Hoping to find suggestions on time management

  • Job Skills
  • Thread starter Lathropian
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Software
  • #1
Lathropian
11
5
Hi All,

Thank you for the wonderful replies on my other post, much appreciated and I will try to be of as much help as I can for others. I am in the midst of polishing up my system for time management and could use some help.

Right now I use a big excel spreadsheet containing lots of lists, daily todo, meeting notes, and text based "vision" boards, and generally mapping out my time during the work week. It works, but it's a bit clunky and I am considering moving it all into a software specifically for managing time.

Ideally, I would have a vision board (not just text) for each area of my life that I care about, it would be connected with long-term goals, short-term goals, daily efforts eventually boiling down to a lists of tasks for each thing that I care about all in one platform with some way to have it visible on my laptop and/or iPhone. Although, it may actually be more helpful for avoiding distractions if my daily todo list (which will probably be visible the most) is a paper planner and thus abstracted away from my electronics.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you all!Anthony
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Here are a few tips on time management...
  • Consciously establish your priorities. People make thousands of choices with respect to time allotment every day. If your priorities are uncertain, it's difficult to be consistent in your choices and you can end up spending time on things that in hindsight you may not have wanted to.
  • It's very challenging to estimate in detail the time it takes to do complex tasks or projects. Generally speaking the best way to do this is to look to similar experiences in the past.
  • Eisenhower quadrants
  • Set SMART goals
  • Track your productivity and learn when you're most productive. Make optimal use of that time.
  • Figure out those obstacles that lead to procrastination and avoid them.
  • Make your challenging tasks as easy as possible.
  • Consistency pays off big time in the long run.
 
  • #3
Lathropian said:
I am in the midst of polishing up my system for time management and could use some help.

Here is an inexpensive small book that I found really helpful in my first few years as a working EE. My study habits from school were pretty good (by the end of undergrad and into graduate school), but I was a little disorganized dealing with real engineering work. Have a look at it at your local library, or just go ahead and buy it from Amazon or similar since it's so inexpensive.

1698596535806.png
 
  • Like
Likes Math100
  • #4
Lathropian said:
Right now I use a big excel spreadsheet containing lots of lists, daily todo, meeting notes, and text based "vision" boards, and generally mapping out my time during the work week. It works, but it's a bit clunky and I am considering moving it all into a software specifically for managing time.

Ideally, I would have a vision board (not just text) for each area of my life that I care about, it would be connected with long-term goals, short-term goals, daily efforts eventually boiling down to a lists of tasks for each thing that I care about all in one platform with some way to have it visible on my laptop and/or iPhone.
Wow, I have never done anything like that. I had to search for "vision board," never seen that. It seems I just muddle along, embracing the chaos of life. When I was working, I kept chronological notes (a diary) writing down what I was doing, what was said/decided in meetings, sometimes how I figured something out. But it was to help me remember the past. Well, I suppose I did record due dates, but that's as far as predicting the future went.

@berkeman 's book suggestion looks like it would be helpful. It may spark some ideas for features to look for in available software.
 
  • Like
Likes Math100
  • #5
I had a boss who knew me pretty well. He was a mathmetician by training (Illinois UICU) and then got an MBA. I once asked him whether the MBA was of any use and he bestowed a gem of wisdom upon me about how to schedule work.
"Suppose you have something you really don't want to do" he said, "how do you schedule it? ".
I fell into his trap and said "I schedule it first " HONK!! wrong answer
"No" he said, "you do it now".
Best advice I ever got (thanks Taylor) . But I am a lazy SOB, and this was not really the OP question. All the charts would make me crazy crazier (maybe lazier) I think.


 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes pinball1970, Math100 and berkeman
  • #6
Lathropian said:
big excel spreadsheet
Try a small spreadsheet.

Managing time in small chunks has a high overhead and low marginal utility.
 
  • Like
Likes Math100 and hutchphd
  • #7
I do like Gantt charts for a project with moving parts.
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50 said:
Try a small spreadsheet.

Managing time in small chunks has a high overhead and low marginal utility.
I mean, the actual sheet that I have my time mapped out in day-to-day is not that big, it breaks out my time into 30 minute chunks. I find that it works well enough for now. I really am just looking for something nicer looking and easier to deal with that will encapsulate several sheets :)
 
  • #9
Maybe in terms of the big picture you can write a SWOT analysis every 6 months or so?
 
  • Like
Likes Lathropian
  • #10
WWGD said:
Maybe in terms of the big picture you can write a SWOT analysis every 6 months or so?
That's a great idea, thank you
 

Similar threads

  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
14
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
14
Views
789
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
24
Views
5K
Replies
17
Views
3K
  • Programming and Computer Science
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
30
Views
2K
Replies
8
Views
3K
  • Programming and Computer Science
Replies
6
Views
1K
Back
Top