Last week I shared five tips for managing your time contributed by Tamara Holland. This week let me share another five. Tamara is a post-conviction attorney for condemned prisoners in California, a visual artist, a screenwriter, and a mystery writer who lives in California and Croatia.
Here are tips six through ten from Tamara:
TIP SIX: SURRENDER THE NEED TO MASTER EVERYTHING
It’s easy to get time-paralysis by believing that we can’t start a project until we . . . . fill in the blank with anything from, “Learn Adobe Photoshop,” to “Learn how to optimize my operating system.” But no one can be an expert in everything. Expecting we will be hamstrings us. So, import the services of someone who knows enough to teach you what you need, and get on with your goal and life.
TIP SEVEN: UTILIZE LIST-MAKING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Make weekly and daily to-do lists . . . if they serve you. If they empower you by organizing your time and thoughts, and don’t instead overwhelm you.
Checking things off “to-do” lists can provide great energy boosts. Lists also help remove nagging items from our brains’ pop-up screens. Writing down “Pick up the laundry” lets our brains know we’ve received their memos, and they can stop sending them (typically at 3:00 a.m.).
TIP EIGHT: LEARN YOUR FIELD’S EFFECTIVE TIME RATIOS
To develop my paper arts business, economic folk recommend I spend 50% of my work time on marketing, 30% on administration, and 20% on visioning and new production. Bingo. Right there, I’ve got a template for how I should best be allocating my work hours. Learn what is the effective time ratio for your field, and follow it.
TIP NINE: LIMIT YOUR SCREEN TIME
On-line time can be powerfully productive. It can also become a “time suck” that keeps us from what we should be doing instead. We can look honestly at whether we’re wasting our days’ time by being on-line. We can set time limits, and honor them. Also, consider the benefits of a day or two each week of “screenless” time, as William Powers suggests in Hamlet’s Blackberry.
TIP TEN: GET A COACH IF YOU’RE STUCK
Sometimes we find ourselves completely overwhelmed by our schedules, unable to prioritize and release ourselves from unproductive commitments, or to get a handle on anything that feels manageable. It’s an awful feeling. Don’t stay stuck. Find a good coach to help you get back on track!
I hope you’ve found these ten tips useful!