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Time Management - FGS Wiki

Time Management


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[NOTE: this page has not yet been formatted.  If you are interested in assisting in the care and maintenance of the FGS Wiki Content, please contact Thomas MacEntee at publicity@fgs.org.]
 
 
 
[[Category:Strategies for Societies]][[Category:Putt, Dawne Slater]][[Category:Administration]]
 
[[Category:Strategies for Societies]][[Category:Putt, Dawne Slater]][[Category:Administration]]
 +
 +
 +
== INTRODUCTION ==
 +
 +
It happens to most of us – we get caught up in
 +
the enthusiasm at a genealogical society
 +
meeting and before we know it, we have
 +
volunteered to fill an office or chair a
 +
committee. This is a good thing, for without
 +
volunteers our genealogical societies would
 +
languish. However, the stress we feel when we
 +
discover we may have agreed to do more than
 +
our schedules allow is NOT a good thing.
 +
Fortunately, time management tips can allow
 +
volunteers to find those extra minutes that may
 +
make a difference in balancing their society
 +
workload with other responsibilities.
 +
 +
 +
== AVOID WASTED TIME ==
 +
 +
One way to find extra minutes in a day is to be
 +
aware of “wasted” time. This does not mean
 +
that watching a ball game on television or
 +
leisurely reading the Sunday newspaper are
 +
taboo; relaxation and participating in enjoyable
 +
activities are not wasting time! “Wasted” time
 +
usually is time spent waiting for something to
 +
happen – waiting for a train to pass, an appointment to begin, dinner to cook, or a hold
 +
message to end on the telephone. Many small
 +
or clerical tasks can be accomplished during
 +
these times if the volunteer is prepared for
 +
them.
 +
 +
Keep a notebook and pens in your vehicle.
 +
When you are caught in traffic, waiting for a
 +
train, or between appointments, brainstorm
 +
about your society responsibilities.
 +
<ul>
 +
<li>Presidents can outline agendas and columns
 +
for the newsletter.
 +
<li>Newsletter and quarterly editors might jot
 +
down story ideas and names of potential
 +
authors to contact.
 +
<li>Program chairs can plan a year’s worth of
 +
programs.
 +
<li>Committee chairs may chart a list of goals,
 +
make a “to do” list, or plan telephone calls
 +
and letters. A cellular telephone lets you take this a step
 +
further and get started on your list. (Of course,
 +
none of the above suggestions should be
 +
attempted while driving.)
 +
</ul>
 +
Having office supplies and committee files in
 +
the kitchen or family room – wherever you
 +
“live” the most – allows you to take advantage
 +
of odd moments of time at home. Many
 +
society jobs include data entry, envelope
 +
stuffing, addressing or label-sticking and other
 +
work that, while important, requires only
 +
minimal concentration. These are perfect tasks
 +
to work on while cooking dinner, watching
 +
television, or waiting on the telephone.
 +
In fact, tasks like folding correspondence,
 +
stuffing envelopes and attaching labels need so
 +
little concentration that they can be done while
 +
talking on the telephone. The key is always
 +
to have something to do near the telephone. Use a cell phone or a cordless phone.
 +
Take advantage of modern technology and use
 +
voice mail, answering machines, e-mail and
 +
fax whenever possible. These conveniences
 +
allow you to send messages when it most suits
 +
you, and for the person on the receiving end to
 +
answer according to his or her schedule.
 +
 +
 +
== REDUCE ==
 +
 +
Another time management tip that dovetails
 +
with the above is to break large tasks into small
 +
pieces. For example: Compose a letter or flyer longhand while
 +
waiting to be called into the doctor’s office.
 +
Type it into the computer and print it while the
 +
family is watching television that evening.
 +
 +
Copy it at a print center the next time you are
 +
out.
 +
 +
That evening, fold the letter at the kitchen
 +
counter while dinner is cooking.
 +
 +
Stuff the envelopes at a television tray while
 +
having family time.
 +
 +
Address labels and postage stamps can be attached during phone
 +
conversations, dinner preparation or television
 +
time another evening.
 +
 +
Breaking a task down into those “wasted” time
 +
spaces during three or four days can save you
 +
several hours of prime time otherwise needed to
 +
accomplish a project.
 +
 +
Nowhere is it written that a project must be
 +
finished in one sitting. Trying to do so when
 +
you already have a busy schedule can be
 +
daunting. Instead, slow but steady progress
 +
toward the end goal can energize and motivate
 +
you.
 +
 +
 +
== ORGANIZE ==
 +
 +
Create files for your society responsibilities.
 +
When you have reduced tasks to smaller pieces,
 +
keep partially finished work or brainstorming
 +
idea sheets in the appropriate files. Make lists
 +
and keep notes related to your projects. These
 +
might include:
 +
<ul>
 +
<li>To-do lists for your job or project.
 +
