Tips on Beating the Clock

Health, Home & Family
on October 21, 2001

Each of us has 24 hours a day, and how we manage the tick-tocks of the clock during that time can make the difference between a life in constant uproar and one that hums along smoothly. These suggestions can help you start humming. See which work for you:

lList what you want to accomplish every day and tackle the most important things first.

lAt what times of day are you at your best? Do your most important work at that time. Dont schedule energy-draining tasks on days when youre short on time or tired.

lBefore you begin a task, decide how much time you want to spend on it, and try to do it in that amount of time. If you cant, evaluate whether its really worth all of the energy youre pouring into it. Is there a simpler, quicker way?

lSet aside time each week to do home office work. Treat this time as you would any important appointment.

lOne day a month, dont schedule anything. Just relax or catch up.

lAvoid doing things at times when everyone else tends to do them. Dont go to the bank at lunchtime on Fridays or the day before a holiday. Go out to lunch a half-hour before or after the lunch rush.

lConsolidate errands and do them on certain days, avoiding Saturdays when possible.

lCall first: the store to make sure your item is in stock, the airport to see if a plane is leaving or arriving on time, a doctors office or hair salon to see if appointments are running behind.

lWhen you call a number youve looked up in a telephone book, use a highlighter pen to underline it. It will be easier to refer to next time you call. If its a number you call often, add it to your personal phone and address book.

lLet the answering machine pick up any phone calls that come in while youre trying to get ready to leave the house.

lSet up an exit center near the door everyone uses to leave the house. Keep backpacks, briefcases, keys, and your purse there.

lAlways keep an activityreading material or notepaper and stampsin your purse or car to make productive use of any downtime.