Practical Strategies, Professional Development, Service Coordination

10 Tips for Organizing & Prioritizing! – Part II

Last week we posted 3 tips to help you get organize and prioritize your many work duties. These tips involved organizing lists, prioritizing yourshutterstock_126123155 work, and using tickler systems. Here are 3 more tips for managing your time!

Tip #4: Follow the 3 minute rule (or 5 minute rule or whatever time you set for yourself)

  • Will it take 3 minutes or less to complete without breaking my workflow?
  • Decide if you can do one of the following in 3 minutes or less:
    • Act on it
    • Refer or delegate it
    • File it
    • Set it aside to read for later
    • Throw it away if it isn’t something you need
  • Bonus tip….this rule works great when deciding to accept/return phone calls and/or emails!

Tip #5: Take a temporary “time out” or establish a “quiet zone” when needed

  • Sometimes a time out is time for a mental break and sometimes it is a scheduled block of quiet time that you give yourself on a daily and/or weekly basis to play catch up on miscellaneous activities and/or activities that require extra time.
  • If you work in an office where there is a lot of activity you can create a fun and/or quirky sign that you put on your door (or the back of your chair if you don’t have a door) to let others know that you wish not to be disturbed at this time.

Tip #6: Save 30 minutes at the end of each day to wrap-up your paperwork

  • Use this time to finish documentation for the day’s activities or reply to emails and phone messages. This helps you stay on top of your work and avoid getting “behind.”.
  • Block off this time in your calendar to avoid scheduling other activities at the same time.
  • If it works better for you, block time at the start of the day.
  • Another option might be blocking one afternoon a week to catch up on paperwork. However you do it, planning time for completing your desk work can be a great way to stay on top of it!

The next post in this series will describe tips for taking charge of your phone calls, emails, and calendar!

What strategies do you use to manage your time? How do you keep up with completing your papework?

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Sarah 8.2012Sarah Nichols is an Early Intervention Consultant for the Early Intervention Training Program at the University of Illinois (formerly the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program).  She has been working in the field of Early Intervention since the year 2000. She was a service coordinator for seven years and she has been a training consultant for the Early Intervention Training Program in Illinois since 2002. Sarah assists in the development of web-based learning opportunities, manages the Early Intervention Training Program website, facilitates state and national webinars, and develops and manages online workspaces for early interventionists, training consultants, and members of the Early Intervention-Early Childhood Professional Development Community of Practice (EI-EC PD CoP). Sarah is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) and she is currently a Co-Leader for the DEC Professional Development Special Interest Group (DEC PD SIG) .

 

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