7 Effective Ways to Control Your Time

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Time is one directional. Once it is gone, it is gone. You cannot get it back. You cannot make it up. However, what you can do is get in control of your time by making the best use of it. The number of books written on time management is endless. Therefore, there is no loss for words on how to manage time. I have identified seven effective ways individuals can get control of their time.

Donate, Dump, Store

The very first step to get in control of your time is to get organized. Try getting rid of items you do not need or do not use and then create ‘homes’ for items you choose to keep. You can spend several hours a day searching for misplaced items when there is disorganization. This can result in frustration, tiredness, and eventually you will give up. How productive is that? So, donate it, dump it, or store it – in a home.

Buy Out Time

Anytime you make a purchase there is an exchange. You give the sales associate or clerk the money and then you get the goods. So what are you willing to exchange for time? If you watch television for several hours a day, why not buy two hours of time from that? Do you text, talk, or hang out on social media for hours at a time? Perhaps you can buy two or three hours of time from that. Think about the things you are spending a lot of time on that is less important than what you truly want to do or need to do, and buy time from it.

Establish Routines

Set specific times for each day of the week for when you will check and respond to your email, voicemail, and mail. Do the same when working on minor or major projects. Use the batman rule of thumb – Same bat channel. Same bat time. Same bat station.

Build in Variety

When planning your day, if the first two hours will have you sitting, schedule the next hour or two for things that will have you moving about. It keeps the energy flowing. With your energy level up, you will obviously get more done.

Plan Your Calls

If you have to call a long-winded colleague, plan your call. Many time management experts agree it takes about eight minutes to complete a planned called. However, it takes about 15 minutes to complete an unplanned call. On the other side of that coin, if you’re on the receiving end of the call, tell the caller that you have two minutes to spare, but if you can call them back, you’ll be able to talk longer.

Use the 10-Minute Response Rule

If you have a coworker who is constantly interrupting you and asking for your assistance, use the 10-minute response rule to keep control of your time. Tell the coworker to give you 10 minutes and you will be right over. Now, I ask you – What usually happens when you ask someone to wait for you to assist them? Most of the time, they will figure it out for themselves.

Just Say No

No explanation needed.

 

Getting Organized is as Easy as Doing the Laundry

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Get Organized Laundry

Whenever I meet with a client to discuss their organizing needs, I will always ask – What’s working? That question is so important because usually whatever is working you can rest assured organizing principles are being applied. However, because they may not be aware that they are applying organizing principles, the connection is not easily made when trying to get other areas in their lives organized.

Let’s take doing the laundry as an example. Unless you have drop off service for doing your laundry, it is a chore, although not loved, you must do on a regular basis. The kitchen is disorganized, the bedroom is disorganized, and the closets are disorganized. But, start doing the laundry, regardless of how mundane it may seem, and it is a one, two, three, done. You gather those clothes, sort them, and throw them in the washer. A no brainer, right? Wrong. It is an application of organizing principles at its best.  There are four organizing principles that are applied when doing the laundry that if applied to other areas of the home or our office space could help reduce the stress of getting things done.  Let’s see how easy that can be.

Gather the Laundry

Our first step in doing the laundry is to gather it from our room, the kids’ rooms, and the hamper. This is the first organizing principle of getting organized. Gather the items to be organized whether it is shoes, books, files, supplies, etc.

Sort the Laundry

When sorting the laundry we separate the coloreds, the whites, hand washables, linen, etc.  It is the same process when organizing our home or office space. We sort papers, files, magazines, etc.

Take Action

Once the laundry is sorted, we take action. We wash, dry, and fold the laundry.  The same process is applied to items we sort in other areas of the home or our office space. We take action by deciding where these items will be stored.

Put Similar Items Together

The final step in taking action with the laundry is to put it away. Without thinking, we put all the towels together, all the sheets together, blouses together, and even the socks are put in its own drawer. The same thing is done with the items in our home or office space. Once we have finished the sort, and we have decided what to do with the items, we will then store similar or related items in the same location for easy access, and to reduce the stress of looking for these items in various locations.

So yes, when applying organizing principles, getting organized can be as easy as doing the laundry.

10 Steps on How to Conduct PEACEFUL Meetings

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Peaceful Meetings

“I’m not supposed to be here. This is not happening.” Is that how you feel when you attend a meeting that just seems to be a waste of your time. Well, how do you feel when you are the one conducting the meeting and as you look around, attenders are doodling, staring off into space, checking messages, texting, and yes, even coloring.  What about those attenders who talk too much, speak out of turn, and try to inject their own agenda? And, let’s not forget Johnny come lately who raises his hand and ask, “What did I miss?” Yeah, you too feel like saying, “I’m not supposed to be here. This is not happening.”

Is it any wonder why people hate going to meetings? Meetings could and would be a lot more simple and peaceful if people would just check their egos at the door, come prepared, stick to the agenda, and turn off or silence those smartphones! Ooh, did I say that out loud? Well, I can’t help you with the egos, but I can help you make your meetings a little bit more PEACEFUL. Try the following.

Plan

Benjamin Franklin was once asked – How long does it take to cut down a tree? He said it takes six hours -five hours to plan and one hour to cut it down. – When you put sufficient time into planning your meetings it will help you answer the who, what, where, why, when, and how, which will help the meetings to stay on point and not make the attenders wonder, – Why am I here?

Email

Contact all those who need to be invited. To avoid confusion, make sure the email shows date, time, location, and name and telephone number of person to contact.

Ask for input

Why are meetings so boring to many? Because everybody listens to the same station – WIIFM – What’s in it for me? If attenders do not see how what you are presenting benefits them, you may lose them at some point. So when preparing your agenda, prepare with the attenders in mind. Ask for their input.

Control the flow of the meeting

Start on time. Communicate your expectations at the start of the meeting. Stay on point. Minimize interruptions. End on time.

Encourage participation. Evaluate the meeting. End with a thank you.

Encourage participation through open-ended questions, and ask attenders for their thoughts and opinions. Use and view evaluation forms as constructive feedback. It is not necessary to do this at every meeting. However, it is important to get feedback from those attending your meetings. And, of course ending with the words – Thank you – goes a long way.

Follow up

Send a recap to those who attended as well as those who missed the meeting so that everyone will be on the same page and know what has been discussed and decided.

Update latecomers with printed information they missed. Because you did not stop, recap, and start again each time someone came in to your meeting late.

Enough said.

Let attenders know date for next meeting.

Look out for a future article on how to keep it simple when conducting meetings.