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Admin Pro Forum

The single best time management tip is …

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Question: "As the song goes, ‘There’s never enough time to do the things we want to do once we find them.’  So, what's your favorite time management tip? From how you manage to get out of the house on time in the morning to how you have your most productive days at the office, we want to hear what works for you. Thanks for sharing!" —The editors

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Vee May 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I also have arranged my closet by color, item, e.g., skirts, blouses, pants, have shoe racks and they are also color coordinated. Off season shoes, boots are in plastic storage containers to enable current season to be visible. I normally plan my outfit the night before down to the underwear and jewely so that I don’t have to take extra time in the morning. I also use my Iphone with appointments and reminder bells and Outlook at work. I place reminders on my calendar to send memos to managers for items that I need and have drafts in my draft Outlook section so that I can copy and send them off. I ususally say the report is due by Thursday when I send it out so that dates don’t have to be changed when feasible. Organization is the key to a good assistant and it carries over into life in general. You cannot keep an organized or unorganized boss on schedule if you’re not!


Lycurgus May 15, 2012 at 7:02 pm

My single best time management tip is to keep a list and give yourself more than enough time for each task. Make sure that you put your tasks in order so that those that are in close proximity to eachother are done at the same time. Also you have to make your list so that each task is put in by it’s priority. If you give yourself enough time and make sure that you consolidate your tasks you should have no problem with time management. Also make sure to use your resources appropriately and as effectively as possible.


Sharon April 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

This reply is to OMM.

I get Comcast’s competitor pricing and call their termination department prepared to close my accounts with Comcast.

Don’t wast your time speaking with sales. Be ready to terminate and don’t say you will terminate if you aren’t really thinking about closing our account.

Honesty and integrity matter. I am a Christian so I believe there is nothing I do that I could ever get away with. Too many people think just because they weren’t caught here that nobody caught them. Wrong!

Just be honest with the service department for closing accounts and explain that you are a long term customer and would hate to leave them but are prepared to because you have whatever pricing you found with their competitors. Be kind, honest and respectful at all times and ask for a program that you can lock in for at year. Ask what they can throw in that is free. Then set your reminder to renegotiate one month prior to the annual expiration date.

Never do this as a scam to beat up Comcast. Be fair. Remember some little grandmothers on social security may own stock and you do not want to hurt anyone, you just want the best deal you can negotiate with them.


Terri April 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I am a cell phone calendar reminder appointment setter type of person for personal items and some very important work related meetings, project due dates etc. I set my reminders about 1 hour in advance with a side note that shows what needs to be completed. I also set monthly reminders for the meetings I attend and weekly reminders on the projects I work on with deadlines.

At work, the outlook calendar is my friend! I put everything out there. I have a task going in the task section also I put it on the calendar so my boss is aware of what I am working on for that day as he can’t see my task list pop up. Both send me reminds, which is good as a dual reminder for me – the outlook is 5 minutes before I should be starting the project, the cell phone is 1 hour from the time I should be starting my project/etc.

Organization also extends to my home. My closet is arranged in color order, makes it easier to pick out clothing every work day, my shoes are lined up and the better shoes are hanging in the shoe holder in my closert. My jewerly is arranged by my favorites first then the lesser like items at the back. I rarely change purses, but sometimes I need a different one and they also arranged by color in another closet. I know this sounds silly to some to you but honestly the color coordination thing cuts down on my time trying to find a blouse, slacks, dress pants, etc. And as I am pulling out the clothing I am scanning the jewelry and pulling that out and placing on my dresser.


Admin. Asst. April 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Thanks, Terri…. I’m going to try some of these tips, esp. w/ outlook calendar. (My daughter arranges her clothes by color too…it looks so nice. I’m not a fashionista so I haven’t bothered, but maybe I should try it as a time-saver. And I’m always rummaging through “bad” shoes to find my favorites….good suggestions all.)


Sharon April 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I set cell phone calendar appointments for tasks, deadlines, or anything else I want to be alerted to with contact information and dual reminders. One reminder is set 2 hours prior, the other five minutes prior. I even use it to schedule negotiation dates with Comcast to keep my costs down.

Important dates have a one week reminder too.

This trick helps me sleep better knowing I don’t have to worry about missing important details in work and home life. It gives me the freedom to smell the roses in life.

I began doing this after I saw my son buy something at Best Buy. He was offered a free subscription to three magazines but they all had a deadline to discontinue the subscription if he wanted to. While at the cash register, he entered a calendar reminder in his cell phone with enough time to cancel subscriptions he did not like.

We may teach our children but I have learned they teach us too.


OMM... April 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I want to know how you negotiate with Comcast to keep your costs down. I just reached the 3rd & final tier of the promotion I started on with them. I didn’t know you could negotiate.


Sharon April 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I also believe I will invest in a new smartphone. This syncing sounds like the best deal ever. I am all for making life easier/ quicker/ neater.


Sharon April 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

Everything goes in my Outlook calendar. Everything! I’ve found, after reading others with the same issue, that if you put something in Outlook tasks, it is not as likely to get done as when you put in the calendar with an actual day and time assigned. Work stuff goes there, personal stuff goes there, everything. If I make plans to go to a movie, it immediately goes in, even if it is that night. I go to my mom’s for dinner every Tuesday; that’s there as a recurring item. I clean a different room of the house every night; that’s there. I volunteer, between two pet charities, every Wednesday night, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and soon Sunday afternoons. They are all on my calendar. I have a Droid phone, and those have built-in Google calendars, so my PC is set to sync Outlook and Google Calendar several times a day. That means that when I put it in Outlook, I can pull it up on my phone when I’m on the go, or pull it up at home on my PC via internet. I’ve never been as organized in my life as I am now with this Outlook/Google calendar syncing. The two are phenomenal time management tools.


Admin. April 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

wow, Mark. you just convinced me that I need to breakdown and buy a smartphone. (though I’ll need someone to show me Outlook/Google calendar syncing!) –But you should be in sales! :)


Sharon April 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

I LOVE this advice: “When you’re really stressed, don’t forget to schedule some joy in your life.”

It really works. I make it a point esp. when I’m stressed to email my friends to _put a dinner date on the calendar_ (catching up with even 1 or 2 is a great joy for me)…otherwise I find I can go 6 months without seeing my own friends, even as I drive my daughter all over town to see hers.

As time mgt experts say, it’s not doing MORE things, it’s doing the RIGHT things … my energy sags if I’m only doing what I HAVE to do, not what I WANT to do ..squeezing in things that make me happy helps energize me.


Toni April 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I am really quite organized in the morning. However, I am an early riser – up at 4:30 and I do not need to be in the office until 7:30. This allows me time to start the dishwasher, a load of clothes, organize a drawer or two and read my email for work. By answering many emails from home in the morning, my coworkers or travel agent has answers to work on and aren’t waiting to all pounce on me,the moment I walk into the office. My head is clear of many details. While in the office, I have a timer that I can set for 10-15, 30 minutes (what ever a job needs) to keep me focused on completing projects. It doesn’t always work, but most times it does.


Sharon April 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Make a habit of picking up and delivering items at home and at the office in the order of which you pass by them.


Admin. April 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

To get out of the house I follow the “never check email in the morning” rule.


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