We all wish there were more hours in the day so we could achieve that elusive work-life balance.
That may be impossible, but at least we have technology. There are a gazillion gadgets and organizational processes that will make your work more organized. Here are some that have worked for me in bringing some order to my work and life.
Methods to better organize your time
- Measure the time you spend working – Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured gets managed.” I believe you should apply it to how you spend your work time. I use a free website called Slimtimer where I put in the tasks I want to be working on, and whenever I do that task, the timer is running. I then do weekly reports, which I export to Excel and see how my time is being spent. Another tracking tool I use is RescueTime. Install this free tool on your computer and it will automatically track which applications or websites you go to. At the end of the week it emails you a report with an overview of how productive you were. Between these two time tracking applications I’m able to see were I am spending my time working and then adjust it as needed.
- Organize your tasks – I keep my to-do list online in a project management software called Trello. It gives me a clear view of my daily tasks. As my priorities shift I just move the tasks around. It also has a functionality where you can get your personal Trello email address; forward any emails to that address and it will create a new task for you.
- Weekly review – You may have heard about the productivity methodology David Allen wrote about in Getting Things Done. It’s a book I recommend for anyone interested in managing their work and their time. In my opinion, one of the best practices in it is the weekly review. During my weekly review I go through all my inboxes, look through my calendar, and strategize what could be done better for the next week. I usually do mine on Sunday evening to prepare for the week ahead. It’s been a great way to get more control and perspective on what needs to get done.