ER&L 2016 Take away: Keynote session

Time Management

Keynote session:  Finding Time: From Industrial Mythology to Chronemic Literacy
Presenter: Prof Dawna Ballard.
Keyword: Chronemics:  “study of the role of time in communication”

Prof Ballard touched on the myths and realities of time management:

  • Myth 1: Better time management skills + tools will make you more productive
    Reality:  Time management not related to productivity. Pick the tool that fits your personality.
  • Myth 2:  If you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work 🙂 (BS)
    Reality:  Be wary of any language that tries to mask work as something else.
  • Myth 3:  Focusing on work-life balance will lead to greater well-being.
    Reality:  Focusing on balance can create unending frustration.
  • Consider Alignment:  Be mindful of our alignment

(notes from slides)

There have been lots of discussion on work-life balance.  Personally, I felt that it’s difficult to maintain the exact same balance.  Most likely, when you focus too much on one area, the other tends to get neglected.  We need constant check and balance in our life.  (My wife tends to check on me often 🙂 esp if I’m spending too much time in the office).  Esp during peak season, the workload can get pretty heavy and that’s when you tent to get sucked into work.  All of us will have to figure out how best we can manage our time between work and life.

Kevin Cruse, in his book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, mentioned about focusing on the minutes in a day.  (Wanna make a guess how minutes there are in a day?).  He suggested to do away with post-it pads and concentrate on putting important tasks on a calendar (such as Outlook calendar).  I’m guilty, at one stage, of using too many post-it pads. There were yellow ones, green ones etc all over my computer screen.  And when that’s not enough, I started pasting them on my desk as well 🙂  I have to admit that weekly calendar blocking does help me focus on my important tasks for the week as well as to reduce any unwanted disturbances.

Here are some tools that I use to manage my activities:

  • MS Outlook Calendar
  • Evernote
  • Trello
  • Slack
  • Post-It pads (yeap, old habits die hard 🙂 )
  • MS Sharepoint

All the best in managing your time and achieving work-life balance 🙂

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln


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