Monday, 1 March 2010

Time management boot camp - Introduction


This week I am mostly blogging about time management. I'm hoping that a few hours spent looking at this is going to pay-off in terms of getting more done, and hopefully with less stress!

I guess everyone goes through a period of adjustment when going into a new job. A lot of the time you're learning as you go so things take longer to do. I'm thinking that - after 10 months in post now - it's a good time to stand back and look at what I do on a daily basis. Is there a better way to go about things rather than "firefighting" from one deadline to the next?

There are a couple of things I'm going to work on:

1) Email - this is the biggie. If I can make any improvement in this area I'll be dead happy. Currently, I have days when I feel I'm ruled by my inbox so I'll be experimenting with a few ways of managing this form of communication.

2) Learning to say no. I'm always going to struggle with this - at the moment I try really hard to accommodate students or staff when they have a need for my time. Currently, I don't have fixed times when I'll see people for 1-2-1's (the school that I work in has alot of students who spent limited time actually at university, and also alot of staff who also work in practice, so I think it's important to be flexible. However, I do need to  find a better way of managing this aspect of my job. Although, 1-2-1's are through appointment only, my door is always open. I think it's good to be open and accessible, but I also need times when I can get away from the interruptions to concentrate on the more difficult aspects of my job.

3) Getting things done. Being a slave to the email (and also having a door that's always open). Means that it is sometimes hard to get a good run at things that take a bit longer (e.g. there's a trolley of donations in my office that's now been there for 2 weeks waiting for me to sort it!). Trying to do things that take a bit of thought or concentration (like planning teaching) tend to get shoved aside for things that can be fit in between phone calls or meetings. Or sometimes get ditched  for last minute tutorials. Starting today, I'm going to start putting aside time to do these tasks - and protecting that time. I think 20 minutes on a Monday morning planning what I want to achieve for the week ahead and when I'm going to do it will be time well spent.

4) Better team working. Having come from a solo-librarian role (where I did everything from acquisitions to shelving) it's sometimes difficult to delegate. I'll be looking at more effective ways to share what we do as a team - and also try to think of our capacity in terms of a team rather than just looking at what's in my calendar.

That's the intention anyway - I'll blog in more detail about some of these in a series tagged "time management".

1 comment:

  1. Those are great goals! If you're looking for strategies to help you say no, I have a tip sheet available from on "5 Ways to Say No to Avoid Overload."

    One of the biggest ways to get more done is to have less to do in the first place!

    Best to you!
    Elizabeth Saunders-Time Coach