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Lessons in time management

Remember last week when I was having some hard days?

Most of it was related to work and although I do like my job, I am still learning about my position and how to juggle the range of tasks I take on. Lately I’ve been doing everything from research and analysis to writing press releases and newsletter articles, to starting and managing our blog, to designing layouts for booklets and statistical profiles. All this while fending phone calls and other projects that come up at a moment’s notice.

And although I love the variety of tasks – there really is no room to get bored – I hadn’t quite mastered how to manage my time and tasks, and that’s when I became overwhelmed and had a tendency to FREAK OUT. And also, I can’t say no. Someone needed something and I said “of course I’ll get that to you” or someone wanted me to tag along to a meeting and I would say “sure I have time.” I can’t say no. I like being asked to do things. I like being included in new projects. I like it when my opinion is asked (who doesn’t?)

But who was I kidding?! No one can handle everything.

So this week is a different story. I have a task list, and an estimate for project length and I can take a deep breath and sit back and say “sure I’ll get to your project – next week.” (Or whenever, but you get the picture. No more freaking out.) I have also started reserving small blocks of time to check email, return calls, etc., so that I’m not constantly checking those things. (And also, that workout routine is really working! I’m on a roll now – and I’m sleeping better and I have way more energy!)

And, as if it were a sign or something, I found this quote today – “those who are asked to do more, always do more than asked.” It’s somewhat like that saying “if you need something done, ask a busy person.”

Do you feel this way? How do you cope?

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