As everyone is being asked by the companies they work for to do more with less, be that resources or staff, time management is becoming more and more critical.
When I returned to work at the end of 2016 from a two-month medical leave, I found myself buried with emails and conflicting demands from within our department and from the hospitals that we serve. I’ve always considered myself to be organized, even a little anal retentive, but I needed some new techniques. After sifting through reviews on Amazon, I settled on Carson Tate’s Work Simply. I am very glad that I ended up choosing that book!
A time management framework
Work Simply has had a big impact on how I go about my workday and how productive I am while I’m at work. It provides a time management framework for how to organize your day and how to stay focused on your priorities, not just react to phone or email requests. “Do it, delegate it or turn it into a task” has become a mantra for me when I tackle my email inbox. “Do it” means take care of the matter right then if it will take 5 minutes or less. “Delegate it” is pretty self-explanatory, but even that step needs to be preceded with some self-examination about what job responsibilities are critical for you to carry out versus one of your staff. “Turn it into a task” happens with probably the bulk of email, and that necessitates having a comprehensive system for managing projects and tasks. Smith lists some options, but based on a colleague’s suggestion I use Freedcamp, which is free for single-use.
Tate takes you on some exercises designed to help you identify your personal productivity style. Again, I had a basic idea of how I worked most effectively, but I still found the exercises useful and helpful in formulating a time management strategy for work that capitalized on how I think and communicate. The book also has tips for managing subordinates and running meetings. One never knows how substantive personal productivity or self-help books will turn out to be, but Work Simply has a lot of meat in its pages.