Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Question About Time Management
 A fellow who commented on my interview over at the Writers in Business Blog wanted to know if my tips on Time Management--which is one of the 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success--focus on traditional work hours or the entire 24 hours in a day.

I believe that a person has to manage his or her entire life and that compartmentalizing, while it may be easy and effective in the short-term, only creates problems long-term.  For example, some people like to keep their business and personal schedules separate.  Here are the pros and cons to doing so:
  • PROS:  You can see, at a glance, which of your activities and commitments are business and personal.  You can also prioritize IF your business or personal commitments are ALWAYS more or less important than the other.
  • CONS:  You have to constantly flip between both schedules because they are not integrated.  You have to spend extra time keeping the details separate.  You spend more money keeping two separate schedules.
Newsflash, folks:  You have ONE life.  You have ONE day, just like everyone else, and it contains 24 hours.  You have ONE body and although you may segregate your schedule into compartments, your body can't be segregated the same way.  Creating one or more separate schedules takes MORE time and generates MORE stress.

Another thing to keep in mind:  If you follow the same tips and guidelines for organizing your time on the job, off the job, recreationally, or with the kids, you actually make things easier. 

And for those of you who really, really like to segregate portions of your life, or separate them when scheduling, why not use a color-coding system?  I do this in my Outlook e-mail.  I have five different e-mail accounts (3 for my writing, one for business, and 1 for personal).  Each of them is color-coded so that when e-mails appear in my Inbox, I can tell by the color I've assigned to the e-mail account precisely which of my business or personal "hats" I need to wear.

What tips can you share for effectively managing your time?


  1. Great post, Linda. I'm heading over to read your interview. I could never manage well my time without a weekly plan/schedule, so I'm all for it.

  2. Mayra, I just love it when people agree with me. Thanks!