When Fortune shared these time management tips for frazzled working parents, we figured we would share them, too. And if you’re not a frenetic working parent but simply frenetic, no worries there. The tips can can apply to your hectic schedule as well.
Columnist Anne Fisher checked in with Teresa Taylor, author of The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success for several techniques outlined in the book.
1. Stop multitasking. We dare you! As the piece points out, instead of attempting to accomplish several things at once, carve blocks of time out of your day even if they’re only 10 to 15 minutes long. Then, work exclusively on one task and one task only.
In the piece Taylor states,”Because I was able to give 100 percent to whatever I was focused on — managing my blocks of time without multitasking — I was more effective at my job than I had ever been before.”
2. Assign a time limit to everything you do. Got timers? This rule may be applied to work and home. If you’re preparing a PowerPoint presentation or getting the kid’s birthday invitations out the door, set a time for each task.
Once the time limit has been reached, stop what you’re doing. This entails letting go and adjusting. If you consistently run out of time either you clearly need more time or you need to think about a more efficient way to accomplish each task.
3. Keep one calendar. Taylor learned this the hard way when she originally kept separate calendars for work and her personal life. “I bifurcated my life, and as a consequence I felt bifurcated. This was not pleasant. Meeting and appointment overlaps occurred, and I dropped the ball and missed a few things.”
4. Work on weekends. We’ve all heard the importance of shutting off on weekends but Taylor disagrees. In the piece she writes, “Sunday was my secret weapon. Nobody likes to work on Sundays. This meant that I had an empty office, a floor, or possibly the whole building at my disposal.”
Plus, she made it fun by bringing her kids to the office equipped with games, stickers and dry-erate markers. “In addition, in that wasteland of empty offices, they were able to run freely down the halls without disturbing anyone.”