“When I find spare time, I’ll organize my office.” You’ve said something about using spare time to get things done dozens of times. People actually believe that’ll happen. No, it won’t.
I met Susan at a networking event. We got into a discussion about organizing her office.
Susan: I know I need to get my office organized but I don’t need your help because I can do it myself.
Me: OK. How long has your office been disorganized?
Susan: 15 years.
I hear things like this all the time. To organize your office, write a report or finalize the budget, you must schedule time to do it. Don’t wait to find spare time.
Periodically we get Time Opportunities, as I call them. They pop up unexpectedly. A two-hour meeting is canceled at the last minute. The morning’s Zoom conference is rescheduled. Poof…Time Opportunity.
Your client texts to say she will be a few minutes late for your lunch appointment. A meeting ends 10 minutes early. I call these brief periods (up to about 15 minutes) of unexpected free time as Small Pockets of Time. Here are more tips on using Small Pockets of time.
These periods of time present themselves without notice. So, it’s helpful to be prepared with tasks you can accomplish quickly.
Here are ideas for 5 quick tasks.
- Organize your desk drawer
- Complete quick tasks on your to-do list
- Chip away at your to-read pile
- File papers
- Walk around the office for exercise
Leap Day, February 29, is Saturday. This year we get 24 bonus hours, a HUGE Time Opportunity. But we treat it like any other day. Should we? Maybe we should honor Leap Day by spending part of this bonus time doing something meaningful.
We all have different amounts of spare time. Unfortunately, most people fail to notice and take advantage of Time Opportunities and Small Pockets of Time when they pop up. Effective time managers recognize them and use them to boost productivity. You can too.
Contact me if you’d like to learn ways to increase your productivity and get more done in less time.