Time Management Using Microsoft Outlook
Another Friday and 99.9% of all employees in America are muttering under their breath or uttering the words to colleagues as they walk through the doors, “Thank God It’s Friday.” We omitted .1% because there are workaholics who think they don’t have to take a break. Work is their religion, hobby, and leisure.
There is nothing wrong with looking forward to a weekend of personal pursuits. However, before you walk out the door on Friday afternoon, be a professional – take a few minutes to follow a time management routine: Close out your week and plan major blocks of time for the next week. This process will keep you on a steady track toward the completion of your important assignments.
Part of professional success is the tool you use to organize yourself. Many of my clients use Microsoft Outlook so I’ll share two Outlook specific tips that work for me but the techniques work just as well in other programs such as Google calendar.
In my time management using Microsoft Outlook training I recommend you use the acronym, COD for Close Out the Day. I type this in as a calendar entry every day about 30 minutes before I leave the office.
The COD routine takes 20-30 minutes and includes:
1. Looking back over today’s work and celebrating the tasks you finished.
2. Rescheduling unfinished tasks to a future date. Every day has tasks you were not able to complete. If you did the most important things for that day, don’t beat yourself up, merely reschedule the unfinished items to a day the following week. Outlook makes this super simple. Just follow these instructions:
3. Checking project deadlines and planning work on specific days next week.
4. Blocking out non-discretionary meetings or appointments for Monday.
5. Deciding the most important task you have to tackle on Monday morning and making it your first appointment.
Below is an example of items 4 and 5. If you do not want to be interrupted during your work on the GTIG report, be sure the free/busy option is set to BUSY. No one needs to know you have an appointment with yourself.
Now you are ready to walk out the door with a clear plan when you walk in the door on Monday morning.
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