<li>Lists of things that you promise to do during
 +
the course of a society meeting.
 +
<li>Notes about what was discussed regarding
 +
your job or project during the society
 +
meeting (for example, what others promised
 +
to do so that you can follow up with them).
 +
<li>Notes about tasks that you have delegated
 +
to others, again so that you can follow up on
 +
those assignments.
 +
</ul>
 +
 +
Each list and note goes in your project file,
 +
along with other information you need to
 +
perform your responsibility. This might include
 +
telephone numbers and addresses of pertinent
 +
people, copies of the society’s standing rules and
 +
bylaws, minutes of previous society meetings,
 +
and notes from the former committee chair or
 +
office holder.
 +
 +
Keep a planner or calendar and remember to
 +
look at it! Write down not only the deadlines
 +
relating to your project, but also plan time to
 +
work actively on the project a few days, weeks,
 +
or months ahead of the deadline, as is appropriate for your specific project. This will keep the
 +
deadline from sneaking up on you.
 +
Use one calendar or planner for society, 
 +
family ''and'' work responsibilities so that you do
 +
not double-schedule yourself. Train yourself to
 +
look at the big picture, which means to project
 +
ahead when considering your calendar.
 +
 +
 +
== PRIORITIZE ==
 +
 +
Are there breaks in your schedule that you can
 +
use to work ahead on your society project?
 +
When prioritizing the tasks relating to your
 +
office, project or committee, consider three
 +
factors: deadline, importance and time
 +
commitment. In some cases, your schedule may
 +
be so busy that you will be able to work only on
 +
the task with the next impending deadline.
 +
 +
During those times, don’t worry about other
 +
tasks; concentrate on the one at hand. When
 +
your schedule is freer, work ahead on small
 +
tasks toward a large job that is due later.
 +
 +
When prioritizing according to importance,
 +
consider whether the task must be done, should
 +
be done, or would be nice to do if time
 +
permitted. Sometimes we mentally move “nice
 +
to do” tasks to our “must do” list without
 +
realizing it, causing more stress than is
 +
necessary. A society meeting without a
 +
holiday theme tablecloth and homemade
 +
cookies is one thing; a meeting without a
 +
program is quite another.
 +
 +
Get out of the habit of having to be “in the
 +
mood” to complete a particular task. If your
 +
schedule is free enough to allow you to work on
 +
your project when the mood strikes, great! But
 +
if you find a deadline approaching when you are
 +
not in the mood for project work, do it anyway.
 +
You may well find that once you start, the mood
 +
follows. If not, then it may not be your very best
 +
work. That idea may not please the perfectionists among us. But in most cases a project that
 +
is not perfect is better than a project that is not
 +
done at all.
 +
 +
 +
== BALANCE ==
 +
 +
The old saying, “All work and no play makes
 +
Jack a dull boy” applies to time management.
 +
Balance business with pleasure. If you are
 +
responsible for an office in the society or a
 +
long-term project, commit to work on that job
 +
for a certain amount of time per day or week.
 +
Once you have honored that commitment, give
 +
yourself permission to put the society work aside
 +
and do other things.
 +
 +
For example, you might plan to spend twenty
 +
minutes each evening on data entry of addresses
 +
for an upcoming mailing. At the end of your
 +
twenty minutes, stop and consider; Do you feel
 +
like doing some additional data entry, or would
 +
you rather watch a television program or work
 +
on your own genealogical research?
 +
 +
 +
== SHARE AND DELEGATE ==
 +
 +
Consider sharing your society responsibilities
 +
with a friend. This is another way to break tasks
 +
down into smaller pieces. If your society is
 +
having trouble finding someone to manage a
 +
large committee, and you are reluctant to
 +
volunteer because of the time commitment
 +
involved; perhaps you can find a friend to cochair the committee with you.
 +
Delegating part of your responsibilities can ease your workload. Clerical tasks can be assigned
 +
to other volunteers, friends, or family. Teen-age
 +
children or grandchildren may be willing to fold
 +
mailings or stuff envelopes for a nominal
 +
reward, such as pizza and soda.
 +
 +
Enlist the aid of professionals from time to time.
 +
It may be worth paying out of your own pocket
 +
for typesetting, folding, collating, or other
 +
services in order to save the time of doing these
 +
tasks yourself.
 +
 +
 +
== SUMMARY ==
 +
 +
Take advantage of odd moments of time to work
 +
toward your goals, break large tasks into smaller
 +
units, organize and prioritize your work, share
 +
and delegate, and balance business with
 +
pleasure. You will be surprised at how these
 +
steps can help you become more efficient at
 +
managing your society volunteer time.

Revision as of 19:20, 14 August 2013

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