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Friday, July 22, 2011
The Lightning Round: Tips from our Productivity Maven!
Jeanne Rerucha has a nickname on our staff: we call her "Lightning" because she gets things done so quickly, and so well! Here, she shares some of her productivity secrets.
Have you ever wondered, "how will I get all this done?" or better yet, "how will I get all this done well"? I have found that it is all about technique, strategy, and a little multi-tasking to get through many of my days. As a mom of three girls and a tutoring director who works from home, I used to feel stress just getting through each day. I want to be there for my kids, I want to get my work done well, the laundry is everywhere; you get the picture. It's all about organization and a little flexibility.
Here are a a few tricks that have really helped me:
1. A calendar: this is so important!! I use my calendar religiously. Now, honestly, I haven't gotten into the online google calendars yet because I need to physically be able to see my calendar at any time, and my computer is not in my car. I keep track of all appointments, meetings for work, and playdates in my calendar. Because I am ultimately keeping track of 5 schedules, this is needed.
2. Maximize your help: I have a baby-sitter who comes for a few hours during the week. I know that's the time I need to use for phone calls and items requiring full concentration. Some things can be done at the same time as others, while some things need full attention.
3. Know your multi-tasking limit: Sure, I can be on the phone, wash dishes, and help with homework; but add in one more activity and it is too much. It's important to know how many things you can do while making sure they are still getting done well.
4. Reflect at night: I find it is easiest to do reflection in the evening. For me, the kids are in bed, it is much quieter in the house and I'm not rushing around getting things done. I like to save the items that need some thought or even some idea brainstorming for the end of my day. I also feel this is a good time to chat with co-workers, as they too are not trying to do a bunch of things.
5. Charts: I love my "at a glance" sheets. At work, I do this for my list of students, so that I can keep track of what tests I am expecting, who is tutoring them, etc. I know I can go deeper in the file system to get more information, but this sheet saves me time. I do this for some personal items as well. I have a sheet of phone numbers/addresses that I use most. Of course I have an address book to refer to when needed, but the doctor's number is easily accessible on my fridge for quick reference.
Do you have any productivity tips to share? Every little bit helps!