Getting Things Done, Organizing Time
and Saying No

by Cath Rowlings
(Cambridgeshire, England)

Here are 3 things I do:

Getting things done

I make sure I always have something to look forward to at the end of the job I am getting out of the way. For example, my favourite programme will be recorded, or I’ll make sure I have my favourite biscuits to have with a cup of tea when I finish or take a break. I might even have a little look at where I would like to go on holiday or for a walk next.

Organizing my time

Because I am a big worrier, the most important way I find of organising time is to let paper do the worrying for me. I always map my week out by blocking the time I am teaching, in meetings and time I know I won’t work out with a shaded box, then I slot in from a weekly list the things I want to achieve with realistic timings. This way allows me to ‘let the paper take the pressure off’ because I know what needs doing and when I will get it done. I also always leave a blank time towards the end of the week in case things run over so I don’t fall behind.

Saying 'No' to requests

I only say yes when I know my ‘piece of paper’ will allow me to fit it in, otherwise I know I will feel awful if I take too much on and fall behind. Negative feelings won’t let me get on with work anyway so there was no point in saying yes in the first place. It’s also often good to ask for time to think about the request before saying yes so that you can really work out how much work is involved and whether you really want to take it on.

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