Focus on your work. I keep a general weekly To Do list and a daily Tasks list. The weekly list gets verified monthly and changed only quarterly; the daily list is prepared when we’re waiting for the coffee to finish percolating! Some tips/hints for discussion:
1) Write out a schedule and accomplish at least 40% of your To Do list for the day. This allows you to make progress, while dealing with issues that can use attention now rather than defer until later and require more effort.
2) An “old timer” I know doesn’t answer the phone after 4:30 on Friday afternoon. He notes, “I can’t do anything about what they’re asking and that will only make me frustrated.” Instead, he sets aside blocks of time to receive and return phone calls every day but not at the same time each day. This allows him to reach clients and/or associates on their schedule, not on his. They appreciate that.
3) I have a weekly list of work I must get accomplished during particular blocks of the day. This helps me in two main ways: first the temptation to spend more time on something new is curbed when I exceed the time allotted and, second, use two time blocks during the week to socialize with past and current clients/colleagues, etc. (Some people call this marketing; I like socializing better. It’s more fun!)
What works for you? How do you get more out of your day?
—Lisa Stacholy, AIA