Struggles With Time Management

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by SuiDhaaga, Mar 21, 2022.

  1. SuiDhaaga

    SuiDhaaga Platinum IL'ite

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    @Laks09 @MalStrom @Gauri03 @Anusha2917 @anika987

    Tagging the Mommies I know of.

    Everyone feel free to advise.

    My time management is horrible, how do I fix.

    Only recently I catch myself doing something wrong, then spending hours and hours to fix it. Sometimes it drags fir weeks, months.

    I only realize I made mistake when correcting it starts to drain what little time I have.

    Also, how. to prioritize tasks?

    Lot of times something is so pressing, but I feel I need to tidy up a pile of papers that had accumulated.

    I feel poor time management is a deal-breaker in life because you are confined to a set of tasks and are not able to expand to other things.
     
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    I have found the books of Laura Vanderkam really helpful, especially “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think”.
     
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  3. SuiDhaaga

    SuiDhaaga Platinum IL'ite

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    Ohhh I shall research this!
     
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  4. senorita2019

    senorita2019 Gold IL'ite

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    I have a to do list for each day, I create it the previous night

    whats for lunch, dinner ?
    What deliverables I should complete for work?
    Whom to call in the evening during my walk?
    What to watch on netflix at night?


    Pls have a daily to do list, u cant miss anything. As u will review daily and know your own productivity and progress.
     
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  5. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Mistakes happen. We've all been there. When you make a mistake find the lesson in it and move on.

    If the task you are doing entails the same or similar steps each time, come up with a process. Make a checklist of steps, add cross-checks and a process to validate the final outcome. If you make the same mistakes frequently add those to your checklist so you remember to double-check for them. Put your checklist up where you can see it while working. Once you are done, take some time away from the task and return to it a second time with fresh eyes and a rested brain. Use the checklist to review your work before you sign off on it. Add any lessons learned to your checklist if required. Create a procedure. Even a simple process flow can streamline execution and help avoid most mistakes.

    If you are choosing to tidy papers while you have other pressing tasks then the problem isn’t bad time management, it is avoidance. When we have underlying anxiety about a task we avoid it by doing busy work. This is the root of all procrastination. Reasons behind the anxiety could be anything — the task seems too tough, it will take too long, it will be unpleasant, you worry about failing at it, you are scared you might not do it right and so on. Next time you reach for busy work when you have actual urgent tasks to complete, catch yourself in the act. Remind yourself you are avoiding the task because you are anxious. Then pick the smallest increment of the task and tell yourself you will do it for 5 minutes. Usually getting started is all it takes to keep going.

    There are a bunch of time management techniques. Any of them if implemented consistently will improve productivity. But not every method appeals to everyone’s working style. The trick is finding the technique that you will stick to. Since you are a creative person I suggest you try out the Kanban approach.

    Put up a white board and divide it into three columns. The first is your ‘To do’ column, the second is the ‘doing’ column and the third is the ‘done’ column. It looks like this.

    IMG_7410.png

    For each task put up a sticky note in the 'to do' column. Order your to-dos by urgency, so most urgent ones at the top and least urgent ones towards the bottom. Move the top 2 or 3 sticky notes into the 'doing' column. Your ‘doing limit’ should not exceed three, meaning you cannot have more than 3 tasks in the doing column at any given time. Work on these tasks until you complete them. When you complete a task move it to the ‘done’ column. Now you can move another to-do into your 'doing' column. You get the idea. By keeping a flow of sticky notes you will have a visual map of your tasks and progress in front of you. You will feel more motivated to make progress on important tasks and will be less likely to do mindless busy work.

    You can implement the same idea using a notebook or an app (check out Trello), but somehow the act of physically moving sticky notes makes it a little more fun than using yet another app.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2022
  6. SuiDhaaga

    SuiDhaaga Platinum IL'ite

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    Great detail, will study this in a bit.
     
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  7. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @SuiDhaaga - I have hyper focus on whatever catches my interest at the moment and the associated lack of interest in everything else going around me. Over the years, I have found ways to find what works and doesn't work for me.

    I am extremely focused on certain tasks and then get exhausted as a result. I also get easily distracted when I'm doing low interest tasks. Hence, I don't multitask unless I have to. I do things one after the other.

