You may have noticed how quiet it’s been around here lately.

I’ve been gone more than I’ve been home in the past 2 weeks.   I bet you can guess what I came back to – lots of email, lots of voice mail, lots to do.

These days, we all work so fast that it’s easy to get behind. 

We put so much pressure on ourselves to work hard and fast, that when we take time out of our offices, things pile up.  Since I know so many of you experience this too, I thought I’d share a bit about how I’m handling my time management.

First, I had to realize that not everything will get done.  And that’s okay.  You might have noticed that I didn’t post on my blog at all last week.  I didn’t like that at all, but there wasn’t anything I could do about.  Beating myself up for not keeping up would not have been productive, so I didn’t do that.

Next, I had to prioritize the things that needed my full attention and figure out what I could do with the time I have now that I’m back. I can’t get everything done, so I have to make some choices.   I chose to delegate a few things and delete a few others.  Yep, I have completely dumped a couple of tasks on my ‘to-do’ list.  (And guess what?  Nothing bad happened!)

Finally, I made some plans about how I can do things different next time.  I’m going to have more times like this in the next couple of months, so I’m already thinking about how I can manage my work, my time, and my energy. I don’t like feeling behind and I don’t like how my energy sinks when I feel overwhelmed.  So, by preparing for the next time this might happen, I can completely avoid this situation.

How about you?  What do you do when you get behind?  I’d love to hear from you.

  1. Super-solid tips and ideas, Sandy. I honestly believe that those who work for themselves have to watch the “overwhelm” and behind factor more than normal. When I leave town, I try very hard to give myself “cushion” time when I get back, and handle what I can on the road.
    Sue P.

  2. One of the blessings of being in the corporate world for 26 years as a manager and leader was learning to appreciate good people. I was only as good as those who reported to me. They always cared for things while I was gone. I got spoiled!

    Fortunately, now I have good clients. Most of the time, I wish they would contact me more than they do. They are so considerate that I get lonely sometimes!

    Now … what the heck does this have to do with your question? Oh yes; reading your post reminds me that when I go away for some downtime (like I will soon be doing), it is a very mental thing of how I leave it all – how I prepare to getaway.

  3. I dump the things I can, delegate the things I can, and as best I can, plan ahead to make sure I’m working ahead next time. But it is inevitable that at times things will be more than we can handle. The key for me is “unloading” my derailed project, rearranging my cargo, dropping a few cars onto the siding, and then getting back on track again as soon as possible.

  4. I know what you mean Sandy.
    I have used google to better manage the month…..and it has helped out tremendously.
    Earl Nightingale once mentioned that ” It’s impossible to manage time….we manage activities.”
    How true of a statement……

  5. Sandy, When I was out of town for a month this summer I found that the time away (with limted access to work) really helped me to prioritize things. I realized that I could take care of a lot of my vital work, even on such a limited time frame, and it made me realize how much time I could spend on “work” that was not really building my business. When there are only about a half a million things we could be doing these days to build our biz, these times away are valuable as they sort through the what we have to do and what we could truly let slide. We could all work 24/7 and still not get to everything. It is learning where to draw the line and where to spend our energy that is so valuable.

  6. Sandy,
    The weather here has been just so gorgeous, that it feels sinful to not take advantage of every warm day. So staying on task and catching up after our almost month away has been a challenge again. Thank goodness for deadlines!

  7. I am the leader of an npo and we are on the verge of funfdraising so to buy a plot to finally have a place where we are going to operate

  8. Sandy,
    I love your straightforward approach. Who doesn’t get behind; I often feel that way. I just prioritize and bite off small bits and forge through them. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to go and catch up. 🙂

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