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Archive for Time Management – Page 2

The Fatique Factor affects Productivity

The fatigue factor affects productivity

By Harold Taylor

Working long hours makes you good at one thing – working long hours. It does not increase either your efficiency or effectiveness. Any anticipated increase in personal productivity is usually offset by a lower work pace, additional errors, more frequent self- generated distractions, decreased creativity, and a decline in energy and motivation.

Long hours can reduce productivity

Long hours can reduce productivity

If the increased working hours, reduces the total amount of sleep that one gets, it could also impact their physical and mental health – causing obesity, diabetes, memory impairment, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a weakened immune system.

Sleep deprivation can affect your health

Sleep deprivation can affect your health

Total output does not vary directly with the amount of time worked. If you cut one third off your working hours for instance, you would not cut one third off your output. In fact, for those people working 12 hour per day, a reduction to eight hours may not result in any perceivable drop in total output. Productivity, (output per hour) would actually increase.

Overwork, lack of sleep and energy drain can cause accidents as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US estimates that drowsy drivers cause 100,000 accidents, 71,000 injuries and 1550 fatalities each year.

In January of 2011 an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Zurich made a sudden descent, injuring 14 passengers and two crew members when a fatigued pilot mistakenly believed the plane was on a collision course with another aircraft.

In general, people need to shorten their working hours and lengthening their sleeping and resting hours – and this usually entails turning off their electronic devices sooner at night

How Can I Become a Better Housekeeper?

Find the motivation and you can learn it.

Find the motivation and you can learn   it.

How can some people learn to be better housekeepers? The optimal word is learning.  Keeping a house organized is a skill that can be learned like any other skill, reading, skiing, or social media.  There needs to be a motivation to want to learn this new skill. If you can decide that adding organization to your life will make you feel less anxious about your home, provide you with a system that allows you to get everything done and still have time for yourself or live in a space that you love and enjoy you can take on the task of being less messy. So here are 3 tips:

  1. Schedule everything. Decide when you will do each of the household tasks you are responsible for eg, laundry, grocery shopping, bill payments, meal preparation, driving children, cleaning, doing the dishes. Look at your week and add it to your schedule and consider it an appointment with yourself and complete the task.
    Treat all task as an appointment with yourself

    Treat all tasks as an appointment with yourself

     

  2. Make the space look better than when you started working in it. The old saying “if you get it out put it away” works. Don’t set it down; put it back, in the desk drawer, in dishwasher, in the laundry hamper, in the refrigerator. In addition put one more thing away too.  This helps you to slowly get rid of the “mess”.  You are not creating more mess and you are reducing any mess that has accumulated. Your space will continue to look better.
    If you take it out, put it away and one other thing as well

    If you take it out, put it away and one   other thing as well

     

  3. Get help to be successful. Your may find you don’t have time to do it all yourself. Delegate it to other family members. At first it may take longer to get things done as they learn how to do things.  Stick with it and soon it will no longer be your responsibility.  Hire help for the things that are the most difficult for you to complete.  You may want a cleaning service, lawn care service, share carpooling for your children or Professional Organizers.  Consider your budget; you may not be able to have them come every week but what if one service came each week.

    You may not be able to do it all yourself so get some help

    You may not be able to do it all yourself so get   some help

At the end of each month you would have most things under control   with the help of your scheduling, putting things away as you use them and involving others in sharing the work.  Tell me how you become better at keeping your house in order.

Is it Possible- Family and Running A Business?

Time to schedule, words on blank board hold by a young girl in the outdoor.

Scheduling helps you to use your time in blocks and avoid scattering single tasks throughout the day leaving small segments of unproductive time.

My tip for moms running their businesses from home is about time management.

