Enhancing productivity comes with the best tools.

Simple Tips To Make Your Academic Time Efficient

time-efficientWhen Krista, a student at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), was in high school, she participated in a lot of activities. She was involved with the theater department for four years, all of the school musicals, the choir, the swing choir, volleyball, the BETA Club (a club for honor students), the ALPHA Peer Leader program, National Honor Society, History Club, Lifesavers Program, and Spanish Club. She also was a D.A.R.E. role model. Outside of school, she was an active leader of her church youth group. During the summers, besides working, she volunteered at a day care center and a nursing home. Through all of it, she maintained an A average.

What helped Krista juggle all of these activities was a set of time management skills. “The most important tool I had was a daily planner,” says Krista. “I wrote everything in it. Having everything on paper helped me realize what …

Are You “Managing Time” Or Just Procrastinating?

Procrastinating“Procrastination is defined as the gap between intention and action,” says Timothy A. Pychyl, PhD, associate professor of psychology and director of the procrastination research group at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Let’s say you woke up this morning intending to go to the gym at noon, but you put it off because a project kept you at your desk through lunch, then you had to pick up your child from school. Now it’s the end of the day and you’re beating yourself up because you didn’t get your workout in. “That’s not procrastination; it’s simply poor time management,” explains Pychyl. Yet the opposite is true if you planned to go to the gym at noon but went to lunch with a co-worker instead. “Then you have to wonder why you’re putting things off,” he notes.

The Great Divide

How strongly you intend to complete a task isn’t the only …

Ways To Find Time As A Parent AND Work!

procrastination-tool1 Take work everywhere When I’m working on a book, I have to cram it in among appointments, kids and other work. I usually write five pages in the morning, then print them out and take them everywhere I go. Throughout the day, when I catch a few minutes–waiting in the car for my kids to get out of school, for example–I edit those pages and add ideas for the rest of the chapter. Over the course of the day, I can usually sketch out a few more pages.

After the kids go to bed, I input changes and additions. I flesh them out, add a little here and there, pop in some description. In the morning, I start with revising the previous day’s work, then write new material. Those little increments of time add up and increase my productivity.

2 Cook as little as possible Say this to yourself …

Downtime 101 For Programmers

netmixTake some time to inspect cables and connectors. Dust off those soldering skills and make any necessary repairs. Properly install any gear that might have been hastily implemented during your last project. If you are using a patch bay, take the time to clean the patch cables and jack field. Make sure that the patch bay labeling and studio wiring documentation are updated.

Sound effect and sample libraries. Update your databases. Regardless of whichever system you use to keep your sound effects and samples organized, take advantage of downtime to keep them current. Assets recently created for one project could prove to be invaluable for another in the future. Taking the time to catalog and document those elements now can save a lot of headaches and hair pulling later. Nothing is worse than digging through piles of backed-up audio sessions looking for the full-bandwidth version of that killer explosion you …

Time-Wasters And How To Get Efficient

timewasterFailing to block out interruptions. If boss, they’ll honor his/her establishment of quiet periods when questions, problems, etc. are not wanted. At the same time, you’ll coach others (administrative assistants) to intercept disturbances before they get to you.

Paying too much attention to low-yield projects. It’s never wise to get involved in “small potatoes” projects. Know which ones are most vital to your area and the overall objectives of the organization. Here is where your priorities must lie.

Excess socializing. Being friendly is one thing, but those “chit-chat” sessions on the job need firm time control.

Reading newspapers or magazines on the job. While it’s important to scan important literature (perhaps first thing each day), it’s not making the best use of your time to dwell on such reading activities.

Probably at no point in your leadership schedule are time leaks more annoying (and downright wasteful) than in meetings. However, …

Keep Work Distractions Minimal, And Succeed!

successIt was a relaxing girls’ weekend in Macon, Ga., for Jenni Bastone, her mother, and her sister. At least, that was the plan. The co-owner of You Send Me, a stationery company in Chattanooga, Tenn., cut an outing short to sign off on a package of proofs that had been overnighted, ASAP. While Bastone had pangs of guilt about putting off her mother and sister, they gamely grinned through the distraction. “I am very lucky that I have an understanding family,” she says. Not everyone can count their blessings. One boss overworked himself into divorce proceedings. When he took vacations, he would have no idea where he was headed until he met his family at the departure gate, then made himself so available to his staff, they didn’t realize he was on vacation. For him and many others, work is like a child that needs to be checked in on …

Finding Time To Write Takes Patience

writingMary Emma Allen, author of many articles, short stories and books for children and adults–such as Tales of Adventure & Discovery and Writing in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont–wrote throughout her daughter’s childhood and continues to write now while sharing her home with two grandchildren. “Learn to write anywhere and everywhere,” she says.

Allen tells of writing a children’s book while taking a family backpacking trip into the Rocky Mountains. Ten days later, she emerged from the wilds with a completed rough draft. Even a warm bath, where most of us hide from work, was used to Allen’s advantage. Her family still teases her about the stories she wrote in the bathtub–“after I got my daughter to bed and soaked some of the tiredness from my bones,” she says.

Often, learning to write in a home shared with children involves conditioning our children as much as it does retraining ourselves. …