On an unseasonably hot and humid Wednesday in late May, about thirty information professionals came to METRO for a free program on time management, or as Stacey Jerrold told us, “time strategies,” since time cannot be managed. Although all of us have the same amount of hours and minutes in a day, we need to learn how to clarify and prioritize our goals. Stacey is the founder and head of Jerrold HR Solutions, LLC. She also publishes the blog, What’s Keeping You Up At Night.
By administering exercises to the group, Stacey revealed common misconceptions we all have. She helped us discover how open-minded we are -- enabling us to realize how much our attitudes affect our behavior and our results. We did exercises to balance our “life wheels” so that they were not lop-sided but able to roll along. This included looking at how we spend time in a broad spectrum of ways from both the personal and professional realm.
We all try to set goals for ourselves but it is critical that we make these “smart goals”. Stacey gave us the example of losing weight. That is a goal. The smart goal would be to “lose 10 pounds by July 31st”. The smart goal is specific, measurable and bound by a time and date and thus makes it more reasonable to achieve. Stacey helped us to experience this by allowing someone in the group to share a goal, make it a smart goal, and then take us through the process of how that goal could be achieved by outlining its obstacles and options are.
In setting your time goals, she noted, it is important to use a system that works for you. Use a time of day when you are most productive. Use Excel or your Blackberry or a notepad or whatever works for you personally as it will assist you in being personally accountable for what you accomplish. Stacey also suggested breaking up your to-do list into “must do” and “should do” categories to avoid letting items linger on your list for too long. Identify the most important item on your list because frequently something on the list has got to give. Other tips Stacey suggested were to own your goals and make them your own; not your neighbor’s, sister’s or spouse’s. And at the office treat each day as though you were going on vacation the next day. That will ensure that you leave work with a smile on your face.
Top Takeaways from Stacey Jerrold’s Time Management program:
- Own your goals.
- Make sure your goals are “smart.”
- Break your “To-do” list down into “Must-dos” and “Should-dos.”
- Be proactive, not reactive.
- Know your vision and sell your value with confidence.
- Treat each day at work as if you were going on vacation the next day.