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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tempus Fugit is NOT a Rap Star

Crazy time at work right now. Five major projects on my plate all at once. One just launched, two more need to by the end of the month, and the remaining two follow quickly behind this.

The point of telling you that isn't for the sympathy (although I like the "Poor Baby" as much as the next guy), but to tell you about something that hit me hard today...The busier you are, the faster time goes. Today it felt like literally I walked in, had one big long meeting and then it was 7pm! And it wasn't just the meetings but all of the project prep. It has been like this for the past...career...kidding, this heavy for the last two weeks or so.

When this is happening to you, in whatever you are doing, here are some tips that I have developed to maintain sanity:
  1. Remember; This too shall pass - Every job from CEO to stay at home Mom to combat soldiers, you can be busy all the time but the mayhem is usually x amount of time. If not there are larger issues in play!
  2. Compartmentalize - Whatever thing you are doing right then, give it 100% attention. Multi-tasking is NOT as efficient as doing, completing and repeating
  3. Track and Verify - Measure twice and cut once! Have a daily list with ABC priority; must get done, Needs to be done, and would be nice to be done. Not everything is an A! A good guideline is 20/60/20% buckets. Then do not quit until the A's are done...and save the list! When you get down on yourself review your progress. You've come a long way baby!
  4. Don't allow interruptions - "Sorry no I don't have a minute, but please book a quick 5-10 minute meeting with me to resolve." It wastes so much time to start-stop-start-stop and you fall out of a groove. You'll be surprise how few people interrupting will book that time! But when they do, give them the same focus you were giving whatever you were doing when they came in.
  5. Fill your schedule - With time for your A's. I know I need about 3-4 uninterrupted hours to get this stuff ready in time for thee presentations...Book it! If you are expected to stay pretty current on email, like I am, I book the time and the amount that I am gonna get through. I have 3-30 min slots to answers emails and I try to keep them brief!
  6. Make sure one of those compartments is rest! - I have seen people choke a big presentation (Opportunity!) by not taking the time to eat, rest and focus.
Well my blogging compartment is now full! :)

What works for you?


Dolly Iris said...

Good post! I totally agree about interruptions and losing your groove.

RacerX said...

Thanks Dolly! And welcome!

Funny about Money said...

Excellent suggestions for bringing a little control to the chaos.

Another thought: Before you leave your desk at night, decide what you will start with in the morning. Leave a note to yourself so you will focus on that as the first order of the day.

I used to do the same thing with phone messages as with e-mails: don't answer the phone when it rings. Set aside some time each day to check voicemail messages and return calls.

Another trick: book chunks of work time in Outlook as "meetings." Then when someone wants to corral you into a meeting with one of those "invite" messages, Outlook will tell her you're unavailable during that part of the day.

RacerX said...

Hey Funny!

I do the Outlook booking of time, but not yet doing the closing list for tomorrow. Good point. Just come in and start. Also good time to mark new lists when day is fresh in mind.

Thanks for the visit!

Cath Lawson said...

Hi Racer - these are great tips. I do use a to do list. But I really fall flat on my face when I have a job I really don't want to do. I mark it as non-urgent, even though I know it is. And I'll even go so far as ignoring my list altogether if there's a horrid task on it.

RacerX said...

Well Cath...That kind of defeats the purpose :)

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