I've been adjusting to a new workload by trying out several strategies with varying degrees of success, and one consistently effective time management method in my arsenal is quick, decisive action. When faced with a choice -- procrastinate by hoping for more time later or immediately act and do what I can right now -- the latter almost always works out best for me.
Here are two successful scenarios from this week so far:
- Exercise. You can probably guess what happens when I tell myself, "I'll exercise after work," or "I'll exercise this afternoon." Nothing. This week, instead of hoping for a solid hour of free time, I split my exercise into two sessions and take them whenever I can -- even if it's right before lunch, just after a conference call or during a midday lull in focus.
- Side projects. I'm giving a workshop on how to create supercharged content at the International Food Bloggers' Conference this weekend, and I've had trouble carving out a few hours in a row to hammer down my presentation. Instead, I've broken this bigger task into smaller chunks and work on it in focused, 15-minute bursts.
I could have easily spent free chunks of time trolling on Facebook, idly staring at the computer screen or mired in email. Instead, I turned these 15-, 20- and 30-minute blocks into mini pomodoros to cross off some of the easy-to-put-off items on my daily to-do list.