This month, we’re celebrating admin. professionals’ accomplishments and strategies. This week, we’re focusing on time management and strategies shared by Real Careers alumni.
Margo Baptista, Canada: My calendar. My whole life is in my calendar and I use every tool – appointments, reminder notes, tasks, etc. I also set aside time to focus on items that require deeper thought and research.
Amanda Barlow, England: I like to make a to-do-list and tick off when things are done. I know it’s simple, but it really helps me and I sometimes take time out from my desk to go and compile the list. When organising large events, I find an event planner helps me.
Lorna Cowan, Northern Ireland: Old fashioned pen and paper “to do” list! I find this easier to work with than online task managers. I write all my notes in one note book that I update throughout the day. I keep on top of my tasks and move on to the next job quickly. I don’t let paperwork, filing or emails get out of control, and I always plan ahead. Spending time each day getting organised means I’m less likely to get overwhelmed during the crazy busy times. I have good filing systems in place and can generally put my hand to any documents or information with little effort. I operate a clear desk policy to prevent getting swamped under paperwork.
Debs Eden, England: plan plan plan. I use Wunderlist to keep a to-do list. It syncs with my phone and I can share tasks with people. Also, do one thing at a time, and do it well – THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. Forget multi- tasking, and keep a clear head.
Debbie Grimshaw, England: Keep on top of your to do list, and make sure you are organised by prioritising your workload in your calendar. Be in control and set yourself achievable targets. Delegate more routine tasks if you are able to. This gives someone else a chance to learn the ropes and enables you to get on with your priorities. Last but not least, switch off email notifications to reduce distraction if you are working to a deadline.
Stacy Leitner, USA: I believe that planning and creating a To-Do list is my most effective time management strategy.
Christina Martinez, USA: I use categories and folders in my email to keep myself organised and easily identify follow up items.
Paula Moio, England: Plan and prepare. By doing this, I have a clear mind and feel in control of the multitude of tasks I have. I use the reminders on my e-calendar and an A4 hard copy diary, one page a day where I list all follow-ups from my meetings and requests from my boss. I also recently discovered a fantastic tool, the 1-3-5 method. It’s quite simple, effective and realistic, with online, app and paper versions.
Julia Schmidt, Norway: Time management has a lot to do with the right prioritisation. Therefore, my most effective strategy is doing first the tasks I like less. It will avoid procrastination. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing. It is bad management. Another important element is creating realistic deadlines.
Michele Thwaites, South Africa: Once written down, prioritise and do one thing at a time and complete each task before starting the next one. If need be, break a task down into simple and workable “bites” and your job will go a lot easier and faster. Don’t rush; plan well in advance so there is no last minute rush.
Barbara Unger, Canada: When you have your list of priorities in front of you, and new ones come along, triage the tasks based on what the impact will be if the closest deadline is not met.