Time, it ticks on and on and never stops. We have all heard of time management, but do we daily take the time to make it meaningful. Here are four techniques I have found helpful in improving my time.
- Be aware. Communicate with home and work team. Let people know when your office hours are. For the past few years, my workday starts early and ends by 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. I have a daily meeting set on my calendar from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. This helps me to then be the best player for my home team and my work team honors it. There are occasional meetings during this time; however, colleagues check to see if I’m available because they know my workday is done at that time.
- Take breaks to move. For more than a year I have been working remotely and noticed my limited movement. At times I feel like I’m chained to my desk. I once again have scheduled time on my calendar for lunch to make sure I break for lunch and go for a walk. “Walking improves your psychological and physical health,” says Patricia Friberg, MPS, a nationally board-certified health and wellness coach in Los Angeles. One way that I have walked more is by enlisting a buddy to go with me or catching up with family or friends on the phone or through the Marco Polo app. I recently read an article in Real Simple magazine for 7 Easy Ways to Get Even More Out of Your Walks that I thought was insightful and I am working to incorporate some of these ideas in my walks.
- Control your schedule. Take the time to create a routine, no matter what you are working on. The past few months I have been better about prioritizing my schedule and blocking off times for specific tasks on my calendar in all areas of my life, for work, family, vacation, self-care, mindfulness/physical exercise, etc. I’m not perfect and this will continue to be something I work on, but this has helped me improve my overall wellness and life balance.
- Embrace meetings. Meetings occur more than ever. Whether it’s in-person, virtual or hybrid. It’s always important to have a clear meeting goal and objectives with an agenda. Bill Gates said, “You have a meeting to make a decision, not to decide on the questions.” Agendas specify what will be done at the meeting and it helps everyone stay on track. We have all been in meetings where they’ve become muddled, and business was not completed, or decisions weren’t made because there wasn’t an agenda. Be respectful of people’s time and have effective meetings starting with an agenda.
Every day we have choices to make in how we manage our time in all aspects of our life. Take time to control how it is spent with any of these ideas or think of some of your own to do. As Miles Davis said, “Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”
Lori B. Williams, MPA
University of Utah Health, Associate Director of Marketing
Follow on Twitter: @lorib_williams
Lori Williams, MPA, is an associate director of marketing for University of Utah Health. For the past 14 years, she has worked in marketing and communications in the health care and education industries. She has created and lead successful marketing and communications strategies and campaigns. These include the rebrand initiative for U of U Health, along with launching a new hospital Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital and Huntsman Mental Health Institute, Breast Assured, Vas Madness and Here for Every Body. Lori, a Cali girl, is a transplant to Utah; you can find her on the ski slopes in the winter and spending quality time with her husband and two lively sons, which are her pride and joy. She is fro-yo fanatic, adventure seeker and enjoys learning from others.
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