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Time Management Key to Production

Democrat & Chronicle, 10/23/12
Dorothy Madden

Do you have an endless to-do list at work? How about endless interruptions with email, phone calls, social media and colleagues? Is your availability endless during the day, night and weekends? Has Google tempted you to investigate an endless amount of information?

The dictionary defines endless as “having or seeming to have no end, limit, or conclusion; boundless; infinite; interminable; incessant.” Author and award-winning professional organizer, Judith Kolberg, has aptly named how we live and work today as the “Era of Endless.”

Time may seem endless but unfortunately it is not. The truth is time is limited and finite.

So how can you stand up to this daunting Era of Endless to use your time wisely and efficiently?

Prepare tomorrow’s to-do list at the end of today. Listing your three to five top priorities for the next day helps you be better organized and more productive. Plus, when you complete those tasks, you can cross them off your list and gain a sense of accomplishment.

Manage your interruptions. Respond to emails and return phone calls three times a day. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your closed door at a specific time three or four times a week to tackle top priority items.

Limit your availability and honor your personal time. As much as possible, differentiate office time from personal time. Turn off your cell phone during family time.

Gather adequate information but not an excessive amount. It is easy to lose track of time when researching ad infinitum. Be watchful of your evaporating time. Acquire only necessary information.

In this Era of Endless, be mindful of how you manage your time. Heed Michael Althsuler’s words, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”