Running a business and organizing a household is a complex task.  Time management is the key to success and sanity.  Scheduling everything will help:

  • tasks to get completed,
  • commitments to be honoured
  • and make arriving ontime possible

However scheduling everything can be overwhelming initially.  Start by using only one calendar, paper or electronic, for all the activities in your schedule. Try a “clearing your mind” task.  This involves writing down everything you have to do.  Record one task per line on your paper or one  task per entry until you have everything recorded.  Include, exercise, work appointments, social commitments, bill payments, household tasks, children’s commitments, social media, doctor appointments, marketing, networking, trip to the park, birthday parties etc.  After you have them recorded, go back to the top of your list and write the date and time (schedule) when you will complete the task.  Put all of these dates on your calendar remember to include travel time when you schedule tasks.  As you look at your calendar you will be able to determine how much time you have each day, month and year available for the activities that are important to your life, family and business.  It will help to put time into perspective and help determine why you might be feeling:

  • overwhelmed
  • overworked
  • bored
  • tired
  • successful
  • energized
  • excited
  • frustrated

Once you start to schedule everything, it will become easier because many of the entries will be recurring each day, week, month or year.  They will be in your calendar and only new items will need to be add to your schedule.  This will provide a structure that you can rely on to help you with the complex task of running a business and organizing a household.

 

Make a Decision and Learn from Your Mistakes

Harold Taylor is a time management specialist.  This article appears in his June 2015 Taylor Time newsletter. Contact him to get on his mailing list and receive other great information on organizing time and space. Harold Taylor Time Consultants Inc  | info@taylorintime.com

Slow decision-making wastes time, as do spur-of-the moment decisions, which usually result in costly and time-The Thinkerconsuming mistakes. But the worst thing you can do is to procrastinate on decision-making. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, once conducted a survey of successful people and found all of them were decisive. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. We learn from our mistakes; but if we do nothing, we neither accomplish anything nor learn anything.

Delay until you have enough information, but don’t wait until you have all the information. If you have all the information, the course of action becomes a foregone conclusion: no real decision is necessary. Have the courage to make decisions with only 70% to 80% of the facts. When you have mulled over the facts and considered, the alternatives, sleep on it. Decisions are usually better after a good night’s sleep.

Spend time in proportion to the importance of the decision. For instance, don’t waste a lot of time discussing the menu for the staff Christmas party. The decision to close down an operation or expand the product line warrants a greater expenditure of that costly commodity called time. Make minor decisions quickly. If the consequence of the decision is not important, it is not worth much of your valuable time.

If the decision is yours alone to make, and you seem to get bogged down in the process, and get frustrated by your lack of progress, it’s frequently faster in the long run to leave the problem for a short period of time. Work on some unrelated jobs for a few hours or even a few days and then tackle the problem anew. The change in pace will revitalize your thinking. But delay it only once or you will be tempted to procrastinate.

Always make short-term decisions with long-term objectives in mind. Don’t make a band aid decision that solves the immediate problem, but results in time-consuming problems further down the road.

And above all, don’t waste time on past decisions. Instead of saying “I if only I had done such and such,” say instead, “Next time I will ..”

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/53326337@N00/4473565014″>Well, that’s perplexing…</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

Making Networking Work for You

There are many networking groups available to business people to make connections with potential clients and Meet with others to build relationshipsbusinesses.  Groups meet for breakfast, lunch or supper.  Some groups have an educational component.  Most networking groups are based on building relationships with the members in the group so to be successful choose a group that you can attend regularly for two years.  If you are looking for a networking group go to the Meetup.com site to find a group in your area.

Networking can happening at breakfast lunch or supper meetings

Some people do find that they don’t have enough time in their day to exercise.  Here are 2 ways to combine networking and exercise.

1. Netwalking – Instead of meeting for a coffee , meet while walking.  During the good weather walk outside during cooler weather walk inside on tracks, malls hallways.  Most malls open early and have mall walking programs.

