CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

November 6, 2015 - 9:43am -- Anonymous

We’ve had a beautiful fall and I hope you were able to enjoy your favorite activities with family and friends.  As the holidays approach, it seems life becomes a little more hectic with the added opportunities.  Talk about the things that are really important in your family and then use some of the ideas below to work them into your schedule.  Some of these are work-related and some for the home, but the underlying time management principles can be used in most situations.

  • Make use of a calendar, a weekly planner and/or a daily “to do” list.  Before going home or before going to bed, make a list of things to accomplish the next day.
  • Decide which things you must do yourself and delegate the rest.  Then, prioritize your list for the week.  Let family members help accomplish household chores so that holiday activities can be enjoyed.
  • Identify & eliminate “time wasters” in your life, both at home and at work.
  • Learn to say “NO”.  Practice with, “If that is more important, which of these things would you like to wait till next week?”  or “No, I can’t do it today, but I can get to it by Friday.”
  • Use small blocks of time to break down larger tasks.  Try cleaning the kitchen one drawer/cupboard at a time or take your shopping list with you to work on while you wait for a sports or music event.  If you send cards, this is also a task to take with you to work on while you wait.
  • Recognize your peak work time.  Are you a morning or afternoon person?  When do you get the most accomplished?  Organize your task list based on your energy level, scheduling the most challenging tasks during your peak time.
  • Expect interruptions, but get back on task.  Make quick notes to remind yourself of where you are.  I love post-it notes, they help keep me on task with one word reminders.
  • Get organized.  Clear a space where you’ll be able to work best.  Put things that you need nearby so you are not disrupted by retrieving items you need.  Think about this for children and their homework also.
  • Don’t procrastinate.  Tackle the hardest things first.  Putting them off only creates more stress and deadline performance.
  • It’s ok to close the door and hold the calls.  Explain to your office or family, that you just need X amount of hours to get the task done.
  • Don’t expect perfection with every task.  Worrying about what color paper or which font to use can overwhelm when in the end, it’s the information that’s important.
  • Reward yourself and others when projects are completed on time.

I also just received an article that talked about down time.  The author indicated that we get so busy doing and running, that we fail to process and learn from experiences.  She encourages all of us to recognize the value of processing time and to actually make time in our schedules to be able to reflect on the information and opportunities that we may have.  Changes in habits take time, but I challenge you to try one new thing this week and see if it makes a difference for you and your family!