Time Saving Tips For Work and Play this Holiday Season

Time management can be a challenge during the holidays.  Work demands continue, personal to do’s pile up yet many just want to relax as the year winds down.

The time crunch is being more acutely felt this year:

  • those in jobs feel overstretched (a result of the lean and mean approach by many employers looking to survive the recession) and
  • those not in jobs feel compelled to continue job searching over the holidays (for more on Smart Career Strategies Over the Holidays, tune into my career segment on Morning Living SIRIUS 112/XM 157 Wed 12/15/09 8am ET.)

To help you get it all done this holiday season, here are some of my favorite time saving tips:

  • Get your to do’s out of your head.  This was a key insight from my interview with time management guru David Allen on Making a Living.  It takes a lot of brain space to maintain a to do list so free up your own mental productivity by capturing what’s in your head and organizing those to do’s in your calendar.   You’ll be better able to focus on the task at hand when you’re not thinking about the other 10 to do’s on your list.  Click below to learn more about David Allen’s very effective Getting Things Done approach.
  • Start each day with a plan.  When I was working on consulting projects at Arthur Andersen I learned that you need to “go slow to go fast”.  In other words, an hour of planning is worth a week of doing.  It can feel more productive to get started but doing the task correctly the first time will lead to less rework later.  For more great time saving tips from project managers click here.
  • Overestimate completion time.  Being an optimist, I often plan for the best outcome to my projects and activities.  However, sometimes thing take more time than I’ve allotted and the ensuing time crunch becomes yet another thing on my to do list to manage.  I’ve learned to be more conservative in my estimates and put more space into my calendar between appointments.  And on those days when things go smoothly, I enjoy the extra time by calling a friend or enjoying a quiet cup of tea.  It’s a win-win rather than a lose-lose.

“Find a job your like and you add five days to every week.” – H. Jackson Browne

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