    I also break up my day into the most productive, less productive and least productive times. I do the most important, time bound tasks when I'm most productive. Sometimes, it's my lowest interest tasks that will stay on the back burner until it becomes imperative I focus on it. Sometimes, it's my high interest tasks and those are highly motivating, so I do it anyway. I get distracted easily, so I ensure my workstation is distraction free. I even put my phone on DND so I only get calls from my DH or DD and nobody else. I wouldn't be able to focus on a cluttered place, so I keep it clean and minimal.

    When I'm least productive, usually after lunch, I try to do the things that don't need too much focus and are also not time bound. Here is when I would work on organizing my papers, schedule calls I have to make that won't require focus, talk to my friends etc.

    After the lunch slump is over, around 2:30 PM, I'm a little more productive than right after lunch. I schedule meetings around that time if possible so I don't lose my most productive times to meetings. Unless its a very important meeting with my son's team, I don't schedule anything in the mornings.

    I also have to schedule time to do my unintersting tasks - laundry/dishes etc. Otherwise I will procrastinate. I have started doing dishes as and when I cook lately. I've one set day to do the laundry/folding and on that day, I do it no matter what. I also schedule my grocery days and other tasks. If I don't have it on the schedule, I put it off and it never gets done.

    My strength is that I can focus and learn and learn, regardless of how difficult it is, if I really want to do it. My weakness is once I master something, I lose interest equally fast. Knowing this, I keep myself going by constantly being in a learning mode. Nothing else seems to motivate me as much. What motivates you? Work with your strengths and identify why you tend to not do things. If you know what motivates you to do things, you can always find ways of working that into whatever needs doing. For the rest of the tasks, you can create a weekly schedule and stick to it. I do tell myself that I cannot read until I finish my things for the day. That's sometimes a motivation for me to do my stuff.

    Good luck @SuiDhaaga! Keep us posted on what changes you made to help you with being more productive. I can sure use some more tips.
     
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  8. SuiDhaaga

    SuiDhaaga Platinum IL'ite

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    Before I was thrown into a scary situation (family member needs TAVR, a safer alternative to open-heart surgery), I resolved to write posts and submit them all on Sunday, rather than visiting often because mind wanders.

    Now that I need to be smarter on time in this scary situation, I will go through these gems

    I think processes and checklist are worthwhile.

    Got to take a deep breath, slow down, and document what I did wrong, what was right so I can follow through again.

    And i believe in waiting few days to see things with fresh set of eyes.


    I will try this 5 minute trick. Lot of these tasks are so hard, and i am prone to mistakes. But I will try it for 5 minutes (maybe reading these threads is task avoidance right now, LOL, but I need the knowledge)


    Ohhh, i like the pretty colors. I will try something like this.

    Will have to find a dedicated wall for this Kanban (I got colorful stickies already!)


    I will check Trello as well

    Wow, I would love to have that hyper focus!

    I never got into this multi-tasking bandwagon.


    Decluttering is so important to me.

    I am trying to determine which parts of the day are suited for most, less, and least productive times and do tasks accordingly.

    In my case I presume 12pm to 2pm is people's lunch hour so instead of making calls, I do other types of work

    Yeah, i notice people start to perk up after 2:30 pm.

    Gosh, I stay away from any calls, meeting in the morning, esp Monday mornings, oh my!!!

    I got to learn to schedule things, else I get squeezed at the last minute to do things.


    That is a good discipline. Yesterday i was burned out and had to disconnect even though tasks were still hanging, so I did some sewing.

    This morning I have twang of guilt that some tasks were left hanging from yesterday.

    I will try that, i.e. no x-y-z recreation till you get a-b-c tasks done.


    I certainly shall keep you guys posted. Thank you all for you help!
     
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  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    I enjoyed reading the thread especially the ways and means suggested by senior fellow members here.
    It is necessary to be conscious of the mistake done in previous attempt while redoing it after rest and relaxation for awhile.
    When I attempted work X I got headache because it was a struggle. Awhile later new idea crossed my mind to avoid making that mistake and when done with headache disappeared. Many times I noticed, shifting to another pending work or something that one loves like playing musical instrument or listening to recorded music equip the brain to think of with fresh newer approach to chronic mistakes.
    Repeated complaints from spouse & maid that flooding of floor taking place around because I don’t close the tap tight properly. Now it is my habit to keep the palm under the path of running water when I just begin turning tap to close.

    Few mistakes get corrected by that time I learn to commit new mistakes. Getting old indeed!
    GOD BLESS US ALL!
     
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