Multi-Tasking, a thing of the past? Multi-tasking used to be considered a skill worthy of practice; something to strive to excel in. Even before becoming a Time Management Coach I read that women were better at multi-tasking than men. (Now women die more from heart attacks than anything else. Just sayin’ )I read articles about how to multi-task and interviews with so-called “super achievers” who claimed that multi-tasking was one of the keys to their success. I tried multi-tasking and pairing different tasks that I could do at the same time. I was thinking that I could get more done by multi-tasking. I balanced a task that was mindless with one that needed more attention and focus. The truth is that multi-tasking wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be and that was before the days of computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. It was also before all of the technology became mobile and people were texting, emailing, calling, etc. from their vehicles and desks. It didn’t work then and in fact, it doesn’t work now! The devices aren’t the problem as we all know. Neither is social media, the internet or email. The results? Tasks don’t get adequate attention or done in the best way. The worst part is that instead of being present and enjoying the the process and outcome, we’re distracted from it. So why do we continue to multi-task? What is the alternative? 5 Problems related to multi-tasking: Unrealistic expectations Unclear goals Insufficient planning and task analysis Poor time estimation skills Lack of delegation As a Professional Organizer and member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) I meet so many people who want help with organizing and productivity. They complain about how little they actually get done every day. They are frustrated, overwhelmed, hurrying everywhere, and… read more →
Time Management Tips | No-fail Tips Here are 3 no-fail time management tips from your San Diego Time Management Coach and Professional Organizer. Learn how to end (or avoid) long-winded conversations and meetings. Time management is critical personally and professionally. Which of these is your time management goal? To stay on time Increase productivity Save time 3 no-fail time management tips & suggested scripts for… Before the call or meeting: Establish a time frame before scheduling. “I’d like a schedule a (indicate the specific amount of time) phone call/meeting with you to discuss (specific topic).” Declutter your agenda! Don’t plan to cover more than 2 – 3 important items. Send the agenda ahead of time with specific times allotted for each item. During the call or meeting: “Parking Lot”. If the other person gets distracted, off-topic, or long-winded gently interrupt, note what they said and put it in the parking lot. “That’s a very important point. Let’s put that in the so-called ‘parking lot’ for a later time.” At the start of the call or meeting remind the person or group about the agreed upon time frame. “I know that we’ve scheduled 20 minutes(state the specific amount of time) for our call/meeting. Let’s get started.” Recruit a timekeeper. “Will you help me keep an eye on the time and remind me when we have 5 minutes left?” Stay on task. “We need to be able to get through our specific topic or agenda item in the time allotted. We can schedule a follow up meeting in our last 5 minutes, if needed, for other items.” “I see that our scheduled time for this call/meeting is nearing an end. Let’s come to closure (or resolve) this issue.” At the end of the call or meeting: Wrap it up. End the meeting… read more →
Time Management Tips | 5 Sure-Fire Ways Not to Get a Speeding Ticket Your Time Management Coach can help you to: Allot sufficient time- be on time consistently Reduce overwhelm- make your schedule work for you Get things done – meet deadlines, prioritize Feel in control – plan and schedule effectively Maintain credibility – arrive and finish on time, be prepared It’s a sign that you need to improve your time management if you are always running late and speeding to get to meetings. Not only do you risk getting a speeding ticket (or worse), it can affect you emotionally, physically, and professionally. Here are my 5 Sure-Fire Ways NOT to Get a Speeding Ticket: Schedule transition time to wrap it up and leave Schedule commute time to and from appointments Set boundaries – Let the person(s) you are meeting with know that you can meet until a specific time; start wrapping up the conversation at least 5 minutes before Portion tasks – Divide larger projects into smaller ones Set a timer These 5 tips are what I call “Optimal Habits“, the changes that you make to create habits that serve you personally and professionally. Do that to improve your time management, work-life balance, and productivity. The best approach is to work on creating your Optimal Habits one at a time.
