Research, Training, and Time Management

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I severely underestimated the amount of work that goes into being a lone arranger.  I have been constantly on the move in the past couple of weeks.   With this comes with the certain acknowledgement that my previous methods of time management need to be adjusted and improved.

I am tired.  my weekend schedule involves sleeping about 8 hours a night, getting up on time, doing errands and going for a jog or two.  This weekend, I slept 14 hours straight on Saturday night after homecoming.  Previously, I worked on 1 major project at a time.  Now I work on 15 projects of varying size at a time, sometimes as the lead, sometimes as a worker.  That’s fine and interesting and keeps me out of trouble.

But this means that my time management skills need to improve so I don’t end up as tired as I was this weekend and I don’t end up working my life away.

I am using a combination of things right now:  A to-do list to keep track of miscellaneous things that need doing or writing down things quickly so I don’t forget to put them on the master list and a calendar.

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The Master list AKA: Excel spreadsheet.  This sheet is saved to my computer with a month and year as the title.  Everything that gets done gets crossed off.  Things that aren’t finished by the end of the month because it got bumped down the list of priorities, I didn’t have the information/time/skills to complete.  These items also say who asked for them, documents that relate to those requests, next steps, steps taken and if/when I contacted the requestor.  At the end of the month, things get transferred to the next month’s to-do list, and everything else gets saved for annual review.

Stolen from the Week:  Things that are on my calendar :  Current projects, a day to day accounting of what needs to be done that day, hour by hour.  I don’t completely block my calendar, but it keeps me more on task than previously. I know what I need to do, day by day, hour by hour.  I keep these as available hours so someone can grab me, but I like the comfort of my calendar yelling at me.

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This was yesterday (Names redacted to protect the innocent).  Did I do all this?  No, but I did a lot of it.  I got sidetracked by a few drop ins, quick meetings, and your general miscellaneous things.  The general gist is that I know what I doing when I am at work.  But in the last few days after homecoming, I completed three projects and started a few more that had been on my plate for later in the semester.  Granted, this makes things a bit difficult if anyone is struggling to keep up, but I’d rather be the special sparklepony and be able to help my institution and leaving everyone in the dust than feel frustrated and tired.

I’ll keep y’all updated with how well this works.

Nota bene:  Now, granted, my attitude of keep up or get out of my way is probably a weakness as well as a strength, but it’s a way that I am comfortable with.  It keeps me busy, productive and happy, which means I’m a better employee and co-worker.

On that note, if you need my time, please schedule me in somewhere.  I don’t want to forget because you had an email saying we should “talk sometime”.  Sometime means nothing to me.

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