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To ask for your time management tips please?

(48 Posts)
TheRealGussieFinkNottle Wed 18-Oct-17 17:56:51

Just struggling to keep on top of everything - and am also a champion faffer (can take me 10 minutes to write an email because I never know what to say blush).

Any tips welcome smile


Phineyj Wed 18-Oct-17 18:00:54

The Organised Mind is a good book for an overview.

Top tips: a place for everything and everything in its place. If you are faffing to get out the door in the morning it will help if keys are on a key hook, bag is packed and by the door, toothbrush is by the sink etc.

Decide what to do next with a 4 section table: important/not important/urgent/not urgent. Do things in important/urgent first.

Be realistic about what you can achieve in a time period. Better to finish one important thing than half-start lots of different things.

If you don't know what to put in an email, you should probably pick up the phone.

Lovestonap Wed 18-Oct-17 18:02:20

More tips please! Keep them coming!

Littlemessymiss Wed 18-Oct-17 18:06:54

I look at this daily

Phineyj Wed 18-Oct-17 18:08:28

Oh I love this.

Work backwards from deadlines and set mini deadlines. For example, if you know your tax return needs to be done in January and you have a quiet time over the summer, collect up your receipts and invoices then and put them in the computer. Reward yourself somehow. Then even if you forget to finish the job until later, you've done the faffy part already.

I have a month-by-month file for birthday cards and it occurred to me to put things like booking confirmations and concert tickets in it too. So, in October there's the confirmation for our camping trip and in November are two Remembrance poppies (I will do a new donation of course).

If you are really avoiding a task, tell someone else you're going to do it and make it clear you'd be pleased if they ask how it's going. Committing to things to other people works quite well because you don't want to let them down.

soundsystem Wed 18-Oct-17 18:09:47

If something will take you less than two minutes to do just do it right away!

AlternativeTentacle Wed 18-Oct-17 18:09:58

If you use outlook, block out the day by task.
Use a bullet journal to keep on top of tasks
emails, deal with them or just ignore them. Most of them are shite. If they need dealing with do it immediately or pop them onto outlook as a timed task if it needs more work to go into the response or task.

Phineyj Wed 18-Oct-17 18:11:11

Something else - I'm most faffy when I haven't got enough to do. That phrase 'if you want something done, ask a busy person' is quite true, I think! When I'm busy at work I'm way more effective at powering through personal stuff as I don't want to waste the time.

I'm not saying deliberately make yourself busier, but you need to create a sense of deadline and urgency somehow, or else do the 'Monday I do this task', 'Tuesday I do this task thing', so that it becomes habit.

Sammysquiz Wed 18-Oct-17 18:11:59

Learn how long everyday jobs take. I tend to massively over-estimate, so I think 'oh I can't empty the dishwasher now as I have to leave in 5 minutes' but when I timed it I found it took less than a minute.

Phineyj Wed 18-Oct-17 18:12:23

Another Outlook thing - turn off the system alert. You do not need to know a new email arrived. It's probably rubbish. Even better, turn off the server unless you actually need the internet!

DiseasesOfTheSheep Wed 18-Oct-17 18:13:54

I recommend you spend less time with your newts. And less still mooning over the ghastly Madeleine Bassett.

RavingRoo Wed 18-Oct-17 18:14:14

Arrive early to work if possible. Emails can be done before others come in, so fewer distractions. Don’t stay late unless it’s to impress a manager, and in that case only stay up to an hour after. You aren’t as productive at the end or the day as you are at the beginning.

Don’t feel you have to reply to every email. Prioritize your emails for critical (ie they need to be done now) urgent 24 hours, urgent 48 hours, and others. The Other category doesn’t need a reply until they chase you and you can subdivide those further too.

Don’t eat carb heavy food at lunch else you’ll have an energy slump. Stick to salads, lean meats, and light soups.

If you aren’t familiar with the technology then get up to speed. Can find an online guide for most software nowadays.

M4Dad Wed 18-Oct-17 18:15:27

Do NOT do what I did and create an automatic CC folder in Outlook.

All I did was forget to check the folder which in turn created mayhem and much more work blush

Jenniferb21 Wed 18-Oct-17 18:16:50

Here's some things I couldn't live without.

