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Archive for the ‘Time Management’ Category

Procrastination Infographic

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on January 8, 2013

It’s the first full week of the New Year… Are you Procrastinating already? Online Classes.org has a great Infographic on College Students and Procrastination. But, I think it is applicable to all of us who struggle with Procrastination.
Internships Infographic

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5 Ways To Use A Timer

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on November 1, 2011

   

Purchase at My Clever Container Shop item# 0544

Purchase at My Clever Container Shop item# 0416

  1. Use a timer to get you started on something that feels overwhelming. Set it for 5 minutes to just get started.

  2. Use a timer to keep you moving. For example, if you want to clean several rooms in the house, set the timer for a 20 minute work session in each room.

  3. Use the timer to create a sense of urgency. Only allow yourself 45 minutes to work on or finish up a project.

  4. Use the timer to take a break. Set your timer for a 5 – 10 minute break several times a day.

  5. Use the timer to track your time use. Increase your time estimation skills by actually timing how long certain routine tasks really take. For example – do you know how long you really take in the bathroom? Time it and find out!

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Simplify The Holidays

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on November 16, 2010

The holidays are once again upon us. And, for many people it can be a very stressful time of year. This year I would like to challenge you. Instead of trying to create the perfect holiday, use some of these tips to help you create a memorable yet stress-free holiday for you and your family.

  • If preparing the perfect homemade holiday meal stresses you out. Consider letting the cooks at Costco, Sam’s Club, Giant, or Safeway cook all or part of your holiday feast.

  • Set a limit on holiday parties this year. Just because you are invited to 5 parties every year doesn’t mean that you have to go to all of them. Choose the 1 or 2 you really want to attend and send your regrets to the others.

  • Do you tell yourself every year that you will send out holiday cards on time but can never get organized enough to get them out at all?  If sending out cards is really important to you. Buy a pack of cards and then gather your stamps and return address labels. Keep them all together where you open your mail. Then, when you receive a card in the mail, you can immediately send them one back without having to search for their address. Everything you need will be right there!

  • Simplify gift giving this year by planning what you’ll buy before you go shopping. Whether you shop online or in the stores it’s important to start with a list of who you are shopping for, what their interests are, and how much you want to spend. Shopping with a list can save you a lot of stress  and worry when the bills arrive in the New Year.

  • There is nothing worse than having a bored child at home for the holidays. So, have a plan in place to keep the kids busy. Let your kids help with the holidays by giving them a cooking or crafts project to do. Instead of being leashed to your electronics – cut the cord and do something special with the whole family. For creative ideas on how to keep the kids busy for the holidays, read: Kid’s holiday activities: ways to keep children busy.

  • If you want your house to be beautiful for the holidays (or at least presentable) but don’t have the time, skills, or inclination to make it happen, consider hiring a cleaning service. If you are worried that you have too much clutter to deal with first, call a professional organizer to help clear the way for the cleaners to clean. Concerned about the cost? Make it an early holiday present from your spouse : )

  • Don’t plan to get much work done during the holidays. Between the holiday parties and vacation days no one spends much time getting substantive work done. Try to clear the decks of important work before the holidays are in full swing so that you are freed up to handle the low hanging fruit.

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The Importance of Deadlines

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on June 24, 2010

I’m always surprised by the number of professionals who tell me that they are not given deadlines by their supervisor for projects and tasks that they are responsible for. Having no deadline is the kiss of death for an employee with ADHD. Without deadlines tasks seem endless, overwhelming and lack urgency.

So, if your boss does not give you a deadline, ask for one or assign a deadline for yourself. I know, it’s very difficult to stick to a deadline that you assign yourself. Without the external pressure your brain may have difficulty “activating”.  Planning, accountability and rewards may give you the push you need.

Planning backwards from your deadline, carefully estimate how long you think each step of the project will take and put each step on your calendar. Choose a friend, colleague, or coach to be accountable to and schedule a reward for when you meet your deadline.

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Are You Setting Goals?

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on May 22, 2010

You may think it’s a waste of time, but I can tell you from experience that setting goals is a necessity for success!

When you were a kid and your coach was trying to teach you how to hit a baseball what was the first thing he or she told you?

Keep your eye on the ball!

In other words, your goal was to hit the ball and your coach taught you to keep your eye on your goal to increase your chances of success.

If you are not experienced with setting goals here are 10 tips to help you get started:

1. Write your goals down and make them visible. It may sound simple but it can be very powerful. Research shows that goals are more likely to be accomplished if they are in writing. Writing your goals down gives you a sense of ownership and helps cement them into your brain. If writing is too linear for you, try drawing your goals or creating a mind map for a more creative approach.

2. Make your goals compelling.
It’s important that your goals are meaningful to you. Consider what it is that you really want in life and what are you’re motivated to work towards? It’s also important to make sure that your goals are what you want and not what others want for you.

3. Write your goals in positive terms.
In other words, you should state what you want – not what you don’t want. For example, “I don’t want to be fat anymore” is saying what you don’t want, but, “I want to weigh 120 pounds” is telling your brain what you do want.

