Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Law and Order

I finally had an epiphany on why I haven't been able to blog regularly for the last month (excluding the vacation). It's because I don't manage my time well! Fine, I know it's not a a groundbreaking discovery, however, it does put me on the right path to getting rid of a lot of my stress.

What basically happens with me is - I start the day of fine, noting done all my tasks in order of urgency and importance. I even start working on the list with full concentration (I love striking of tasks from my list, so satisfying) and the best of intentions. Where I flounder is when an employee or family member interrupts and asks for my attention. I am totally unable to tell people to come back later. I have to resolve everybody's problems for them and before know it the day is over and I have over 70% of my incomplete list (to which loads of other stuff has been added during the day) staring back at me. In addition to this, I tend to get so involved when I have a writing task that I lose all track of time.

So basically at the end of the day, I rush home, feed my baby, play with her and put her to bed. The time I spend with her I'm totally focused on her, however if she takes time to doze off I get impatient because I still have to tackle my list and get it all done before the next day dawns.

See this is where I go wrong. I should be pressurizing adults to keep to a schedule, not a two year old who just wants some extra cuddle time with her mummy! So, I decided to bring in a clear time management technique to handle my day. Let me tell you there are so many techniques out there that you need to make a schedule just to go through all that information. I finally settled on two major tools that seemed simple and efficient.

The first one was pretty obvious, set out fixed time slots for:

  • Internal meetings
  • Interviews  
  • Meeting with visitors
Obviously, family members will be highly offended if I set out a time for them to get in touch with me. So had to accept those pleasant distractions as they were.

The second tool I stumbled across purely by chance and almost dismissed. It was managing your time in minutes! Come on I work 12-14 hours a day, that's an average of 780 minutes. I was pretty skeptic about this, until I read that the world's best lawyers, who bill their clients by the hour use this technique to track and manage their time. I was sold, come on, if it's good for top-notch lawyers, it's good enough for me.

This is how the concept basically works. You split your hour in batches of 7to 10 minutes and then assign parts of a schedule task for each slot. Over the course of the day you finish all your tasks. Apparently this method keeps your mind fresh and alert since you spend limited time focusing on each task at any point of time. Obviously, if you have pressing deadline you need to tweak the system a bit.

Anyway, I've listed out my major tasks for today and am all set. Obviously, the first ten minutes are up, since I use them to write this entry. Wish me luck and I'll let you know how things work out. Who knows maybe I'll  use this to manage my mommy/wife time as well!


  1. I hear you! So so true! I have exactly the same problem myself - I have now started putting myself time aside during the working day to read blogs. I wasn't doing this before and before I knew it my day had been gobbled up.

    I am useless at time management so will be using your tips as a guide!

    Best of luck to you - I hope it's working :)

  2. I was so much more organized at work than I've been at nearly four (OMG!) years at home. I was a Franklin-Covey/7 Habits of Highly Effective People kinda girl. Some drivel, some really good stuff. Maybe I should re-read it? If I could find the time...

  3. This sounds very interesting. I might have to try it. I am always looking for a way to get all my tasks done in a day and usually find it impossible. I would love to know how this worked out for you! Good luck!

  4. Good ideas - especially the minutes one. I used to be better at time management but lately have been in a funk.

    Also a tip - family members can be told to a "set time" to get in touch with you. If you are in the middle of something, it is perfectly ok to say "hey I can't talk/help right now, I'm in the middle of something. Can I/you call back in 10 mins?". You don't have to tell them what. Just be sure to follow up when the task is finished before moving on. It has worked for me with my son and family.

    It is no different saying it while trying to write/work than saying it while mopping the floor or cooking dinner.

    visiting from SITS

  5. Manic Mommy @ I know, what is it about wearing smart clothes and sitting in an office environment that helps people stay focused! Working from home or on home-related tasks both require a lot of willpower, it seems so easy to get distracted.

    classycareergirl @ Am in the first one week of trials. Will give you an update soon.

    Elizabeth @ I should really try that. My husband and child hardly disturb me, it's more others. Thanks for visiting.


I love hearing from all of you....thanks for letting me know what you think