Netwalking

2. Sweatworking – Fitness clubs are starting networking groups.  In this environment you naturally have a common interest, health exercise. This is a  more relaxed atmosphere to build relationships with other networkers.  Here is a great article describing  sweatworking. http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2015/06/01/sweatworking-the-new-way-to-advance-your-career/2/

Networking while exercising

 

Is Multitasking Productive?

People believe they can multi-task because the body can do a physical activity and a cognitive activity at the same time.  So people are able to walk and talk, run and listen to a book etc.  The brain does not do two cognitive tasks at the same time.  The brain switches between tasks, very quickly.  Every time the brain switches task it must determine how much  of the task has been completed and what the next step would be and then continue with the task.  This time contributes to the slowing down of completing the two tasks.  If the brain works on one task at a time it completes it without delay.  Try it, put an article in front of you and something to write.  Do them both at the same time and time how long it takes you  to get the two tasks done. You will notice that you will keep going over the material to see where you left off as your concentration shifts between the task.   Next do each task separately and time how long it takes to complete both task.  In order to stop multitasking, plan your work schedule and remove the distraction of other work, e-mails, twitting, phone calls, televisions, music etc.

Bar graph showing error made during multitasking activities

More errors are made when people multitask

 

Organizing Your Mind

In Harold Taylor’s newsletter www.taylorintime.com , May 2014,  he talked about Organizing your Mind to create the life you want.

By Harold Taylor

It’s more important to organize your mind than your desk or house. You can always walk away from your desk or house; but you can never walk away from your mind. We must first accept the fact that time is not life, as many of us in the past may have suggested; it is merely the medium through which life passes. And life, as you experience it, is not something that happens to you, but something that happens because of you. You create the life you will experience – good, bad or indifferent – by what you believe, how you think, and what you do.

To create the life that you want, you must first organize your mind. And you do this by clearing it of all the worldly clutter that keeps it preoccupied and constantly distracted. One way of doing this is to engage in a 15 or 20-minute mind-clearing session each morning after you get up and are fully dressed. Don’t do it while you are still in bed and half asleep. This is too important. It will determine how the rest of the day goes. And life takes place in a series of days.

Complete your morning ritual of breakfast, getting the kids off to school, putting out the garbage or whatever your morning routine entails. Then sit comfortably in your favourite chair, and without trying to rid your mind of the random thoughts that will invariably invade it, do the following six things in succession.

  1.  Relax, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and just be aware of the miracle that is you.
  2. Give thanks for all that you have and have had in the past. Don’t rack your brain trying to think of everything – just those that come to mind quickly.
  3. Forgive anyone who has hurt or offended you.
  4. Offer up ten-second prayers, blessings or good wishes for at least three other people each day.
  5. Think positive thoughts about all your future plans, opportunities and endeavors,
  6. Decide and confirm how you will spend the next hour of your life. This may already be scheduled in your planner or you may choose something different.

The reason for doing these six things will be explained in the next article in this series on holistic time management. But the reason will probably become clear to you as you progress through each day.

Whether you call this session meditation, mindfulness, or “being in the now” is immaterial. What is important is that you continue to do it each day, modifying it as you go along, until it becomes your unique morning routine. And how you spend the next hour of each day will eventually create the life that you will lead.

Understanding Sleep Cycles and Time Management can improve your Productivity

Some people say they don’t need very much sleep.  Recently a super sleep gene was found.  Only about 5% of people have it.  It allows their body to cycle through the REM and non REM sleep cycles more quickly so the person feels more rested in a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately about 30% of people report only needing 4 hours of sleep a night.  So about 25% of those people would benefit from more sleep. Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He publishes a newsletter, Taylor Time Newsletter.  The August edition has a great article on sleep and time management.

BY Harold Taylor Work Smarter is more about Timing then Technology

When we sleep, we do so in approximately 90-minute cycles throughout the night, each cycle consisting of five stages – four stages of non-REM sleep (about 75% to 80% of our sleep time) and one stage of REM sleep (about 20% to 25% of our sleep time.)