Time Management Benefits There are many time management benefits – Increasing productivity, gaining a sense of control, improved prioritizing, and gratitude. As your San Diego Time Management Coach and Professional Organizer I offer this affirmation and reminder: I am grateful to be able to set healthy boundaries when it comes to time for myself and for others. Others respect my time and I respect theirs. Managing your time empowers you to choose how you use your time. Are you uncomfortable saying “no” when someone asks you to do something? Most things are a choice. Are you a perfectionist who wants to do it all? Maybe that is creating imbalance in your workload. As a result of good time management you are more available for yourself and to those who are important to you. This results in your well being and a feeling of gratitude. Being able to effectively manage your time is an act of giving and self-nurturing. Do you feel like you are always responding to crises, running late, or making excuses? Time Management is about balance and efficiency. When your time management is out of whack it impacts your: Emotional and mental state Relationships with others at home and at work. The quality of your attention and output. There are different approaches to time management and productivity improvement because one size does not fit all. You can finally stop searching for the perfect app or ideal planner! Read more: Gratitude For Time Management and Productivity, by Paul The Gratitude Guru. Working with a Time Management Coach will help you to quickly identify your needs and the system that will work best for you. I say, “The best time management system is the one that you will use! Coaching can help you to learn new skills, create new habits,… read more →
Is chronic lateness plaguing you? Do you suffer from chronic lateness? If so, the next question is, are you okay with that or are you willing to learn time management? Most of us know someone who is always late, no matter what. In fact I know someone who is always late for personal appointments but never late for business meetings. That demonstrates that he is capable of being on time. Being on time is a learned skill that relies on effective time management strategies. Consider how your chronic lateness affects others as well as yourself. What does it say about your reliability, your ability to plan, and your regard for others’ time? According to Huffington Post blogger, Greg Savage, in his post entitled, “How Did It Get to be OK for People to Be Late for Everything?”“It’s simply that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems texting or emailing that you are late somehow means you are no longer late. Rubbish. You are rude. And inconsiderate.” Yikes, that’s definitely strong language but indeed, he has a point. For those of you who suffer from chronic lateness just know that you don’t have to continue to do so. The answer is to learn, practice, and hone the necessary time management skills. The key piece of information is this, it will not be easy. Let me repeat, time management and conquering chronic lateness will not be easy. Your desire or need to be on time has to be of more value to you than the pain and repercussions of chronic lateness. For those of you who think that chronic lateness is a problem and do want to change, I want to know this: what is stopping… read more →
Time Management – Are You Productive? Time management is a set of skills that can be learned. As a certified Time Management Coach I empower and teach individuals who want to improve their productivity by looking at two things: what they want and need to get done, and what they are already getting done.Instead of being self-critical about what you are not getting done it’s important to have a balanced perspective. Unless your productivity is impacted by your sitting around all day doing nothing, I know that you are getting things done! So let’s start with a new attitude about time management… What if instead of thinking and saying, “I have too much to do”, or “I never get anything done”, you said, “I get the important tasks done.” Your mindset and your words are critically important in time management. Here are 5 ways that will get you started: 1. Daily audit. Write down everything that you do from the time that you wake up until the time that you go to sleep for one entire day. Still not convinced? Do it the next day, too. 2. “Done” list. Write down every task, call, email, appointment, meeting, etc. that you completed for an entire week. 3. Conquer your to-do list addiction. Look at your to-do list(s). Write a separate version with the 3 tasks that you plan to get done today. Get them done and cross them out. Whittle down that list as fast as possible. Scheduling a block of time to do this helps a lot. 4. 10-20 Minute Blast. Look at your longest to-do list and highlight 3-5 things that you can get done in 10-20 minutes. Blast them out and do them now. Cross them off of your list and do 3-5 more tasks. Keep on blasting!… read more →
