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Time Blocking

October 8, 2014

 

Have you ever heard of Parkinson's Law? It says that work expands to fill the time available. I've heard this often, but never really "got it", then suddenly a week or so ago it finally resonated with me and I see how this is working in my own time management and productivity quest. I only wish that I had figured this out when I was in the field! When I was selling it seemed that the work never ended, but I see now that is also because my workday, my workweek, never ended. It was easy/tempting to take a break mid afternoon to run some errands, or play around online when I was tired or frustrated, because I would plan to work later in the day after dinner or once the kids were in bed, or the next day, or catch up on emails on Sunday morning, and on and on. Now that I have more specific "office hours", I find that I am getting so much more done each day, and I finally realized that it is because I am focused on getting it done during those "office hours". I know that I want to leave the office by a certain time and that I don't want to have to catch up in the evening, so I am working more focused and diligently during those office hours to ensure that I get the work done, and I do! There are still the issues that come up and the calls or emails that I have to attend to "after hours", but those are the only things I am attending to during that time. I see now how this could have worked for me when I was in the field. Scheduling specific "hours" for myself each day, and doing those weekly client update emails and market research during those hours. Making the client calls pro-actively during those times would likely have cut down a bit on them reaching out to me later on. Of course there is and will always be an element of needing to take appointments and show property on the evenings and weekends, and managing time sensitive details during those times, but I think that if you schedule yourself specific work hours to get the miscellaneous stuff done then hopefully that stuff will be finished then and not bleed in to every other available time. Do you schedule specific work "hours" for yourself, or do things as they come?

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