Monday, January 2, 2006

Learn to Manage Your 36 Hour Day

Here's another article Dawn, our intrepid Project Manager, has written on learning to mange your time better. I emphasize "YOUR TIME" because, frankly I manage my time perfectly, thank you very much. For instance, it took me just short of an hour to track down this photo of a baby burger, upload it to our photo hosting site and post it in this blog... no one can accuse me of wasting company time.

Read on people, you might learn something. As for me I'm off to find photos of shaved cats before I go to lunch.


We live in a fast-paced society. We have fast food restaurants, quick cook meals, express lanes at the grocery store, quick sew patterns and computers
which are valued for their speed. Now we fax it and communicate by email. Cell phones and pagers go off, linking us constantly to home and work. We are called
upon to be more and do more than ever before. Our choices are many and varied. The words stress and burnout, rarely heard in our grandparents' day, are
applied easily to us as we dash out the door to attend one more meeting.

We are all hurried at one time or another. We eat a quick meal so we can rush out the door with our spouses and children, trying desperately to keep up with our commitments. Our project at work was due yesterday, there are phone calls to return and we are behind in our paperwork. Our home is cluttered and full of work left undone. We find that a 'once-in-a-while' hurried day becomes a habit. The habitual hurried state then becomes a part of our character and we become what we neverintended to be, a hurried, frazzled human being.

When we find ourselves picking up speed and the stress begins to build, that's a perfect time to take a long look at what is happening in our lives. One excellent way to discover how we use our time is by keeping a time log. We each have 24 hours per day so we want to use each moment wisely.

You say there is no time to keep a time log? That's precisely the point! When we deny ourselves the time it takes to make our lives better, then our priorities need to be rearranged. A time log can be of great benefit.

Do something just for yourself this week. Purchase a small notebook you can carry with you. For seven days, write down how you spend your time for each of the 24 hours. Make two columns. In the left-hand column, write the time. In the right-hand column, write down the activity in which you were engaged during that time period. Remember, you are doing this for yourself, so do it as completely and
accurately as possible.

At the end of seven days, take some quiet time by yourself to look over your notebook entries. Begin to analyze what you see. The following are some questions you could ask yourself as you survey your log:
* Am I trying to fit 36 hours worth of work into 24 hours per day?
* Do I have time to take care of home responsibilities or am I too busy in other areas?
* How many hours did I spend at work this week? Make sure to include the time you spent with work you took home at night and on weekends.
* Is unnecessary time on the Internet or the telephone chewing up precious minutes?
* Are there spaces in my day which allow me time to think ahead and to plan for the next day, the next week?
* Do I allow any time for myself each day to relax and unwind?
* Do I have one day per week I can use to rest, relax
and be rejuvenated?
* Am I allowing myself enough time to get a full night's sleep so I awake refreshed?

A time log can reveal a great deal about ourselves. How we use our time reflects what we actually value. After looking at your log, you may notice some areas which you want to keep as your top priorities, Sometimes our families, which we want as a top priority, may be only getting your leftover time and energy.

***I tried unsuccessfully to find the the name of the photographer who took the burger baby photo.***