Saving time for the fun stuff

10 Jun

Whoops. Where did June 10 go that I missed my exciting reminder to #blogJune

Slackness. Time management is obviously a skill I need to refine.

Ironically the other day after catching up with some Faculty staff for lunch, I was told I had created that day’s best “takehome” with some advice about email management for saving time.

I mentioned that I have been leaving non urgent email until the end of the day, then sorting it by subject and finding that for many email strings I only have to read the last in the series to be up to date. This is in contrast to my previous practice of responding to email at regular periods of the day. Some threads shared amongst librarians become almost more about the ‘drama’ of an issue, than about the work practices or outcomes required. One I had had the week before had had 47 emails on the one topic, only 2 of which required an action or provided data relevant to the subject (and hence the other members of the email thread). So I am saving both my time, and others, by not joining in too early.

This led to a great discussion about Inbox Zero, and simple remedies to change your work habits to gain yourself time. We all agreed that the one of the best is simply to turn off instant notifications of new mail. Even if you don’t have the immediate response that people with short attention spans like mine have, it still provides gains in focussing on other tasks uninterrupted.

So everyone – what’s the advice that most improved your time management at work?


2 Responses to “Saving time for the fun stuff”

  1. flexnib June 12, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    I really love that suggestion about leaving non-urgent stuff to later. I dont have any great ideas to share though, apart from my occasional curt phonecalls to people guilty of writing long emails with no discernible point to ask them what the point of their last email was, and if there was some actual action they needed me to take?! Frazzled, much?

    • Ruth Baxter June 13, 2011 at 4:47 am #

      But that wastes your time too. Just send all future emails to a folder marked “Read before leaving office only” 🙂 My email client gets updated on Wed and then I am going to be able to set up filters. Can’t wait!

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