Sunday, October 2, 2011

Your Schedule Without A Schedule

Suppose your job required all the same duties and responsibilities you have now, but without any sort of set hours for vacation time. How would you divide up your day? What sort of hours would you work?

These aren't just purely hypothetical "pie-in-the-sky" question. With more and more companies switching to flexible work schedules, remote employment, and unlimited vacation, there may be room for you to design a lifestyle or career that's more efficient than the one you have now. And even if you don't have control over your own schedule yet, thinking about things in these terms can help you to make more of the time you do have it your office and workplace.  After all, we should have systems for everything we do.

Here are a few things to consider:

We all have different natural cycles.  Whether you love mornings, late night working, or something in between, there's a good chance that your "natural schedule" doesn't exactly match that of your coworkers. Are there parts of your job that require you to be critical and focused? Could you do them faster or better by changing the times at which you do them?

Grouping tasks is almost always more efficient.  Multitasking, once a corporate buzzword, is now looked down upon by many time management and productivity experts, myself included. That's because it's almost always faster – and better – to do one thing at a time, and do it well, then it is to try to spread your attention over half a dozen projects. If you can answer all of your e-mail messages at once, for example, or return phone calls in a certain time slot, you'll save time and be more effective.

Routines can be a good thing.  People sometimes complain about having to go through a "daily routine," but that's only a bad thing if you don't like what you're doing. In other cases, it can make you a lot more productive, because your mind quickly gets used to doing certain tasks at certain times. For instance, if you set a habit of making sales calls each morning at 10 a.m., then you'll quickly learn to anticipate and adjust. Before long, you'll feel strange if you don't take care of that activity, even if it was one you didn't previously enjoy.

In today's changing workplace, you probably have more control (or at least input) over your schedule than you think. Give some thought to how you could better organize your day, and then work with your managers and coworkers to see if there are ways to make your working day easier and more efficient.  It can be a good idea to get everyone on the same page with a group time management seminar.

Thanks to Key Organization / Productivity Today

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