-dry shampoo. My hairdresser said washing your hair more than once in 3 days is unnecessary this saves me so much time I used to wash it every day
-a cleaner if you can and if it suits your lifestyle. I work full time and have an 18 month old I think it's totally worth it and means I use my spare time to do things I value rather than spend my weekends cleaning. They aren't as expensive as I thought. I pay 3 hours every 2 weeks and it's £30.
-iron whilst watching tv twice a week. We were watching tv anyway so when hubs and I did 30 mins ironing whilst doing it we realised we were again saving precious weekend time.
- always have a things to do list. I use my phone to keep organised.
- do a food shopping list and either go at 8am when the shop opens or do it online. Don't go hungry don't go without meals prepped and a solid list done.
- use one folder for everything important. I.e bank info, letters, insurance plans etc. You'll always know where to go then if you have one file for everything divided (before this system I had about 4 draws and random places of chuck letters and other important things I'd waste time searching for when I needed them)
- prepare breakfast. Overnight oats (google this) or breakfast muffins are fabulous.
- cook batches of meals at least twice a week so you can have two healthy but 'pop in the mic' meals twice a week. This saves me 2 hours in total a week approx.
- use a Family calendar. It's in our kitchen and it's stuck to.
- prepare outfits for work the day before and have them accessible. Choosing what to wear used to take me a few outfit try ons or wood involve last minute ironing.

Good luck I'm looking forward to more tips! Xxxx

Jenniferb21 Wed 18-Oct-17 18:18:54

Haha I misread the question I thought this was more lifestyle questions and I was looking forward to some tips lol

For work i use task reminders and couldn't live without them. Have a things to do list in order of priority. Ask for help when you're overwhelmed and offer help to others when you're not.

FakePlasticTeaLeaves Wed 18-Oct-17 18:22:21

I put everything in my google calendar i.e. everything.
Project X for 1 hour, Project Y for 30 minutes. Then home stuff too. Having it all in my calendar means I know when it will be done, if my timelines can be hit and when things can be moved to if they need to be. Also get fun reminders on my phone to get doing it!

Sunnyjac Wed 18-Oct-17 18:22:23

I need these, please keep them coming. Great post OP!

TheRealGussieFinkNottle Wed 18-Oct-17 22:10:36

Just bumping this. Thanks sooo much everyone for your tips so far smile

Corcory Thu 19-Oct-17 00:35:11

I try and do more than one thing at once - for instance I collect things to go up the stairs then take them all up together and put them away in the right places. Saves going up and down the stairs loads. I also do things like put the washing machine on first thing as it will take the longest and I can get more loads done in the day. I make a list then do all the 'easy' quick things first and score them out so I feel I have achieved some thing.

nowwheredidmyunicorngo Thu 19-Oct-17 01:00:04

Don't respond to email messages immediately - unless of course it's properly urgent (but if it was, they would have called you).

Your reply will reach the sender, who will reply again, and so on.

Only have max 10 messages in your inbox at the end of each working day.

Arrange times to call people - saves faffing about missing each other.

Don't watch TV (or streaming or whatever). Or don't watch too much anyway.

Have timers on your internet if you don't have self discipline to stay away from your favoured sites, twitter, face ache, MN, whatever it might be.

melj1213 Thu 19-Oct-17 02:33:00

can take me 10 minutes to write an email because I never know what to say

I find that a blank page can be really intimidating when trying to start something but if there's something already on the page that I just need to edit (even if those edits end up being a total re-write of everything by themail time I finish the process) I find it so much easier to get going.

To help that I devised a few general "email templates" that I keep saved in my draft folder so that when I get an email I have to reply to I can just copy and paste a template and then "edit" it into what I want to say rather than starting from scratch each time. If I need to reply to something I don't have a template for then I will just do an "information dump" and bulletpoint everything I need to cover in the email and then use that list to expand into sentences and paragraphs to make up a cohesive and coherent email.

I try and do more than one thing at once

I do this too to try and be efficient and because it gives me mini goals to work towards. So if I put the washing machine on a quick cycle I will then have 30 minutes to get the washing up done, wipe down the kitchen surfaces, sweep the floor and take the bins out before I need to get the washing out and hang it out. Or if I'm going upstairs to put away laundry I will bring anything else up that is sitting at the bottom of the stairs and then when I go back down I will take the next pile of laundry to go in the washing machine or the bedroom bins that need emptying etc

Gingernaut Thu 19-Oct-17 02:50:28

I have ADHD-PI and have unwittingly adopted coping strategies for organising myself before I knew what I was doing has a name.

Launch pad - a little area which has to have everything laid out for the following day.

I have a trinket box for the contents of my coat pockets, a small area of carpet for my bag and a special place for the keys.

When I arrive home, I sort out the shopping/contents of my bag, put everything back where I know I'll find it, try to think about what I need for the following day and get it ready.

I am using my phone to make notes - I've got Microsoft Onenote which I'm trying to get the hang of...confused

TheRealGussieFinkNottle Thu 19-Oct-17 10:44:38

Just bumping this again - thanks so much everyone smile

TheRealGussieFinkNottle Thu 19-Oct-17 16:42:47

Bump smile

PamplemousseRouge Thu 19-Oct-17 22:01:59

All great tips - watching this thread with interest OP.

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