Raise your hand if you have lots to do and suffer from “not-enough-time-in-the-day” syndrome. Even if you just have one finger in the air, you should take a peek at the WADE formula.
WADE has four simple steps and makes sense. I can’t take credit for this strategy, though. It comes courtesy of Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management from the Inside Out.
Here it is in a nutshell:
Write it Down - This step is very straight forward. Simply put – get it all out of your head! Put all your to do’s on paper or in your smart phone.
Add it up - How long will it take you to finish all the tasks on your list?
Decide - This is often the step that can trip you up. You have to figure out which things you will actually work on. Julie says that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can use one of the four D’s: (1) Delete, (2) Delay, (3) Delegate, or (4) Diminish your to do’s into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Execute Your Plan - Get to work! Cut out all distractions and kick procrastination to the curb so you can get stuff done.
If you have Julie’s book and want more details, flip to page 62. Already using WADE? Leave a comment with how it’s working for you.
Buy Time Management from the Inside Out
I’m still away on that mini-break for a little while longer, but in the meantime, have look at Skoach.com. I learned about it during a session at the annual NAPO conference in March. I think you’ll like it.
Have you heard of Skoach? It’s similar to other online calendars but what makes it unique is that it lets you choose your role (Student, Employee, Self-Employed, and Homemaker, to name a few) and pick time categories that apply to your life.
The other cool feature is that you have your very own Commitment Bar. It’s a visual tool that lets you see exactly what you have on your plate and if you need to put some things back.
Use the Auto Plan to schedule all your tasks at once…
…and simply reschedule tasks by dragging them to appropriate tab: Today, Tomorrow, This Week, or Next Week.
Take the tour to see all the features and try it out. Then, come back and let me know what you think.
Yep, I’m still on that mini-sabbatical, so while I’m gone, check out this post on how you can get minimize interruptions and control your time.
I had no idea the tile of today’s post would rhyme. Kinda nice, yes? ;)
Anyhoo, what sign you ask? It’s not the supernatural type. It’s the paper and a Sharpie type. The one that says: “I’m not here.”
When you’re trying to work on that all important project and you know that you’ll get tapped on the shoulder often, put a sign on your back (or front) to remind everyone that you’re not available. So, unless it’s urgent and important, “Don’t come in my direction.”
It’s like a closed door. But, the good news is that you can open the door when your project time up by simply removing the sign. The kinda tricky news is that you have to be strong and not ignore the sign yourself.
Give it a shot and see how it works. If you do this regularly, leave a comment on how it works for you.
I’m still on that mini-sabbatical, so while I’m gone, check out this post about the battle between time and money.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I like short, sweet posts. Nothing wrong with longer articles at all (OTR has some of those, too). It’s just that I want to get right to the point. And, if there are too many words, sometimes some of you (and me, too) move on quickly to something else. You get distracted.
The words start to blur.
And, you say to yourself, Do I really have to read all that?
So, in honor of short posts everywhere, today’s will be pretty concise. It’s about time. The topic of time.
Have you ever gone out of your way, like say, 20 miles from your house to get the cheapest gas?
…or bought a bunch of tools from Home Depot to fix the leaky pipe? You know, to save some money because plumbers are ridiculously expensive.
- Are you really saving money – or spending precious time – when you go to the opposite end of the earth to get something on sale?
- Is the time you spend fumbling about the pipes under your sink worth the hassle? And, did you get the job done right?
And, then consider…
Are you really able to tell the difference between time and money?
That is all.
Yep, I’m still on that mini-sabbatical, so while I’m gone, check out this post on how you can get a little more done every day.
Have you noticed that sometimes you have a few extra minutes on hand that suddenly pop up? Ok, well, maybe that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, what do you do with it?
Put your feet up?
Look for stuff on Pinterest?
Call your mum?
Scratch your head?
Nothing wrong with these things, but why not create a list of “go to” things for when you have some down time? This way, you won’t have to guess or run around like a crazy person (unless you want to) trying to remember what little (or big) things you could work on. You could create a new list every week or have a standing list of things you want to focus on all the time.
Btw, this works well for kids, too. Have a list of things they can do when they’re finished doing homework or when TV time is over. Just be sure they can see it…often. =)
Anyhoo, here are some things on my “when I get some free time this week” list:
1. Continue writing thank you cards
2. Buy stamps
3. Continue working on my photo project
4. Throw laundry in the washer (I don’t have to start the washer, just put the clothes in)
5. Shred a couple handfuls of paper
6. Check my blog stats
7. Review this week’s flagged e-mail messages
8. Delete a few messages from my inbox
One last point – you don’t have to do anything with your down time except relax. But, if you want to up your productivity, get started on that list.
