Your self-directed employment assistant

Time: Our Greatest Resource and How to Manage It

Recently I noticed that I spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to use my time; and I wanted to share a few tips and tricks that I use to manage my time:

  • Clean your workspace
    • This is a newer strategy that I implemented, and I can already tell that it is making a significant difference. Doing this allows me to start working without distracting myself or wasting time cleaning
  • Identify “peak” and “non-peak” times
    • Start by identifying your “peak” and “non-peak” times. For me, I work the best in the morning and after lunch, and I tend to work the worst after 4 PM.  This allows me to work on my most difficult tasks during my peak times.
  • Work during “peak” times
    • Whenever my brain has these times I try to accomplish as many tasks as I can. I know this may seem fairly obvious but, it helped me when I became aware of it.
  • Organize and prioritize during “non-peak” times
    • This is connected to the tip from above. Except when you can tell you are not working at your best do a simple task like clean or make a list of what work you want to do.  I like to chunk a large assignment or tasks into smaller parts and this makes my time very efficient.
  • Get all your materials ready before working
    • By this I mean get out things like pencils, papers, laptop chargers, etc. You want to be able to fully take advantage of when your brain is working at its best.  You do not want to be searching for an item and risk becoming distracted and lose all of your momentum.
  • Try to make your work fun
    • This may seem like the most difficult step, but I believe that it is the most rewarding when you can take the “work” out of your work. If it feels like less of a chore you will not neglect it (as I used to do).
  • Reward Yourself after the job is done
    • This should help the previous task a bit easier, it does not need to be an extravagant reward, it can be simple as candy or watching TV. It really helps me to have something to look forward to when I am studying

I hope you appreciated some time management strategies, I want to know about what strategies the you use to maximize your time.

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Comment by Katie Burger on November 26, 2018 at 11:23am

Thanks for sharing these strategies, Sammy! This helped me to reflect on my personal work/time management strategies. I definitely find myself organizing and cleaning my work space often. I'm unable to focus with a messy workspace. I think I need to reflect on my peak vs. non peak times, so I can better utilize those peak times. 

Thanks again :)

Comment by Adrienne Kleinman on November 12, 2018 at 7:35pm

Sammy, this blog spoke to me directly! I am one who has a hard time creating momentum if I have a large amount of time to complete a task. I often find myself waiting until the last moment! When I have bursts of mental clarity, I will utilize them to complete a whole bunch of to-do's (even items that aren't due for a while) so that I do not need to worry about them. Sometimes you have to seize those great moments of productive opportunity!   

Comment by Erika J. Kluge on November 7, 2018 at 5:55pm

Great advice Sammy! I find I pile papers and when I want to clean my space I dump them in another area, which then keeps building. I work more efficiently if there is less clutter. A strategy that has helped me some is to have a shredder and trashcan right next to my desk area.

Comment by Great Lakes ADA Center on November 7, 2018 at 11:54am

Sammy, great advice and very timely for me personally!  Thanks for sharing. I've been using some of the time management tools from the BestSelfCo. You don't need to buy their planners to use. 

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