tackle procrastination.  Use positive talk “I can do that.  I will do that.”  Break the task into small manageable steps that you write down and check off as you get each one done.   Set a time limit for yourself and play beat the clock!  Reward yourself for accomplishing even small steps of a project.  Avoid the time waster of complaining or discussing the enormity or difficulty of the job with others.  In reality you are avoiding the task and wasting your valuable time as well as your co-workers.
“I swing between procrastination and being really thorough so either way things aren’t getting done quickly.”  Freema Agyeman

Time Management Tip #7: Email- overloaded Inboxes!
Emails should be used when you have a simple request or information to share.  Use the subject line as your email if possible.  Keep it simple with a list or bullets.  Send only work related emails and don’t copy others unnecessarily.  Set aside specific times of your day to go through email.  If it is not necessary to respond- Don’t.  Use the email capabilities to track if the email was received and opened don’t expect immediate replies.
“Deleting 200 spams a day is a drag.  And I was checking my email constantly, rather than getting on with my real work, which is reading and writing.  Email was a distraction, a burden rather than a liberation. ..I set up one of those auto-reply messages informing my correspondents that I would no longer be checking my emails, and that they might like to call or write, as we used to in the olden days.”  Tom Hodgkinson

Time Management Tip #8: Paperwork
Handle paperwork/task only once and move it towards completion.   When thinking about filing the critical question is “If didn’t have this item and I wanted it...could I get it.”  If you can then it doesn’t need to be filed.  Create a read file basket and keep only what will fit in the basket. Create a basket “Things to give to others” label and distribute them as a group rather than individually. Create a “scan basket” and electronically save whenever possible.  If something needs a file then file, label and put it away when you have it in your hands.
“Our two greatest problems are gravity and paperwork.  We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.”  Dr. Wernher von Braun
Time Management Tip #9: Scheduling Tips
Put tasks in your calendar and use your time as planned.  When you look at your list of activities for the day, prioritize and do the most important things first.  Make a separate list of small tasks that require only a few minutes then when you have five minutes, do a mini-job instead of wasting the 5 minutes.  Set appointment or hold regularly scheduled meetings instead of encouraging drop-ins.  Allow enough time for the work task when you put it in your schedule.  Follow your calendar/schedule.  Try not cancel meetings however, when meetings cancel appreciate the gift of time in your schedule!
“There cannot be a crisis next week.  My schedule is already full.” Henry A Kissinger

Time Management Tip #10: Saying No!
Other people will try to make their priorities your priorities.  Learn to say the 3 part ‘no”- 1) Acknowledge the need or concern and 2) Decline with (or without) a reason.  3) Finish by thanking the person for the offer or for thinking of you.
“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure.  Try to please everyone.”   Bernard Meltzer

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