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Sharing of Time Management

Have time management wisdom to share? Spread the secrets of your success to others here or start a new post.

 

I am looking for someone

I am looking for someone else's shared ideas on this one!   My company has implemented a project management system in which we now have to implement our tasks in the form of timesheets.  I multitask constantly have a truly hard time knowing exactly how much time I spent on the different areas of my job - even if over the course of the day I can tell you all that I did.  As a result, I procrastinate and often don't do the timesheets, which I know doesn't make my new boss happy (fortunately he is pleased with the rest of my performance).  Any tips on how to make this task easier, and therefore motivate myself to do it?  I'm coming here, which is a first step! :)  Thanks in advance for any tips. 

Try making a game out of it,

Try making a game out of it, make it fun for yourself - a challenge that you can't refuse and don't forget to reward yourself after one week of completed timesheets.

Hello CyndyMW, Do you have a

Hello CyndyMW,

Do you have a job where you're able to do each job role in blocks? That way, you'll be able to focus on one project at a time, and as such, it will be easier to do your timesheets.

Though, for this, you'll have to stop multi-tasking so much. Is that possible?

Hi CyndyMW, You just touched

Hi CyndyMW,

You just touched on one of my pet peeves that I have had for a decade or so: The myth of multi-tasking. First, it is clinically proven that humans cannot conscieously multi task. Our sub conscience will keep us breathing, blood pumping and our eyes blinking. Our conscieous mind will focus on "the task" at hand, but we are easily distracted. Example: I am working on a costing report, the phone rings, I accept the interruption and take the call regarding inventory levels, conclude the call regarding inventory levels and then immediately return to my costing report. Was I multi-tasking? NO!!!!!! I cannot work on the report and discuss inventory levels at the same time.

Recent studies have concluded that we lose efficiency by hopping back and forth between projects. In my example, I would have been better off to complete my costing report while the inventory inquiry went into voice mail. When I was done with the report I could retrieve the voicemail and give my attention to inventory levels.

I believe NPR did a week-long series on this topic about six months ago. I have also read far better examples than mine in management articles.

Long story short: take the project management tasks one at a time and amaze your co-workers.

Great feedback- I think with

Great feedback- I think with all of the technologies that are readily available to us, many (including myself) tend to try and get too many things done at once!

But, it seems that IS difficult to NOT multitask after you've become so accustomed to doing so!

I agree with the comments

I agree with the comments that multitasking in general dose not work as well in mono-tasking, but some time what we call multitask is in fact  just combining two activities in to one and getting two distinct benefits from one task (for example to work out in the park with the kids = 1 task but 2 benefits - kids time and a workout).
I also think that your main problem may not be way you do your work but that you fail to comply with the needs of your company to get detailed data on the resources
they use on etch project (your time) for management needs such as belling and planning. You may like your job but you don’t have to like every thing about it - put these reports in the 'must do to keep the job I in like' part of your mind. Do them for 2 minutes every 58 minuets and it will become bearable.

Can't account for every minute of your time - do some guessing (after 58 minutes it will not be totally off). 

 

Eran




 




 

Great feedback, Eran.

Great feedback, Eran. Thanks!

RB sez: "You just touched on

RB sez: "You just touched on one of my pet peeves that I have had for a decade or so: The myth of multi-tasking."

Not true for humans and not true even for computers unless you have multiple processors (I'm a one-time kernel hacker and have CompSci degrees and all that).  Why it works for computers is that humans can't keep up with them so context switches (term-of-art), though very costly, take up time that's not being used anyway.

For multi-tasking to work for humans you'd have to either have:

o A job where you spend most of your time idle ... and/ or

o Two or more brains.

Interesting concept when you

Interesting concept when you compare us to computers! Thanks.

