Now I’m Nuts for time management – Brooke Style

OK … So my first question was “homework is making me nuts” and then I put in the “struggling with time management” question. I listened to the podcast on goal setting (do goals) and in that you laid out do goals for a huge project and from all of that I got a handle on just focusing on my main goal… No worries there. But here is the thing…

Of the 300 – 400 emails I get each day at my job, I need to respond to about 200 of them. Some responses take seconds, some take an hour of work before I can respond. If I stop to do four hours of real work, like say my objectives for the year, I can easily wind up dragging around a back log of hundreds of emails, many of which are holding up other people from moving on with their work. Thinking about what might be hiding in that email stack gets me feeling so afraid and worried and trying to beat it down, keeps me from doing the part of my job that I really rock at and love.

Since signing up for SCS, I’ve committed to leaving work as close to on time as I can, and thereby forcing myself to get everything done at work. So I wound up with a back log of 600 emails… (that is after deleting any that needed no response and working all day every day on clearing them.) This weekend I blocked out time on my calendar at home to do this work. Normally it would take about 15 hours to do. I gave myself 6 hours for the emails.

Here is the FREAKIN’ AMAZING thing….. not only did I clear out my inbox… I was delegating like mad, making swift decisions and just motoring…. when I got down to the last 10 items (my 6 hours was up)… they all needed 1/2 hour to an hour to do. I heard your voice saying ” A to do list is deadly, put it on the calendar” … I estimated the time for each email, blocked an appointment with myself on my calendar at work this week to do each one, attached put the email in the event – a deleted it from my inbox.

IN BOX EMPTY… first time in YEARS.

But wait there is more… I gave myself only 1.5 hours per day to do emails…. anything I don’t finish in that time… goes on the calendar.

Well, for the last two days, I’ve left with my inbox empty… and I worked on those projects disguised as emails all day- but they are on the calendar… I did each one as I had committed… they are now there, tracked and I know where my time went. And when meetings came up, I compared them to the scheduled task rather than just “doing emails” and could prioritize the meeting against the task. When my boss asked about something, I could look on my calendar and tell him just when it would be done….

I’m now going to teach myself a new thought using our March skills: I can keep up this system and never be a slave to email again. This – changes – EVERYTHING. I am in tears.