Hi folks. Am I the only one out here in SABlogger land that feels like the academic year has been long already and it's barely even a month?
During the craziest days on the job in student activities I always notice that things get most out of control when I lose sight of all of the great time management lessons I have learned over the years. It never fails, but on the worst days I see that my To Do List is a mess, my voice mails are piling up, and I've lost track of every committment I have made that day while also having no idea what the next day will bring. Sound familiar? Well, I'm here to offer some quick time management tips both in an effort to share my experience and also to force myself to take another look at how my semester's been going! So, I'm admitting to being a little selfish…but here we go:
1 – Is it time for a planner makeover?
If you're like me, I can't go completely techie in time management so there's still some element of paper in my time management life. Check out your planner and make sure it's keeping track of the right information for you. If you're using the same "monthly calendar boxes" planner that you've used since your junior year in college, it might be time to see what else is out there. Make sure your planner or other tool is helping you to manage your tasks, helping you to manage what kinds of tasks you are agreeing to complete, and helping you manage your appointments.
2 – Take time for power planning!
Whether you are most productive in the morning or at night, take ten minutes and force yourself to plan your To Do List for the day ahead and review the day's prior events. Don't just spend three minutes doing it. Force yourself to take the full ten so that you offer yourself the benefit of a little clarity before the day gets hectic. Don't you deserve it?
3 – Plan based on your roles!
We all play so many roles in life – employee, sibling, spouse, mentor, volunteer, parent, manager – list them all. Now that you've mastered your daily planning routine, take that up a notch and plan based on your roles for the week ahead. Set at least one focus for each role so that you work to maintain some degree of balance. For example, if you're a mom and you're also having a crazy week at work, this will assure that your 'mom stuff' still gets some airtime whether it's a small task like "enroll kiddo in swimming lessons" or a big one that makes sure you save time to go pick out a new bike.
4 – Take control of your calendar life, too!
No one says that you have to attend every meeting just because someone asks. Make sure your time is scheduled "on purpose, for a purpose" and start asserting the importance of your personal time. If someone schedules a meeting and you don't know why you are going, ask them! If you feel your participation in a committee is a duplication of someone else's role, then talk with your supervisor about what he or she is looking for. Also, if you reciprocate the value of people's time by making sure your meetings have clear and communicated agendas it will let people realize how kind it is to have that kind of consideration.
I could go on and on here, but let's hear from you! What are your favorite tips to keep things afloat? Student affairs folks, I know you're great at this stuff so let the comments roll!!
Have a great week!