Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, Working Smarter and Managing Your Time

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Mindmap by Jane Genovese

Have YOU ever said to yourself, “where has the day gone?” Or, “there’s just not enough hours in a day to get everything done!” We’ve all said it and chances are there’s a time when YOU have become stressed out with too much on your plate.

Many employees today are constantly being challenged with demands from work. Tight deadlines, taking on too many projects and working overtime is a reality for many. Finding a balance between work and your personal life isn’t easy and multitasking has really become a part of the daily routine.

Is multitasking the smartest way YOU can be working?

This January, our Fund Development department implemented a new time management tool. We agreed that we needed a method to help keep track of how many hours we were spending on different projects and to help us work more efficiently.

This method is called the Pomodoro Technique.  It was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s, and is now practiced by professionals around the world. All that YOU need to get started is a timer, sheet of paper for your to do list and a pencil. To learn more about this method click here http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/

Our department collectively started using this technique and here’s how it works:

Every day YOU write out the tasks that needed to be completed, putting the most important ones at the top of the list.

YOU have to turn off all distractions. This means no email (work and personal), no cell phone and if the phone rings and it’s something that can wait, let it go to voice mail.

YOU then set the timer for 25 minutes. This is your time to focus on the task at hand and that task only. Once the twenty five minutes is up, YOU take a five minute break to check your email, make a phone call or grab a snack.

After each 25 minute interval, YOU need to put an X by the task you’re working on. At the end of the day,  it will be easy to tally up how much time is spent on a task.

It was a challenge at first because it can be very hard to break out of the everyday habits like checking your work email every ten minutes and working on many tasks at once.

The Pomodoro has helped me to focus on the most important tasks that need to be done. It has also showed me the importance of slowing down and taking a break.

If YOU are moving too fast and working on ten things at once, you’re more likely to either make a mistake or become overwhelmed and feel stressed.

The Pomodoro Technique is just one tool YOU can use to help manage your time. I also found other articles useful for helping me to work smarter.

Check out: http://www.bethkanter.org/distraction-focus/ and http://davefleet.visibli.com/share/YdQCw6

Finding a method that works for YOU is so important in your career. Getting into a productive routine and cutting down the amount of distractions can be challenging, but in the end your professional and personal life will benefit.

It’s August now and the Pomodoro Technique still helps me to focus and plan my day. In fact I used it to write this blog post.

What steps will YOU take to help YOU work smarter?

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