Sunday, September 14, 2008

Institute Committees Retreat - Time Management Workshop

This weekend I went on a retreat with all of the people who are on committees at the University of Utah Institute of Religion. It was a lot of fun. Saturday morning we had workshops, and one of them that I attended was on time management. (I can use all the help I can get!) We got a couple handouts that I thought other people might appreciate.

Time management
"You can't make more time--only better choices"
[Since it was it quotes, I wondered who said it. I looked it up online, and I think it's by Tommy Newberry, who wrote a book called Success is Not an Accident.]

Minimize wasted time
Work smarter
Reduce stress
Experience peace

Vital Time: The quantity of time you invest in principle-based, goal-directed activities.

Vital Time Tactics
[She said a lot of these we may have heard before, but if we don't actually do them, then knowing them won't do us any good.]

1. Overcome procrastination
Procrastination, which is the delaying of higher priority tasks in favor of lower priority ones, is more responsible for frustration, stress, and underachievement than any other single factor.
[Am I a feeler or a doer? Be a doer! JUST GET STARTED. Try putting blocks of personal time into your schedule so that you're not tempted to do the stuff you want to at times when you really need to be doing something else.]

2. Organize your workspace
Most disorganization tends to come from indecision, not being able to decide if a piece of paper or some other information is important or not, and if it is, what to do with it.

3. Handle reading material effectively
When you are reading or reviewing correspondence, stand up. Your mind will stay more focused and alert and you'll get done much faster.

4. Handle everything once, and only once
Don't pick up the same task, the same piece of paper, or even the same phone call twice. Pick it up, take care of it, then bring it to a close and go onto the next one.

5. Delegate
Choose the best people. Knowing when to delegate, whom to delegate to, and how to delegate will come more naturally with continued practice. Delegating jobs that neither you nor anyone else wants to do [?] it's delegating, it's assigning.

6. Control your phone calls
Don't be a slave to the phone. Use it as a tool. Ignore it completely if you are involved in an important task. When you call somebody leave a call back time as well. [She suggested we turn our cellphones off sometimes. Like when we're working on a paper, or whatever. I guess studying at the library is a good idea, because I get no reception there. Not that I get a ton of phone calls anyway.]

7. Manage interruptions
Designate specific times for interruptions. Put a hotel "do not disturb" sign on your door, or move your work to a place where you won't be disrupted. [She said when we are interrupted while focusing on something, studies show that it takes 20 minutes to get back to being focused and totally productive. She said if you're interrupted 3 times during an hour...]

8. Batch similar tasks
Set aside certain days to do similar tasks such as work, homework, errands. Save errands and do them all at once, or in a specific area of town.
9. Block out chunks of time
The more important your work becomes the more important it becomes for you to develop blocks of time where you and work on serious projects without interruption. [She suggests we plan our week, and then also, even more importantly, plan your day the night before.]

10. Run masterful meetings
Know the purpose. Is the meeting absolutely necessary? Develop a written agenda. Prepare for the meeting. Lead the meeting effectively.

Use the extra time you've freed up to:
- Spend quality and quantity time with those you love
- Work on important goals and plans
- Simply rest, relax and rejuvenate

Schedule quiet, unbroken blocks of time.

Join the 5 o'clock club [She said they've studied this, and people who are up at 5 am accomplish more between then and 8 or 9 am than the people who get up at 8 or 9 am will accomplish in their entire day.] [These sorts of things always kind of make me wish that I didn't work nights, because what do I even compare that to?]

Block out 3-4 hours once a week.
Create places/spaces where you won't be interrupted.


1. Determine how much your time is currently worth. How much do you want it to be worth?

2. Make a list of your top 3 highest payback activities, both personally and professionally.

3. Keep a log of your time for the next 2 weeks (use 15 minute increments).

4. Brainstorm 20 ways you can specifically improve your personal time management.

"No matter who you are your progress and ultimate success in life will depend more on what you do with the 24 hours you're given each day than on any other single factor."

[This is also from Newberry. I checked.]


Olympus said...

I really like the idea of the getting up early thing (though I've heard it referred to as the 6:00 Club), but Keith P. has a quote on his facebook that I completely agree with ... "early to bed, early to rise, makes your girlfriend date other guys." Maybe I'll start doing that once I'm married. :D

jcarroll said...


Thanks for the post. I hope you figured out how to use your new clock; er, I mean, "how to use time."

Any scriptures to accompany all those snippets of advice? Was it a conference in connection with institute?


Addison Conroy said...

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