The first REM stage begins about 90 minutes into our sleep and then the cycle begins again about every 90 minutes until we wake up.

What most people don’t realize is that these 90-minute “sleep cycles” run through the entire day. We obviously don’t sleep during the day if we have slept sufficiently during the night, but the cycles become waves of high and low energy and are referred to as ultradian rhythms.  Our internal clocks are critical to our personal performance as well as our health and well-being. Our body has many internal “clocks,” each operating independently but in constant communication with one another.

In a few of my books and articles and all of my seminars, I talk about scheduling projects in 90 minute segments. (See “The 90-minute Rule of Scheduling” in chapter 6 of my eBook, Time to be Productive CLICK HERE for a free copy)

I have always known that I was more productive working in sixty or ninety-minute chunks of time, and I suggested all kinds of reasons for it – such as it was the maximum amount of time I could work without having to be interrupted or even interrupting myself. But I never knew until recently that ultradian waves of high and low alertness had actually been identified. One study of young violinists back in 1993 revealed that the best violinists all practiced the same way – in the morning in three segments of no more than 90 minutes with a break between each segment. The same thing was noticed among other musicians as well as athletes, chess players and writers.

I recommend that people find their high energy time in the morning and start working on their top priority items for about 90 minutes. Then take a break of about 15 or 20 minutes before starting the next task. Following the second 90-minute work session there should be a break of at least an hour before resuming. (This could be lunch and a brief walk.) It will take time to get into the right pattern. You have to listen to your body to determine the best start time and the actual duration of your high-alertness cycle.

You don’t necessarily have to take a coffee break, go for a walk or do stretches during your breaks as long as you switch to a different type of task. There are three basic types of activity – mental, physical and emotional. If you have been working on a mental task requiring intense concentration such as writing a business proposal, a switch to cleaning your work area, filing or checking messages on Twitter or Facebook for twenty minutes might be just as relaxing to the mind as a twenty minute chat at the coffee centre.

The problem is that people have been fighting their natural body rhythms by feeding it coffee and other stimulants, and therefore developing inefficient working habits. They have likewise short-circuited their natural sleep cycles with late nights, artificial lighting and stimulating electronics.

Contact www.taylorintime.com to subscribe to his newsletter

 

Manage Technology Before it Manages You

By Harold Taylor

Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He has published over 17 books and presented over 2000 seminars.

Smartphones are only as smart as their owner

When should you put it down?

An online poll of over 1000 Canadian adults released last Saturday by Angus Reid/Vision Critical (Toronto Star, January 26, 2013) revealed that 90% of the respondents believed their smartphones made their lives more convenient. So convenient, evidently, that 30% of them went online before getting out of bed, 31% at the dinner table, 29% in the washroom and 42% before falling asleep at night,

Smartphones may be smart, but they lack intelligence. Why are we so willing to be at the beck and call of an idiot? The Internet leads anywhere, which for the undisciplined means nowhere. Why browse away the hours? Email, computer games and social media are endless, but our time is not. Why do we behave as though we will live live forever?

Research shows that the Internet and digital technology can have a negative impact on our ability to learn, focus, pay attention, memorize and relate to others on a personal basis. It also gobbles up our time, encourages busyness and multitasking and stifles creativity.

The futures of our business, personal lives, and our nations do not depend on the development of technology, but on our ability to manage the technology we develop.

5 Tips for Getting the Food onto the Table

Y0u might be using an app to help you plan your meals and make your grocery list or paper and pen.  Here are a few tips to help you take that plan and make it happen.  The easier it is to get the meal onto the table the less likely it is that you will eat out.

 

grocery planning

menu planning

 

 

                  

1. Plan meals for a month or more and then repeat the plan.

2. Cook double portions so you can use the planned-overs on another day.

3. Have each family member participate in simple meal preparations that are age appropriate.

4. Cook together on weekends and prepare a number of meals for the week.

5. Partially prepare meat – dice it, brown it and then freeze it.

 

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