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​Ten Top Time Management Tips

If there is one thing every nonprofit manager needs it is more time. Here are ten tips to make better use of every moment.

  • Conduct a time audit: Document how you are actually spending your time. Flag the time-wasters and think about how you can minimize them.
  • Close the extra browser windows: Sometimes it is too easy to flip from work to email or social media. By closing extra browser windows these distractions are limited, making it harder to get pulled away from the task at hand.
  • Schedule for interruptions: Create “office hours” for appointments with those who want to meet with you or phone calls that need to be made. Consolidating these events into set blocks of time will allow for more focused efforts.
  • “Do Not Disturb:” A ringing phone does not always need to be answered and email can sit for a little while. It is okay to give yourself some uninterrupted chunks of time when phone calls, emails and texts are put on hold.
  • Plan your day: Spend the first 20-30 minutes at your desk mapping out your day. Put the most important item first and ensure that you have a clear sense of the priority tasks.
  • Schedule an appointment with yourself: If there is a particularly important task you need to accomplish, schedule it on your calendar. Work only on that task and do not tend to other items during that block.
  • Use your tools: Combine your activities on a single calendar. Color code emails for easy sorting. See if there is any technology that can make your time-wasters more efficient.
  • Define “well-spent time.” Having a clear sense of this may lead you to reconfigure your schedule to make sure that it is happening regularly.
  • Waste time well: There are always those small blocks of time — 10 minutes before a meeting, 5 minutes waiting for an appointment to arrive—that are ideal for small tasks. You’ll be surprised how those minutes can increase productivity.
  • Delegate: This will help ensure that tasks are being performed by the right people and will distribute work into more manageable amounts.

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