Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Get it Done! Part 2

A special thanks to all of you who shared some of your time management tips, and struggles.  Below are a couple of additional ways to “Get it Done!”

  1. Add time frames to your To-Do-List: A few weeks ago I did a test to see if I could get more accomplished if I put
    time frames next to each item on my list. For example, my schedule might say workout 7- 8am, Breakfast 8:30 – 8:50, then first project 9 -10:30, next to social media I might put 10:30am – 10:45am and the list goes on. This method helps me stay on task better, and it lets me know if I’m falling behind schedule. It also assists in limiting the number of things I put on my to-do-list (so as to not over book).
  2. Identify your time wasters: Have you ever had one of those days where you had massive things to do, but didn’t get half the things done? It’s probably because you allowed several time wasters to creep into your day. Some famous time wasters are the telephone, emailing and texting, people who drop by your house/office without calling, and the biggest one these days is social media. As a virtual assistant, I understand the importance of staying connected virtually – which might mean
    checking emails or seeing what’s going on on Facebook. You can still stay on top of those things, just add them to your schedule…treat them like an appointment, which leads me to my next item.
  3. Procrastination is not your friend: Normally, I’m not a procrastinator, but this past week I found myself doing the one thing I often talk to my clients about not doing and that’s procrastinating. I had a self-appointed project (some marketing of my VA business) and it wasn’t something I was looking forward to doing, but something that needed to be done. Believe me when I say, I found everything to do – but that! I replaced carpet on a set of stairs in our townhouse, and painted the entry hallway (on top of some of my normal weekly responsibilities). Anything to keep from doing what I was scheduled to do. I kept moving that particular project to the next day. Then after about three days of rescheduling, I called my friend Carmen (of Ray’s Consulting). I had every intention of begging her to do the part of the marketing that I couldn’t seem to make myself do, but being the brilliant person that she is, she gave me a pep talk (or more like a kick in the butt) that had me feeling like I could take on the world once we had finished our conversation!  Needless to say, the rest of the week was crazy productive! So I say all of that to say, don’t let procrastination get the best of you – call a friend or an
    accountability partner to get you back on track.
  4. Accountability Partners: I have some amazing mentors/friends in my life. No I don’t talk to them every day, or every week for that matter, but I love the fact that I can call on any of them at anytime. If you don’t have accountability partners/mentors/ or good friends who you can call on for encouragement or support – find some!

Though I could go on and on about how to “Get it Done,” I think I’ll stop here and let you tell me about your time wasters, procrastination, and your accountability partners.

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July 19, 2011 Posted by | Just Thinking | 7 Comments

Get it done! Part 1

There are 24 hours in a day. How do you use yours? Martha Stewart is known for many things, one being – she’s a good time manager. When asked during an interview how she managed to accomplish so much in a day’s time, her response was that there are 24 hours in a day – and she uses them. If you think about it, 24 hours is a long time. Imagine what you could accomplish if you took the time to plan out your day.

As a virtual assistant, part of my success is dependent upon my time management and organizational skills. At any given time I might have four or five projects for clients going on at the same time, and there are times when the deadlines fall on the same day.  So having a schedule is a priority. Listed below are just a couple of things I do to stay on task and get things done.

  1. Master To-Do-List: One of American Express’s slogans is – Never Leave Home Without It. Well, I have a slogan– Never Start Your Day without a To-Do-List. Most of us have so many responsibilities until we can easily get overwhelmed. Not only should you have a daily list of things to do, but have a master To-Do-List. The master To-Do-List  is where you add every single thing you want or need to get done (at some point). Everything from getting the hallway painted, to downloading telephone numbers from your cell phone to the computer. Since the master To-Do-List is usually ridiculously long, you then break it down over numerous days (or months for some) – this is the start of your daily To-Do-List.
  2. Daily To-Do-List: Keep your daily To-Do-List doable. Don’t go putting 10 things on the list if you know that each item is going to take 4 hours.  When done that way, you automatically set yourself up for failure. For large projects (things that will take several hours or days) try to work on them over a couple of days (that means planning ahead), because at the end of the day, you want to feel like you’ve accomplished at least a couple of things on your list. I usually include 2 or 3 things I know I have to get done, then one or two things I want to get done (1 or 2 fun things –like clean the bathrooms or finish the painting that goes over the fireplace). I also start my list w/ something that might only take 30-60 minutes before I dive into those items that will be more than an hour. And just for fun, when I complete something on my list, I scratch the item off the list. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve accomplished something.

Stay tuned for Part II of – Getting It Done.  In the meantime- what are some of the things you do to stay on task – and get things done?

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Just Thinking | 12 Comments