AlwaysOn 17: About time.

By | March 16, 2011

It’s been a while since Katie and I have taken the time to podcast, so it seemed only appropriate to do an episode on Time. You can listen to the podcast in the iTunes Store or on our website.

The episode got me to thinking a lot about my priorities and the concept of time. It seems none of us have enough of it, but I’m trying not to use that as an excuse for neglecting the things that are important to me.

I like John Maxwell’s thoughts on time, especially the idea that time is more valuable than money. In John’s words: “People who use time correctly underscore their values with the time they spend.1

I constantly remind myself to invest my time in the things that matter most, rather than the things that are easiest. It sounds like something that should be second nature, but when the choice between answering emails and buckling down to work on the online course resources I’m wanting to build for our district, it’s all too easy to choose the easy way out.

A couple of things I’m trying to do to make time more manageable:

  1. I’ve started to spend 20 minutes before I leave my house in the morning skimming through emails. I answer any that can be done quickly and flag any that need immediate attention. When I get to work, I work on the flagged emails and then ignore email until just before lunch. It sounds a bit silly to be so obsessive about not answering messages, but there are days when I’ll get 50 or more emails in a morning. I could easily spend all day there. That wouldn’t be a good thing.
  2. When I have something routine that must be done, I schedule it on my calendar. By putting small tasks on my calendar, even if it’s only a 15 minute block, I keep myself from thinking constantly about when they’ll get done while I’m working on other, bigger projects.
  3. At the start of the day, I write 3 things I hope to accomplish before I go home. The list stays on my desk in front of my computer so I’m constantly reminded of the things that are most worthy of my time that day. If I happen to get distracted by another pressing task, that list brings me back to my priorities.
  4. I tend to get distracted by Twitter when folks are posting good readings and links. I’ve started starring those as favorites in Twitter and using an iPad app called Social Reader2 to come back to those later in the evening when I’ve set aside time to read.

 

I’d be interested in hearing what tips and strategies others use to prioritize time.  If you’ve got something that works, share it when you have a minute.

And in your spare time, give our podcast a listen.

  1. You can read more of John’s thoughts in the PDF here []
  2. Which is no longer in the iTunes store it seems. FlipBoard has the same functionality. Time for a change I suppose. []

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