Time Management 102

This is a continuation of the last blog.  Here are some more great tips to find those extra minutes.

3. Deadlines.  Be the first to offer a deadline and always add extra time to it.  This may be familiar to many of you – under promise and over deliver.  This will give you more time to get things done and also allow you to be a star – by always delivering what you promise on time – or perhaps early.

In promising when you’re going to complete something, whether it is for yourself or for others, get real with the time frame.  If you know you’re going on vacation, have a lot of meetings, or have another project that needs your attention, look at your calendar wisely and plan accordingly.  Many of us are on auto-pilot when someone asks for something – we say yes too quickly.

A quick tip – when someone asks for something, consciously pause and say you’ll have to look at your calendar – if you don’t have it with you on the spot – or look at it immediately.  Schedule realistically and wisely – people will respect you more for meeting your commitments rather than over promising and under delivering – there is little worse than always being late with your promises.  Beware of over committing.

4. When going to an off site meeting or appointment away from the office, plan an extra 15 minutes to get to the appointment – on top of what you already plan for travel time.  The side effects of this tip are many.  You will cut down on the chance that you’ll be rushed or late ever again.  Your meeting may start early and therefore end early.  You have the chance to have a little extra time with the person you’re meeting with.  If you’re left waiting for the meeting to start, you’ve got extra time that you weren’t expecting.  Always carry something to do with you when you go out.  Perhaps it is a reading file or a project.

5. Formally plan out 50 to 75% of your day – including time blocks, meetings, administration time (answering email, phone calls).  Leaving the other 50 – 25% of your day will allow for emergencies and interruptions – these will happen.  If they don’t happen you’ll have extra time to work on your projects or whatever you’d like to.  Scheduling out every minute of your day can be a recipe for frustration and a feeling of not getting anything done.

What works for you?  Share your time saving tips in the comments section below.

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4 Responses to Time Management 102

  • Tip 5 is an incredible help!  I used to think if my calendar wasn't filled every hour I wasn't working hard enough…now I know to leave time – sometimes days – open … and I'm always busy but not continually overwhelmed.  Thanks, Holly!

    • Holly says:

      Jane –

      That is the single most important tip for me too. Plan to do less and you’ll end up accomplishing more. Thanks for the comment!


  • Eliza Dolin says:

    I think all of these tips are dead on. I try to implement them every day and have gotten pretty good at it. For those who haven't (yet) — give it a shot and be patient. The rewards are worth the pain of changing your habits.

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