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Strategies for Time Management and Productivity Jennifer Sintzel Learning Skills Counsellor The Student Development Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Time Management and Productivity Jennifer Sintzel Learning Skills Counsellor The Student Development Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Time Management and Productivity Jennifer Sintzel Learning Skills Counsellor The Student Development Centre

2 We cannot manage time! But we can control how we use it.

3 Management Time Self

4 Purpose of Time (Self) Management Allows you: A sense of control To pace yourself To achieve balance To make time for the things you enjoy To increase your productivity All of which….. REDUCES STRESS

5 Building Blocks of Time (Self) Management 1. Self Awareness 2. Plan Ahead 3. Establish Priorities 4. Weekly planning 5. Strategies for Getting the Most Out of your Time

6 1) Self Awareness What tasks need to be juggled? 1. Make a list of the major and minor tasks you need to complete at work on a weekly or daily basis. 2. Consider one thing youll look back on in one month and be pleased about accomplishing. 3. Consider a task(s) at work you wish you had more time to do.

7 Obstacles to Time Management Lack of or inattention to planning Unclear expectations Multiple or competing demands Being unorganized Lack of clear goals Low concentration Procrastination

8 Goal Setting Personal/Professional Values What is important to you? Do your current actions reflect your values?

9 Time Management: Building Awareness Rank your top 5 tasks/responsibilities for your profession What currently takes the most time? 1. __________ 2. __________ 3. __________ 4. __________ 5. __________ 1. ___________ 2. ___________ 3. ___________ 4. ___________ 5. ___________

10 Activity Log Activity Log ActivityTime spent per week Regular or Occasional Essential or Optional Priority: (high/ medium/ low) Consider using the following tool:

11 2) Plan Ahead! Begin by taking a big picture approach Identify and set long-term goals Break into small, manageable tasks and schedule self-set deadlines for each For example, consider Mark Twains advice… The secret of getting ahead is getting started; and the secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

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13 1) Plan Ahead! Begin by taking a big picture approach Identify and set long-term goals Break into small, manageable tasks and schedule self-set deadlines for each 3) Establish Priorities Consider the BIG things first! Regularly review what you need to complete Decide what is most important and number each in rank order When time is tight, postpone nonessential tasks

14 What are your big rocks?

15 Stephen Coveys Priority Grid URGENTNON-URGENT IMPORTANTDo it now!Timetable it for later UNIMPORTANTDo it soon after first priorities Dont worry about it

16 4) Weekly planning Begin with fixed tasks (eg. meetings) Have realistic expectations Be aware of the time it takes to complete certain tasks i.e. writing always takes more time than you expect Expect setbacks Allow for flexibility Schedule your most challenging and important tasks at the time of day when you feel most energetic Evaluate and re-set goals

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18 5) Get the most out of your time Important Factors 1. Optimize Concentration 2. Remove Distractions 3. Be Organized 4. Combat Procrastination 5. Maintain Motivation

19 1.Optimize Concentration Consider factors that help you work best: background noise, silence? Working in short, frequent chunks, or for long, uninterrupted blocks of time? Play instrumental music Chart your energy levels Work on a dreaded or complex task at least a little every day Practice self-care: sleep, nutrition, exercise

20 2. Remove distractions Check emails, text messaging, etc. during designated times only. Download web-blocking software (i.e Strict Pomodora or Waste No Time) Set aside worry time 3. Be Organized Clear desk of all paper except the specific job at hand – this invites you to think of one thing at a time Organize according to: for action, for information, for reading, for waste

21 4. Procrastination: 4. Procrastination: Putting off the doing of something intentionally or habitually Break the cycle! Ask yourself -Why am I putting this off? - How am I putting this off?

22 Why do I Procrastinate? Feeling overwhelmed Fear of being evaluated Feeling like there is plenty of time Waiting to feel the crunch Insufficient prioritizing of tasks' importance Not sure how to do the task Burnout

23 Avoidance Time Bandits: email, socializing, cell phone, working on less urgent or easier tasks…. Internal distractions: e.g. negative thinking I dont have enough time, I wont be able to do this well, I dont feel like this right now. Maybe I will later. External distractions: e.g. noise, other people How do I Procrastinate? How do I Procrastinate?

24 Overcoming Procrastination Challenge negative self-talk Record distracting thoughts Start small: Try task for five minutes, then five more Peer pressure: ask someone to check up on you Set realistic goals Give yourself a reward when you complete your tasks Remove distractions HALT (H: hungry A: angry L: lonely T: tired) Identify unpleasant consequences of not doing the task The Pleasure-Pain Principal

25 The Pleasure-Pain Principle Task: Writing Year End Report Pleasure I will have from putting off task Pain I will have from putting off task Wont have to think hard right now when I am not in the mood Ill be more motivated later when I feel the crunch. Will be able to do easier or more enjoyable tasks I will feel guilty that Im not doing work In the back of my mind Ill still worry about the work I have to do My schedule will be thrown out: wont be able to finish other tasks and/or meet deadlines now Ill have to cram and then might be very stressed and not able to achieve high quality work Hard work is often the easy work you did not do at the proper time.

26 4. Maintain Motivation 4. Maintain Motivation Think about a past experience when motivation helped you to complete a complex task. o What helped you to feel motivated? o What helped you to maintain your motivation? Other Motivation Strategies Remind yourself of your goals and values Keep a log or journal of your achievements Reward your efforts and accomplishments Take breaks Believe in yourself! Combat negative self-talk Imagine how youll feel once you have completed the task Surround yourself with supportive or motivated people Reignite your passion – attend conferences


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