Time management tips, tales, truths.
“If a freelancer tells you they are up against a deadline, then you know that it’s time to back off and give them some space so that they can get your work done.”
And yet… sometimes deadlines are missed.
“Nearly all freelancers miss a deadline sooner or later. It may be due to a family emergency, an unforeseen circumstance like an extended power outage, poor estimating, or even personal illness. Whatever the cause, you need to take some immediate steps to try and preserve your client relationship. Here’s what you should do:
If you’ve been reliable in the past (or if you have an excellent reputation), most clients will understand the rare emergency and you won’t lose the work. After all, your client is a person too. They understand that things beyond your control sometimes happen.”
It’s December 30th. By now we’ve seen a lot of awesome year-end summaries. I’m not talking about best-of lists. I’m talking about those individuals who are able to account for what happened in their lives or businesses or projects every month of the year.
I’m not sure I think people who do this do more than those of us who don’t. But it just feels more present in some way. What I’m saying is… I’m jealous. I cannot list which month many of my major moments or accomplishments or… setbacks happened unless there was an invoice attached or a hospital bill (I kid!).
Now… being able document is not the same as being able to plan or even prioritize. I’m not suggesting and meticulous annual summaries mean you’re doing what’s important to you or even something good.
But if reading these summaries makes you feel good, imagine what writing them feels like.
“…That simple tip is the difference between freelancers who simply do their work and freelancers who excel at their work. It’s not about you, it’s not about your ego, it’s not about your skills or experience. It’s always about making the client look good.”
“Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator.” -Robert Orben
“…Tablets were designed to be consumption devices, for the most part, so it’s easy to get distracted when you have a bunch of games staring back at you from a beautiful, glossy screen. Additionally, if you mix your productivity apps in with everything else you’ll have a hard time locating the app that you need. For these reasons, it’s helpful to have an entire page on your home screen dedicated to getting things done. This way you can flick over to that page during the work day and flick back when you’re done.”
Managing time often means managing communications:
“Organize Your Daily Communication. Your workspace isn’t the only thing that requires organization. If you’re not organizing your communication to utilize speed-appropriate channels, you’re wasting valuable time. Sometimes writing an email is the best way to handle an issue, but other times you can be more effective on something more concise like Twitter/text messaging or something more live like instant messaging. You may be able to talk through an issue much faster by actually talking about it in person. Before choosing to communicate using your default means, think about what the fastest and most effective method would be. Once you start sorting your communication effectively, you’ll free up much more of your time to do the work you need to get done.”
Time management may not be a strength of mobile workers if this is true: “mobile workers put in 240 more hours a year than non-mobile employees. One in four mobile employees sleep less than six hours a night…”
But there are pros and cons.
The iPass survey revealed that mobile workers put in 240 more hours a year than non-mobile employees. One in four mobile employees sleep less than six hours a night with one in three claiming less sleep because of work. 60 percent also blame work for not getting as much exercise as they should.
Check out the infographic below and let us know what you think.
Are mobile workers really working hard or hardly working?
Is the Economist trying to say something about taking time off?
Daily chart: which country’s workers have the most holiday? North Americans get less holiday than South Americans; Asians work harder than Europeans. Among the feckless workers from the old continent, those in the troubled economies of Greece, Spain and Portugal have among the most generous holiday allowances.
Productivity dashboard fever. Catch it.
» via [The Chronicle of Higher Education](http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/u-of-texas-system-posts-productivity-dashboard/39204?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en) _(Subscription may be required for some content)_
The University of Texas system today unveiled an online “dashboard” designed to demonstrate how productive its various components are. The UT System Productivity Dashboard is a key component of a comprehensive plan that the system’s chancellor, Francisco G. Cigarroa, announced in August, in part, to answer calls for greater transparency about faculty teaching and research loads.
“Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. There is no editing stage.”
“There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. There is no editing stage. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done. Once you’re done you can throw it away. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. Destruction is a variant of done. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done. Done is the engine of more.”
Messiness is next to time-wastingness.
I firmly believe in an organized desktop. After clutter collects on the desktop every few days, I’ll organize it; but an artsy desktop theme seems to help keep you organized each and every day.
“The smallest manageable thing that you can do. Because oftentimes it’s enough. And you’ll feel so much better about yourself.”
Do small things. Trust me.
Some of us get so over or underwhelmed by our ideas, dreams, and goals that we end up making no progress towards them. Some ideas are so big that they are daunting to even begin. Some ideas are so mundane as to be seen as unimportant to begin today. Some ideas are so complicated or advanced that we feel intimidated or unworthy of beginning. Just do something. Do some small thing. The smallest manageable thing that you can do. Because oftentimes it’s enough. And you’ll feel so much better about yourself.
We’re not saying don’t have fun with time management. Go crazy. But we’ve all confused buying tools with actual progress. Consumption is not productivity. At the same time…. whatever it takes, boo. If you get high on buying supplies, we’re not bad.
Ready to be filled with your 20 goals, activities, tasks or whatever you like to achieve within each month!
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“Excuse #3. I Don’t Have Time to Train Someone
…Here’s another good excuse, and I’m guilty of thinking it myself. Again, there are ways to get around this obstacle. Of course, the most obvious one is to hire someone who doesn’t need a lot of training. Other than that, here are some ideas:
Not that anybody has time management issues with email. *Whistles innocently…*
“Make sure you have a consistent set of useful behaviors in place before you try to solve your problems with plugins and apps. Is email causing you trouble because you are ignoring the basics? Do you have a habit (such as checking every time a new message arrives) or a lack of one (such as not consistently making decisions about new messages the first time you see them) that’s holding you back? Find a process to address that, and practice it consistently for 30 days before you install anything.”