Managing Time for Better Results

Do you have a New Year’s resolution yet? How about making your job a more productive and organized place? One step in that direction, that a lot of people have trouble with, is time management. To have a happy and healthy life, both at work and at home, you have to manage your time wisely. Here are a few easy steps you can try to start your new year off right:

  1. Set Priorities. Focus your daily schedule on daily priorities and reflect your monthly goals throughout. Whether your priorities are going to the gym, making dinner for your family, or writing your novel – figure out what your priority is and set aside specific time for that every day.
  2. Track your time. See how long it actually takes you to do things. (Or procrastinate.) Some people work best with a pen and paper, but with the amount of work we do on a computer or online, time-tracking apps or software is a painless way to track. Fast Company’s list of 10 Time-Tracking Apps can give you some ideas of free (or cheap) ways to keep your time organized.
  3. ‘Make’ Time. There are two types of people in your office – the manager and the maker. Jeremiah Dillon, an employee at Google, has come up with this time management theory that can help you get some work done. The manager’s day is blocked into 30-minute intervals: meetings, tasks, e-mails, conversations, etc. The “maker” needs time to make: create, build, produce. Everyone needs to be a “maker.” Schedule uninterrupted “Make” Time on your calendar when you know you will be working on a specific project.
  4. Streamline. Look at the big picture of what you do every day. Are there any processes you have that you could make more efficient? Or, any system that you operate multiple times a week that could have a faster or simpler method? Sometimes those systems take some time to streamline because you need assistance from other areas: technology, management, operations. Take this slow time around the holidays to do your research and plan out a schedule of how to streamline some of your tedious or repetitive tasks. Check out Project Streamline and GMNsight’s Streamlining and Beyond issue to start thinking about what you can do!
Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell is PEAK Grantmaking's effective practices director. You can find her on Twitter @nikkiwpowell.

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