4. Make sure your goals have a specific outcome and a specific action plan to achieve that outcome.
Use these questions to help you create a very specific goal:

  • What will my outcome be and how will I achieve it?
  • Where and when will this happen?
  • Who else will be involved?
  • Why is this important to me?

Ex: I will walk at the track, for 30 minutes, 3 times a week with my kids and dog right after work to lower my cholesterol.

To create an action plan it’s important to focus on your Next Action Steps. Ask yourself what physically needs to be done to accomplish your goal? Do you need to make a phone call, do some research, find something or run an errand? Thinking about the next action step helps to break your plan into small manageable pieces.

5. Consider your values and what’s important to you when you’re setting goals.
Say you were to set the goal that you wanted to get a promotion at work, which you know will require you to work longer hours. If one of your values is keeping family time sacred; this may present a conflict that you should think about before setting that goal.

6. Your goals also need to be realistic for your current situation.
If your goal at age 45 is to be a concert pianist and you’ve had little or no piano training, that probably won’t be very realistic considering your current age and the fact that you’ve had no formal training. You need to set goals that are challenging yet, attainable for you.

7. Give your goals a deadline.
Creating a deadline gives you a sense of motivation and urgency. If you set a goal like, “I want to get my PhD”; specifying a time in which to accomplish this will give you something to work towards.

8. Make sure your goals are flexible.
One of the main reasons that people don’t set goals is they believe goals have to be rigid. But, people and situations change. That’s why goals should be continually reviewed & reassessed. The goals that you set today may or may not be relevant to your life next year. So, make sure your goals are flexible enough to change with your circumstances.

9. You should have support for your goals.
Enlist the aid of a friend, a colleague, or coach to be accountable to and to cheer you on when things get rough.

10. Your goals should be prioritized.
Most people today tend to have a lot of things they want to accomplish and they all appear to be equally important. Unfortunately, you can’t do everything at once, so you have to put first things first by prioritizing your goals.

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Stop Living in Your Email

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on April 21, 2010

Let’s face it, unless you are in an emergency services field, it’s probably not critical for you to check your email every minute of the day. Chances are if you are living in your in-box, constantly responding to incoming messages, you are really not getting much vital work done.

An incoming email message presents that sense of urgency that the ADD brain craves to stay activated. It’s exciting when a new message pops up.

I think that ego also plays a part in our obsession with email. When someone sends us an email they want something from us. They want our advice, our expertise, our opinion. Each message is a possible stroke to our ego and it feels good to be needed.

But, if you want to start getting some real work done, try these tips to use your email more productively.

  • Be proactive with email instead of reactive. You need to make a conscious decision about when to check and respond to email.
  • Check your email a maximum of once an hour.
  • Turn off your email message indicator. Click HERE to learn how to turn off Outlook’s email indicator.
  • Train others to use the subject line to indicate if they need you to take action on something.
  • Under promise and over deliver. Always set a deadline for when you will get back to someone or you may be likely to procrastinate. If you think that it will take you one day to get back to someone, tell them you will get back to them in two days to give yourself a buffer.
  • If you are using Outlook, set up email from important people (like your boss) to be marked as a certain color when they come in. Click HERE to learn how.
  • Move emails that don’t’ require action into a reference folder immediately.
  • Minimize your email screen or click out of it completely at least once a day.
  • Practice the art of brevity. If you require an action or response from someone put it in the subject line. Ask for what you need in the beginning of the message and try to limit your message to 3 – 4 bullet points explaining what you want.

Remember – your importance is not measured by the number of emails you receive, but the quality of work that you produce.

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Make Your To Do List More Doable

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on April 16, 2010

Let’s face it we all get a little rebellious when it seems like our to-do list is telling us to do something we don’t particularly want to do.

It’s like you can almost hear your mom’s voice saying “Kim, you have to clean your room!” and that rebellious 14-year-old comes out fighting.

But as adults we all have to do things we don’t really want to do. And, when mom isn’t standing there threatening to take away our TV privileges, it becomes our responsibility to get ourselves to do what we need to do.

My recommendation is to make your to-do list doable by choosing your language carefully and noting why you want or need to do a particular task.

For example, instead of putting: “Pay Bills” or “Workout”, you may want to put:” I will pay my bills so that I can improve my credit rating” or “I want to workout so that I will feel healthier and more focused today”

It’s miraculous how much we can get done when we don’t feel like we are being told what to do and we remind ourselves why we are doing it.

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What High School Can Teach Us About Time Management

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on April 9, 2010

Do you remember the structure of high school? That’s what a lot of us are missing in the workplace.

In high school we had structured periods to work on one subject at a time and bells to tell us when to stop and move to the next subject. We even had scheduled breaks and time for lunch.

Here’s how you can put some of the structure from high school into your workday.

  • Get to work and leave at the same time each day.
  • Plan an extracurricular activity for after work so that you are more likely to stop work and leave on time.
  • Set up blocks of work like classes and only work on that task/project during that time frame.
  • Use alarms to keep you moving from task to task.
  • Plan a lunch period and give yourself breaks in between tasks.

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