To motivate yourself to fill

To motivate yourself to fill in the time sheets, you should set something up so you also learn something about your own behaviours for future self improvement.  Something I have done in the past when I want to understand how work time is spent is I set up and print out a daily form which has boxes organised in 15 minute time blocks.  I place the printout on my desk near my computer or phone, and every week day for 1 - 4 weeks I fill out what I've been doing work-wise, including when I come in early or stay late.  Four weeks is the best time period if you can stick to recording things, as it gives a more rounded view of all the things being done in a typical month.  After 1 - 4 weeks, I review all the recorded information and categorise tasks into common themes.  What is quickly apparent is the more diligently you've been recording your tasks, the better the analysis later on.  I then create graphs in excel showing the information by categories of tasks, or by combining all the mon, tues, wed, thurs, friday in 5 bars, etc.  If you can get a department to do this, it is eye opening to realise how much non-valued tasks are going on.   I did an exercise in my department looking at e-mail use, where I had 5 people track all the various e-mail tasks they were doing over one week.   After reviewing the graphs, it became glaringly apparent that across the whole department of 25, we were doing non-valued added e-mail tasks equivalent to 1 full time person per year!  In addition, the non-value added tasks were creating 20% of the overall unpaid extra time people were working unpaid.

A really good book to consider reading is "Cool Down" by Steve  Prentice.   There are some great insights about the inefficiencies of multi tasking in the globalised, digital age of 24/7.

Thanks qwerty- great advice!

Thanks qwerty- great advice!

hi. im nikkie..i have a tip

hi. im nikkie..i have a tip in time management..always keep your emails have zero inbox..why?because it helps you ease your mind knowing nothing is in your inbox compare there are lots of messages in the inbox [img]http://storeyourpicture.com/images/signature_office.jpg[/img]

Such great advice, nikkie123!

Such great advice, nikkie123! I will definitely keep that in mind- may be difficult to start when there's already so many to go through, but great advice!

One way I got around this

One way I got around this problem of so many to get started with, was to take all of a certain year (for example 2009) and put them in a new folder called "__Past Inbox 2009".   This way they stay up toward the top so they are not out of sight, but out of my in-box.   I zeroed my real inbox this way.   Can also be done with folders like Oct 2009, Nov 2009, etc, whatever you have in your inbox and however you can move them out that makes sense to you.   Then, on a bit of a down-day, during a little slower time, I blocked off a couple of hours block of time to work thru that old inbox.    It's now gone!!  So, over time, the old stuff is cleared out, but the main inbox can be cleaned out daily and on an ongoing basis.   Hope this helps somebody else.   Ola
ola_cmc@yahoo.com

The most basic in time

The most basic in time management which can be applied differently is the concept of "first things first" - prioritizing what is important and what needs to be done first.

[img]http://storeyourpicture.com/images/signature_office.jpg[/img]

Thanks for the reminder,

Thanks for the reminder, carlobee! So true.

Try to view the timesheets as

Try to view the timesheets as a way to increase your visibility.  Your time and talent are valuable. By detailing your activities, you demonstrate the high value you provide for each project.  Be visible and take credit for your efforts!

Well, Cyndy probably either

Well, Cyndy probably either figured it out already or lost her job. But I'd still like to share this tip from FranklinCovey. When my ex-husband was a middle manager for a major corporation he took seminars on the original system. He said that every morning he scheduled 15 minutes for "reflection" which meant filling in the time blocks for the day, appointments, compass memos, notes, goals, etc. Then, the last 15 minutes of every day he scheduled for "planning" which meant transferring tasks, beginning with morning "reflection" and any repeating daily duties, and filling in task times for his timeline for the day. Just that daily half hour is all you need to accomplish a lot. A planner and planning system is only as good as the time you spend using it.

FABULOUS tip, and one I have

FABULOUS tip, and one I have tried to implement myself.   When I do it, it works wonderfully!  I've just not yet created the time to make it become a daily habit.    Ola
ola_cmc@yahoo.com

Thanks for your feedback,

Thanks for your feedback, Ola!

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