Where does the Time Go?

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It seems there’s never enough time in a day.  Do you ever look at your To-Do list at the end of the day, and it doesn’t seem as though you’ve done much — even though it’s the end of the day, and you know you worked all day (you know that because it’s dark)?

That happens to me sometimes. Last week I gave a presentation on “Be a Social Media All-Star” in Portland, Oregon. Frontier Communications is starting a contest called “Be a Social Media All-Star” for small businesses. The kickoff went very well, and the audience members said they were glad to get easy-to-use LinkedIn tips and techniques they can use today – in 10 minutes or less. Because they have so little time . . . Sound familiar?

What I’ve also noticed about my time is that the more I use LinkedIn, the more there is to do on LinkedIn. When I first started using LinkedIn several years ago, there were times that it was a time sponge. I was spending more and more time on LinkedIn, and not necessarily getting new clients. And I wasn’t ever caught up. Now there are more connections to accept, people to invite, check in with, and help to achieve their goals. For the most part, I get more speaking engagements, and clients who want to make the most of time — not waste it talking to people who will never become clients. Yet . . . where does the time go?

At the kickoff meeting, I learned about a time management method that intrigues me. It’s called the Pomodoro technique, and I’ve decided to test it out for the next 3 weeks specifically for my LinkedIn networking. I chose 3 weeks because it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. The concept for the Pomodoro method seems easy enough. All you need to get started is a timer (set it for 25 minutes), a piece of paper and a pencil (they also recommend an eraser).

It is really simple.  You…

  • Write a list of tasks to accomplish
  • Pick a task on your list to do
  • Set the timer for 25 minutes.
  • You stop when the timer goes off, and put a check on your sheet of paper.
  • Then take a 5 minute break. After your break, start another task.

So for the next 3 weeks, I’ll devote 25 minutes – with a timer – focusing on LinkedIn. And I’ll tell you if it works – and if I get more done with this method than I’ve been doing.  Stay tuned . .

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Jan, I am addicted to use Linkedin because I just love what Linkedin provides me – great relationship. 🙂

    After reading your article, I think I need to set time in using Linkedin. 🙂

  2. You’re right, Kent — LinkedIn does provide good relationships and connections. So far my Pomodoro Technique experiment is working well. I spend 25 minutes a day on LinkedIn (yes, I set a timer). In the first 3 days I’ve already answered more messages (including consulting and speaking opportunities) and connected with more people — plus read news articles that I used to set aside “’til later” (only “later” never comes!).

    Let me know how it goes when you start setting a time to use LinkedIn.

  3. Hi, now that’s an interesting technique. What happens if after 25 minutes you are not finished the task? Do you take a run at it after you go through your list? I think this is most interesting.

    • You’re right, John. I thought it was interesting, too. That’s why I decided to try the Pomodoro Technique for myself. It seems that you go on to the next task for 25 minutes (after a 5 minute break), or work another 25 minutes on the same task again. I learned about the technique from someone who was spending hours and hours on something that was fun and business-related; however, he wasn’t doing some of the higher priority tasks for his business. He now spends 25 minutes a day on the fun project, makes a certain amount of progress in that 25 minutes, and does more the next day.

      I’ll post how the technique works for me after I’ve done it a bit longer (I started it this week.)

  4. Here’s an update on the Pomodoro Technique for time management. It works! I’ve used it now for 3+ weeks, and have been able to finish up several projects. I’d been working on the projects for a couple of months, and then “real life” and travel came in, so I didn’t finish them. The difference that the Pomodoro Technique made is that when I devoted 25 minutes to each project, I saw clearly that it would only take another 25 minutes or so to finish it up. Before, when I spent a few minutes here and there on the project, I didn’t know how long it would take to finish it. It seemed like it would take a long time, and I never had a block of time available. When I saw that it would only take 25 minutes to finish, it was easy to allocate that 25 minutes. Great sense of accomplishment. So I continue to use the method, and highly recommend it to busy people.

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