Time Savers

How do I work through my busy schedule?

Aimee's "HoneyDo" List by mccready

Aimee’s “HoneyDo” List by mccready

In this day and age, the modern adult is swamped with tasks in the form of work and errands. It may be hard to remember things, or to balance out your schedule in a healthy way.

Here are some tips to help you work through your busy schedule to make sure that you get all that you need done for the day.

Make lists

Create a list of things you need to do and put it in your phone, on the fridge, by your bedside, or any other place where you’ll need to see it in order to reference it. If you’re going about your day and you receive or remember a new task, write it down immediately so that you don’t forget. As you go through the list, cross things off as you complete them, or make important notes next to the tasks that need them. Update your to-do list as often as you can. When you cross off everything off your to-do list, think about if there are any new tasks you need to accomplish.

Use a calendar

We have calendars hanging on our walls and implemented in our phones, so let’s use them! For the calendars hanging on your wall, scribble in events and include the time and location. If you have something due, put a note on the due date and keep a reminder handy. For calendars in your phone, input any important dates. Phones have the ability to remind you of any important events by setting off an alarm. This alarm is super handy for appointments or due dates.

Don’t pack your schedule too tightly

When you look at your schedule and calendar, do not try to fit so many things into one day, week, or month! You don’t want to overwork yourself to the point where you need to be in two places at once. If you’re scheduling two things back-to-back, make sure there is adequate time between the events to account for travel time. If you’re late for one appointment, you’ll most likely be late to the next one you have booked after that. Keep time in mind when creating your schedule, and leave time to give yourself a breather.

How do I concentrate on my work?

Day 139 - Work! by Phil and Pam Gradwell (to be)

Day 139 – Work! by Phil and Pam Gradwell (to be)

Whether you’re a college student or a working adult, it’s hard to stay focused sometimes, especially when you’ve got a lot long hours or a lot of work on your plate.

However, it’s important to be productive in the office, because that’s what you were hired to do! When you excel in your work, your superiors definitely notice and appreciate it.

Here are some tips to keep you focused when you’ve got work to do. Remember: the more productive you are, the more work you can finish in time!

Organize and prioritize your work

If you’ve got a bunch of assignments you need to complete, organize them in a way that prioritizes the most important of those assignments, by due date and importance. Set aside other assignments and try not to juggle multiple tasks at the same time, unless you’ve been asked to do so by your superior. Taking on too many assignments at one time can stress you out and drive you to find ways to relax–aka, lose concentration and focus on what you’re supposed to do.

Choose a comfortable (but not too comfortable!) spot to work in

When you get settled into work mode, choose a spot and position that would be comfortable for you to work in. The best spot is in a chair at a desk in a quiet room with minimal distractions. Sit up straight with your feet on the ground to maintain a good, working posture. If your assignment is to read material, feel free to sit a little more informally. However, do NOT under any circumstances lay down to read! You may get too comfortable and end up getting extremely distracted. Students who don’t have a desk opt to work on their bed, and find that it is actually too comfortable to do any work. If this is the case, head to the library–the formal setting will pressure you to work and stay focused, and also motivate you to work hard so that you can go home sooner.

Listen to your body

If you’re working hard and all of a sudden your stomach starts grumbling, don’t ignore it. Being hungry and choosing not to eat as a means to focus on your work will not help you concentrate on your tasks. Take a mini break and eat a snack, and then get straight back to work. If you’re feeling sleepy or tired when you’re working, get up and walk around the office, or take a short walk outside. Ignoring your fatigue will cause you to lose focus from work.

What do I do if I get into an accident?

Car Accident by Morgan

Car Accident by Morgan

If you get into a car accident, remove yourself and your vehicle out of harm’s way. If you hit an object or obstruction, call the police, and they will come help you with the damage. If you have hit another vehicle, you must be in contact with the owner of the vehicle.

Reporting an accident

For parked cars, leave a note explaining the situation, and put your contact and insurance information. Hopefully the person will get in touch with you. For in-motion accidents, talk to the other person and figure out how you’re going to handle the situation—either out of pocket, or through your insurance companies.
Make sure to take photos of the damage, accident scene, location of accident, and any documentation to send to your insurance agent. You will need to report any and all accidents to them to get the situation settled.

