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HR That Works

Strategies and Tools that Will Inspire Great HR Practices for Your Agency and Clients!


Don Phin Don Phin , 4/14/2014
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Do you find yourself over scheduled and overwhelmed? Did last week seem like a complete blur — just another seven days marked off the calendar of your life? Have you convinced yourself that “there’s not a minute to spare?” Are you surrounded by time and labor-saving devices undreamed of in the past, yet have little or no time to get it all done? 

Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. If it seems that you don’t have enough time in your life (never mind just the workday) consider these suggestions:

  1. Beware of over-commitment. Resist the temptation to turn every impulse or opportunity into another appointment. It’s OK to say “no.” For example, you can say “I have a policy against doing more than five appointments in a week.”
  2. Focus on critical time commitments and eliminate trivial ones. If you manage your daily to-do lists, you’ll often cross off the easiest items first even though they’re relatively unimportant. Reduce your list to no more than six critical items and take care of them before you even consider the trivial tasks.
  3. Throw away those magazines and cancel your subscriptions. If you haven’t gotten around to reading them yet, the chances are that they simply create unneeded pressure. Either trash them or donate them to the public library. When you need information, go get it! 
  4. Duck out whenever you can get away with it. Use a cancelled appointment as an opportunity to spend some time for yourself. Resist the temptation to fill up the void with yet another commitment. 
  5. Carve out time for yourself. Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour before the day begins, or an hour or two in the evening, it’s essential to create some personal time. Calendar this as you would any other appointment.

There’s a fine balance between who we are and what we do. Maintaining a sense of balance requires a clear assessment of priorities and a plan to stay focused. As Stephen Covey notes, your goal is to work on critical issues in a non-urgent manner. Do this, and you’ll expand time, too.