Sunday, March 14, 2010

Time Management

Some time ago, when I was working in Amsterdam, I did an online course on time management. I'm not sure it helped me much, as I constantly seem to be overwhelmed with things that need to be done. Moving to a new school in a new country this year has definitely been a period where I felt the need to manage my time well. I needed the time to support my family in this year of transition, and at the same time I had lots of demands on my time from my new job and new colleagues and .... yes, let's face it .... from myself as I struggle to raise the level of technology in my new school.

Last week I ran across this article about the 80/20 rule of time management. Basically what this article says is that 20% of your efforts produce 80% of your results and the idea is that we should focus on that 20% to make the most efficient use of our time. In addition 20% of our colleagues probably give us 80% of our support - these are the people and the relationships we have to nurture! I guess the idea is that by just focusing on the most important 20% - those jobs and people that are vital to us - this will automatically help us to manage our time better and probably help us feel like a better person too. So the next time I'm asked to take on something else I'm going to ask myself: Is this in my 20%, and if it isn't, then I'm going to try to say no. Wish me luck. I'm not very good at saying no!

Photo Credit: Eternal Clock by Robbert van der Steeg


  1. Good luck to you Maggie! I struggle with this myself. I am terrible about saying no. I want to help everyone and accomplish everything on my to-do list every day. This is getting less and less practical as my to-do list grows longer. I like the idea of deciding if any task is in my 20% and if not, giving myself permission to say no. I can always amend my answer later if I end up with extra time on my hands.

  2. I really like this idea of 20% in determining the importance of a task. I am also someone who tends to stretch my time too thin to try and help as many people as I possibly can. I think too many of us don't put a high enough value on our time. When I started thinking about the hours in my day in terms of a monitary value, that helped me to decide what what projects were worthy of my time. Does this project deserve my time if I'm worth $100 an hour?-- Not really being paid of course.;)