Benjamin Franklin once said, “Lost time is never found again.” We all wear so many hats these days that it can be impossible to effectively manage our time. But if there is one thing that we’ve all been dealt equally, it is time. Saint Leo University (SLU), a liberal arts university located outside Tampa, Fla., recently shared 14 strategies[i] to help its online students better manage their time. A slightly modified list was subsequently shared on LabManager.com.
Below is the list as shared by Lab Manager:
- Take care of yourself physically - Schedule seven to eight hours per day for sleep, eat three balanced meals a day, and exercise.
- Know yourself - You may be wasting time if you’re working in an environment that doesn’t match your work style.
- Organize your space - Organize your space so you have easy access to everything you need to work.
- Visualize your goals - Keep the bigger picture in mind.
- Be realistic - Each task should have a clear end or reasonable level of satisfaction.
- Create lists - Put both personal and business items on the same list.
- Prioritize - If you don’t understand the correct order for doing your tasks, you might end up wasting your time.
- Set deadlines - Organize a list of deadlines for your tasks, and give yourself a small cushion of extra time, in case something urgent comes up.
- Break down tasks - Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable goals.
- Use time wisely - Use short blocks of time to accomplish easy or small tasks. Use long blocks of time to focus on complex tasks.
- Delegate - You don’t need to do things others can do for you.
- Just say “no” - It’s important to distinguish between what you can and can’t do right now as you work toward your goal.
- Take breaks - Get up from your chair every hour or so and take a walk down the hall at work or get a healthy snack.
- Reward yourself - Having something to look forward to can help you stay on track and maintain a positive attitude.
Visit LabManager.com to review additional insight for each strategy.
Time management is critical for running an efficient and productive lab. The strategies that SLU outlines emphasize what it takes to ensure that your work doesn’t overwhelm you and that you can use your time wisely and maximize your productivity.
Franklin Covey outlines five choices that we can make to help us achieve “extraordinary productivity.”
- Act on the important; don’t react to the urgent
- Go for extraordinary; don’t settle for ordinary
- Schedule the big rocks; don’t sort the gravel
- Rule your technology; don’t let it rule you
- Fuel your fire, don’t burn out.
With so many things requiring lab professionals’ time and attention, it can often be a challenge to focus on planning and eliminating the extra things that impact productivity. Incorporating a few of these time management strategies as part of a regular routine can help improve your efficiency and effectiveness, as well as the productivity of you and your lab.
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