4 Time Management Tips for Your Busy Schedule

timemenegment

Your life is really busy. Join the crowd, right? Every year it seems that people have more and more things to do and less and less time. Sure, we all enjoy the same 24 hours every day, but why, then, does it seem that we get less and less done?

When you stop and think about it, with all the technological innovations, those dishwashers, car washes, and more, we have to do less and less to take care of our every day, basic needs. Yet we’re still rushing around at the end of the day trying to put all of these things away, get cleaned up, and get into bed at a reasonable hour. Then we have to wake up at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning and do it all again.

In most cases, the reason for this is that people don’t have good time management skills. When you look back on your high school or even your college career, you probably never took a time management class. That’s because they don’t exist.

Here are four time management tips that can actually help you get the most out of your busy schedule.

Tip #1: Develop a plan.

If you don’t have a plan, then you’re going to spend more time trying to figure out what to do next. Every minute that you waste trying to look around for things you need to do, especially if you have so many things it becomes overwhelming, the less time you’re actually going to have to do them.

You might want to get in the habit of waking up a little bit early to develop your plan for the day. Stick to your list, even though it may be tempting to work on something else at any particular moment.

Tip #2: Rely on assistance.

There are many things other people can do to help you out with various tasks. If you have a pretty decent income, you can hire a virtual assistant, somebody to come walk your dogs, clean your apartment, or anything else.

You can also rely on shopping from home for groceries. More and more supermarkets are offering these delivery services where you can just go online, pick out the items you want and need, and they will be delivered to your door. Works for me.

Tip #3: Break your day down into blocks of time.

If you have a general to do list that is divided between morning and afternoon and evening, you’re not going to be maximizing your efficiency. Instead, break it down into blocks of time, such as each hour or every half hour.

Tip #4: Think like a sprinter.

When you begin working in sprints, you can be much more productive during those one or two hour stretches. After that, give yourself 15 or 20 minutes to get up, stretch, walk around, and do some other things to clear your mind or refresh your body.

Then you can get back down to the starting blocks and get ready for the next sprint.

When you follow these tips, you should find yourself being much more productive in the future.

 

Written by G. T. Hedlund

How can I be more productive?

Egg Timer by openDemocracy

Egg Timer by openDemocracy

Over the past decade, I’ve really focused on becoming more productive. It wasn’t about just being a top performer, but about having time to sleep, let alone a social life. Over time, I realized that it wasn’t about being more efficient, but about being more effective; it’s not about doing more, but about doing what’s most important.

There are plenty of gadgets and programs meant to measure what we do and help us schedule and be more efficient. Some folks get so efficient in answering emails, that they don’t do anything else. The truth is, if you want to be more productive, it’s more about setting priorities and carving out time rather than finding more efficient ways to do more stuff.

1. At the end of the day, think, “What is the most important thing I need to get done tomorrow?” Write it down. Do not write down more than three. Choose the three most important things you need to work on and focus on those, preferably before doing anything else.

2. Set an auto reminder for every couple of hours which asks you, “Is this the most important thing I could be working on right now?” If not, adjust your schedule and find a way to focus on the most important things.

3. Group repetitive tasks together. Task-switching wastes time and lowers quality. Instead of stopping everything to check every email, set aside specific times, for example at 12pm and at 4pm to check your emails in bulk. If a certain response gets repeated more than a few times, save that as a template and easily paste it in as you go. This type of task grouping will not only save you time, but will help you focus and won’t distract you during your other tasks, and will lead to a less stressed/hectic and more productive workday.

4. Measure! There’s a great program called rescuetime (rescuetime.com) which measures what you spend your computer time on. Actually look at those numbers and think, “Was that a good use of time? Is 3 hours on Outlook and 2 hours on Instant Messenger how I should be spending my workday?”

5. Set deadlines! A further deadline will just lead to you taking more time. Set shorter deadlines for yourself and hold yourself to them. Instead of gathering more and more less and less relevant information, you’ll be forced to make decisions and take action and make things happen. There are situations where one truly needs more information, but for the most part, a lot of the time folks stay in research mode to keep from taking action.