Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time Management

Yesterday was Spring cleaning day at my office. It was a big event because my office supplied the desk cleaner and cookies! My desk usually isn't too bad but it has been several years since I have gone through the old paper work and reorganized my area. I was able to pass the buck and get rid of a lot of shit work declutter my workspace and have some breathing room.

One of the items I found in the depths of my file cabinet was a handout on time management. A few years back, our team attended a workshop devoted to maximizing time and improving workflow. I vaguely remember the class but I couldn't tell you one thing from it. The doodles, notes to other co-workers, and the many games of Hangman all over the materials was a good indication that the A.D.D. kicked in that day.

I was just about to pitch this info but I decided to take one last look at it. As I skimmed through it I decided that I could probably use a lesson in time management to gain control of everything I have taken on. Especially since I signed up for a marathon. As we all know, there are lots of hours invested into training.

Some of the things that really stood out to me were:

"Harnessing your Energy"
This is assessing your energy level on a typical day. When are you most awake, when do you feel slow? By knowing your up and down times of the day can help schedule and plan activities during the day to maximize productivity. For me, my energy is all in the morning. I hit a slump in the afternoon, then I get another buzz around 8PM.

"Typical vs. Ideal Day"
If I were to dream up my ideal day, it would resemble a TV commercial. You know the one, the stylish cute MILF that juggles 4 tasks at once, is raising a litter of kids, has a successful career, has the perfect marriage, and has a perfectly clean house with all the laundry done. In reality, I am constantly in the car, cannot keep up with all my commitments, and I end up screeching like a banshee. Perhaps it is time to define some realistic goals since my ideal and typical days are polar opposites.

"Time Robbers"
I have a whole list of time robbers but the "internets" takes the cake for my numero uno time waster.

Procrastination is a huge problem for me. One of my handouts listed these guidelines for combating the "I'll do it later" syndrome.
  • Set a Deadline
  • Reward yourself
  • Follow up with someone or be accountable
  • Do craptastic stuff first
  • Break it up in to smaller jobs
  • Like Nike says "just do
(I will work on that later, ha!)

"Tips on how to say NO"
This is one page that I am going cut out and carry with me at all times. It is such little word but why is it so hard to say????? I have had trouble saying no and it has gotten me in the schedule fiasco that I am dealing with now. The tip that stood out the most to me was "Excel at just a few things, rather than being just average at many. Don't try to do everything". If you look at my ideal day, I think I secretly hope to become a Stepford wife. Gah! That is one piece of advice that I am going to burn on my brain.

Source: HR training materials that were put together from many other sources. Does this count as a properly siting my source? Ha! Glaven, maybe you can chime in on this.

I don't expect to ever master the secrets of time management but I am hoping any sort of improvement! I am hoping to apply it to more than just worklife. Is anyone else a complete failure with managing time?

Back to running....literally. I will be back to running this weekend. Even if it is raining.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Heather said...

I'm an expert at saying no . . . it's the only way you can fit everything in!

Lily on the Road said...

See, this is exactly why I need a Manservant!!

E Mama said...

Love the title of your blog!!

Lauren said...

Sounds like your time management class was a waste of time the first time around (judging by your lack of remembering it and all the doodles). I know I shouldn't procrastinate, but I can't seem to make myself care enough to do things immediately. Let me know if you figure that one out.

TNTcoach Ken said...

That internet thingy robs me if I sit down in front of the PC......

lindsay said...

i need serious help in this department too. computer/internet is a huuuuge time-waster for me. :-/ i'd much rather chill on the couch on the internet than clean the house! ;)

Tammy said...

Um, I can relate with most of that. I always think I can do it all, and I can sort of. When I'm doing it all, it's all a house of cards. All of my commitments are reached, but my house is a disaster and my kids are neglected.

I'm a huuuuuge procrastinator! I just can't get better at that.

raulgonemobile said...

Heheh.. sounds like when I take a class. Totally not paying attention to whatever the class is about.

I do moderately well at managing time, but I've been slipping lately. If I could get my ass out of bed in the morning, I'd have a better shot, just with more hours to work with in the day.

X-Country2 said...

I'm pretty good at managing time, but sleep is usually the first thing to go. Everyone else will get their stuff, but I tend to take a backseat.

The Lazy Triathlete said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Just what I needed right now. It is funny how I intuitively know all this stuff, but I just don't implement it. I appreciate you sharing it.

Marlene said...

I'm convinced there are just not enough hours in the day. I could use some time management skills.

Have a great weekend! Happy Running!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I fully believe in that last one...excel at a few things.

requires two things. first is figuring out what is most important to you so you can concentrate on that.

and admitting defeat on the things you won't excel at. for example - i don't excel at a clean house or tidy yard or made beds or laundry.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Does this count as a properly siting my source? Ha! Glaven, maybe you can chime in on this. ...

Answer's NO, sister, I won't chime in on that.

See? That wasn't hard, was it? I just put my foot down and said "NO" and you have to respect that because your brainpan-washing seminar told you to.

I am a morning person so my most productive time of the day is as soon as I get in to the library so I make sure I reserve that important chunk of the day to READING BLOGS and COMMENTING ON THEM and then the library only gets work outta me when I'm half-brain dead from writing my long-@$$ comments. And it probably shows in my work.

But now here it is 3:30 EDT on a Saturday and I'm reading (and commenting on) your blog and it's a long, rambling, typical Glaven comment and yet it's late in the day. So what gives? you ask.

Well, I'm drinking beer, which is why this comment is so long and probably why it's so kinda incoherent and jerkish, too. I mean, more so than usual.

But okay, so I've had a beer and I'm in love with the world so - my heart isn't made of stone, sister! - I'll answer your question:

Sorry, no, that is NOT a proper citation of your source. It doesn't include the publisher, the page number, the city of publication ... gah! It's just a mess, sister!

Do it over and turn it in again on Monday. Expect to be marked down a half grade though, so kiss that A+ you thought you deserved good-bye.

(As compensation, I'l officially add your name to the International MILF List. Because, as I said, my heart isn't made of stone. More like anthracite.)

run4mylife said...

tips on how to say NO!?!? .... NO MAN NO MAN NO MAN!!!

This is only funny if you've seen "Yes Man"

Marcy said...

I'm with Lily. Come on Mr McG get me a manny! How awesome would it be to have him run around topless while he wrangles my kids so I can lounge around with cocktails :P

RunToFinish said...

hey carly, shoot me an email with your address and I'll send it off to Baggu

MizFit said...

My biggest MUST for saying no is I never say yes in the moment. no matter how GREAT something might sound I always say "lemmie get back to you on that"

makes it easier to decline when i dont wanna :) and I can then look at my life realistically and see if I can fit stuff in without making myself crazy.

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