Eliminate Procrastination – A System That Works Do you have a task that isn’t urgent, but you need to do it? Do you find that you procrastinate about doing it even though you know that it would take you less time to do it than the time you’ve spent putting it off? We all do this to a greater or lesser extent. It’s only when it nags at you that it becomes an issue. If you want to conquer procrastination, here’s a system that will help you eliminate procrastination forever. As a Professional Organizer and Time Management/Productivity Coach I help you reduce stress by increasing your productivity. I will advise clients to assess the things that they have on their to-do list (mental or written) using this system of decision making criteria: Is it something that you… 1. Need to do and want to do. 2. Need to do but don’t want to do it. 3. Don’t need to do it but want to do it. 4. Don’t need to do it and don’t want to do it. The benefits of organizing and sorting your to-do’s using these criteria will enable you to eliminate the things that don’t need to get done all from your list. It will help you to identify the tasks that you can delegate or outsource to others who can get it done. Using this system will also enable you to identify the priority tasks that you will now schedule time to do. These are the tasks that you need to get done even if you don’t want to do them and more importantly, the tasks that you need and want to do. Be gentle with yourself and try not to judge. Creating this awareness and going through the process of organizing your to-do’s by using… read more →
A Balanced Schedule Takes 5 Easy Steps! What does having a balanced schedule mean to you? Does it mean that at the end of the day you feel productive because you crossed everything off of your to-do list? Does it mean that you were able to manage your time to fit in work and exercise? Does it include time to prepare healthy, home-made meals for you and your family? As your Time Management and Productivity Coach I can tell you that your schedule doesn’t know the difference between your personal and professional time and activities. If you want balance you need to create that in your weekly schedule and build in flexibility (unscheduled) time. You need to be able to prioritize, make choices, and set healthy boundaries. Here are 5 Easy Steps for creating a more balanced schedule: 1. Sleep – Set up a regular wake up and go to sleep at night time. Stick to it! An adequate amount of sleep every night is key to good health, mood stability, and productivity. Use your waking hours to create blocks of time for the core areas of your life. 2. Stop it! – Stop doing the things that you don’t need to do, have to do, or want to do. This is a key time saver. When you realize that you are doing something that isn’t necessary, out of habit, and that you and no one else appreciates it’s easy to let it go. 3. Delegate, hire, share – Have someone else do the things that you don’t need to do but have to be done. They might do it better, faster, and with more enjoyment. Again, this is an important time saver because now you can focus on the things that only you can do. 4. It’s all good… read more →
Time Management My organizing tip today? time management first, and then get your “stuff” organized. Time management is the key to getting organized. When you manage how you use the time that you have available you will be able to organize your priorities, create a plan of action, and identify the resources that you will need to get it done. Time management skills also allow you to decide the most efficient way to get things done. You can think about time the same way that you think about a space. If you put too much stuff into a space things will spill over, get lost, and be forgotten. Your schedule is like that space, it can only hold a certain amount to be effective. If you want to get organized you will need to make the time to do it. You are creating a specific block of time to organize and not do something else. As a Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach I hear people say that they’ll do it when they have the time. Hmm, when was the last time that you had an unexpected extra 2-3 hours to get organized. Even if you did, would you know where to start? Summer is almost over but it’s never to late to get organized. Do you need more information about time management and how to get organized? Call your Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach for more information!
Productivity Coach Tip: Use Deadlines As a Productivity and Time Management Coach I can assure you that using deadlines will help you improve your productivity and overall time management. Some tasks and projects have deadlines, for instance, there is a deadline for enrollment and registration for school, for purchasing holiday gifts, and for filing taxes. Deadlines can work for you if: You believe that you work better under pressure. If you are rule-driven. If you are a people pleaser. But what if something doesn’t have a deadline and you are still having difficulty getting to it? Productivity Tip: If you believe that you work better under pressure create a deadline for any project that doesn’t have one. Your brain will believe that you have to meet the deadline. If you believe that you have to meet this deadline it will prompt you to get started and get it done. Using deadlines can reinforce time management skills such as planning, time estimation. These skills are critical to your personal and professional success and not only your productivity, but your credibility.