Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Juggling, Tricks and Technicalities | Time Management, Part I

I struggle with managing my time. There. I'm coming clean, admitting the struggle is real and that while I absolutely appreciate and value the opportunity to work from home, tasks and prioritizing and hours in the day DO in fact, often get the best of me. (Whew. I said it.) Had I realized that things needed to change? Of course - but seeing it and saying that and actually creating improvement - those are several very different things. It's so easy to become caught up in the details and projects and emails and Stuff That Demands Immediate Attention,  that I just seem to forget the goal for the day was to operate more efficiently, and thus the cycle continues. Until now.


I read an article this morning and was inspired by the ability which supposedly lies within me; apparently I'm more capable that I'd thought to take charge and set goals; to define work objectives and wrestle back control of my hours and minutes. I just have to tap into "what lies within" and learn to set limits and boundaries, because if not, there's no external force that can fix this for me. Confident in this new knowledge and wanting to dive right in, I implement new guidelines for the following day, which is Monday. 

Monday morning: I write and send an email detailing a situation which needs resolution ASAP. Immediately after clicking "send", I realize that omitted from the list was an article which must be written today, and so I spend 40 minutes hurriedly Googling for details and essential ingredients. Although not built into the time frame it's necessary.
Next, I attack the Great Pile of Paperwork. UGH. This is complex on many levels, but as the Pile poses a growing source of irritation and annoyance, I just leap in and being sorting. The goal of knocking out the mountain of papers wasn't clearly defined time-wise, but it does up end up taking more than four hours.

Update: It's Tuesday at 1:50am and I'm finished. I got all three projects done, along with a few smaller tasks, several which were normal but that I failed to include in my estimate for the day. A couple of others had cropped up suddenly with red flags requiring attention (a continual problem for me as I tend to underestimate the time needed to process). 

Despite the article's advice to take on the toughest part first, I wound up leaving the most difficult two things for last. I'm now curious if tackling the most challenging aspects could have helped productivity? At the time, feeling pretty overwhelmed, I opted to take baby steps instead, and looking back now it seems as if restructuring my process and approach could be a better game plan. We'll see what happens on the next run.

#delmarvausa | community advocate | localist | respect | united we stand