Already have a down time list? What’s on it?
I’m on a mini-sabbatical and have lined up a few posts ahead of time, like this one for all you folks working on projects. So, basically, everybody. And, for this one, size really doesn’t matter. Do these three things consistently and you’ll almost always be guaranteed a happy ending. Yes, we are talking about productivity. Ok, now off you go. J
Whenever you’re tackling a big or small project, there are a couple things you need to do to make sure that you get it done on time.
1. Map out a plan: What are all the steps you need to take to get the job done?
2. Get help and delegate: Who can you
bribe ask for help? Who – including you -will do what?
These steps are needed, but one of the best ways to make sure that you actually finish the project is to figure out who will do what WHEN. When is very important.
3. Make an appointment with yourself. Everyone involved needs to do one simple thing – put the project on their calendar. That’s it.
In theory, it’s simple. And, in reality, it can be simple, too. It’s just that life throws a few hot peppers in your soda sometimes. But, you’ll stand a better chance of making progress if you write it down, just like you would write down a doctor’s appointment or that performance review meeting with your boss.
When something is important and you want to remind yourself to work on it, you put it on your calendar AND you block off uninterrupted time to focus on that something.
Now, don’t go giving that time away to something or someone else. That time is special time for you and your project to do a bit of bonding. Now go make nice with that project. It is Valentine’s Day after all. ;)
Give it a shot and see how it works. Or, if you have a better idea, leave a comment. I’d love to hear it.
I’m taking a sabbatical and have lined up a few posts ahead of time. I’ll also be re-sharing some of my fave OTR articles and introducing you to new guest authors as well as other interesting info while I’m away. Here are a couple of time management tips from Paul Burton of Quiet Spacing that anyone can follow.
“Time itself cannot be managed. It ticks inexorably forward. However, we can manage our behavior to make the most of the time we have.”
#1 Turn Off New Message Alerts.
Consider this math: a four-second distraction to look at the new e-mail preview multiplied over 100 e-mails per day totals 400 seconds. That’s six and one-half minutes of activity with no corresponding productivity. Aggregating these seconds over a 220-day work year results in over 24 hours of lost productivity!
#3 Schedule Time Between Appointments.
Try placing five minutes between appointments so you can jot down any thoughts you have about the meeting/call you just finished before you start up on the next. You will capture the maximum amount of information about each appointment and sharpen your focus on the next event.
What if time was tangible? Like a wad of cash? Or, new lipstick or grape chapstick? Or, your favorite Sharpie! You’d really pay attention to it, wouldn’t you? And, it would be kinda fun…plus you’d look and feel good, too. If you’re into money, make up, and markers.
You’d be able to manipulate it better (i.e., be more efficient). Work with it and not run away from it (i.e., procrastinate). You might even find that you have more time to share it (e.g., volunteer, hang out with friends, etc.).
Or, you might just keep more of it to yourself (e.g., exercise more, chill and do nothing, read your favorite book). Or, save some up in a Ziploc until you need it.
Time isn’t quite so cut and dry. Well, it can be very dry and boring. Pressured. Tense. Inconvenient. A royal pain. But, it’s like taxes, you have to deal with it. And, be pretty good at managing it (more often than not) to make everyone happy – your spouse, your boss, your cat, your children…you.
That last person is especially important. Because when that person is happy, everybody else is, too. So, if you’re struggling with time, figure out what the problem is.
1. Are you the person who always says yes to every project you’re offered?
2. Do you underestimate how long it will take you to really leave the house?
3. …or finish a particular task?
4. Are you the person that always refuses help?
5. Do you keep everything in your head because you know you’ll remember it all?
6. Do you dread doing certain tasks?
Please don’t go buy the latest planner, calendar, or app until you first figure out what’s off kilter. Because you’ll be wasting more time. You don’t want that, do you?
Today’s time/tech tip was submitted by Tom Novak of Timmerrr.com, and since we love timers at OTR, we had to share. Have you used it? Tell us what you think!
Timerrr is an online countdown timer inspired by a traditional kitchen timer both in terms of functionality and design. That makes it easy to use - even your Grandma will know how. Especially that it comes in two versions – as a rotary timer or as an egg timer.
Use autostart mode when you want the timer to start automatically. Or, use manual mode to start the timer when you’re ready. Simply press the green start button.
Did you know that this online app is free? Learn more at http://www.timerrr.com.