Managing time effectively

Managing time effectively is a key to getting more done, and getting it done better.  Allocating our efforts among the many tasks demanding attention is difficult.  Employing the time allotted is even more difficult.

Allocating the time

Allocating time requires scheduling.  It goes beyond just figuring out what to do next.  It means blocking out time for tasks over a planning period.

When scheduling tasks, consider these factors:  importance; urgency; duration.  Ask how important the task is to our mission.  Ask what the deadline is for the task.  Ask how long the task will take.

Allotting enough time for a task means that you only have to pull files, set up, close down, and put away files once for that task.

Employing the time

Employing the time requires concentrating.  Most important is to avoid interruptions.  Every interruption costs time, because it breaks concentration.  It adds overhead to timekeeping.

Some interruptions are inevitable, but some can be avoided.  Avoid distractions:  give your full attention to the task at hand.  “Multitasking” can mean mistakes.  Distractions such as listening to the radio, talking on the phone, and chatting should not be indulged while working.  Punch out.

Setting aside time

Set aside concentration time for productive work.  At least three hours each day should be set aside so.  The smallest block of concentration time should be one hour.  During each block of concentration time, interruptions will be controlled.

Three simple steps:  allocate time; employ time, and set aside time, form the ladder that you will climb to your goals.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Move the earth

Give me a place to stand, and I will move the earth.

I can’t write to you today without acknowledging the turmoil sweeping over our country.  A virus is ravaging our population.  Unemployment and financial hardship are depressing our society.  Fear and fire are scarring our cities.  The whole planet is clenched in a paroxysm of death and devolution.  Is this the apocalypse?  I don’t think so.

I do think that we are living through an era of frightening uncertainty.  What can we do?

Archimedes made his offer to move the earth based on the power of a lever.  This is a time for us to look for what leverage is available to us.

In a time of quarantine and sheltering in place, it’s natural to want to withdraw from the world.  That won’t make things better.

One thing we can do is to make our own position as solid as we can.  When the gale winds blow and the riptides flow, will we be the ones swept away and crying for help?  Or will we be the ones offering shelter to those we love?

As citizens, we have a duty to engage with our polity—to stand for civility, and justice, and conservation.  All this is best done with a settled mind.  And a settled mind is best achieved with a well-founded place to stand.

We moved the office!

After more than twenty years downtown, I’ve moved the office to South Austin. We’re now on Ben White Boulevard, just west of South First. I miss downtown, but I like the easy drive and free open parking. You should come see us some time.

You don’t have to come here to see us. One good change fosters another. I’m now offering video consultations and other ways that we can conduct business virtually. You can visit us virtually, but you can be sure that our work for you will be real. That won’t change.