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Effective time management is an indispensable skill. In Time Management Fundamentals, Dave Crenshaw explains how to sensibly allocate time in order to achieve greater productivity. Dave details a set of principles for staying organized, consolidating the workspace, keeping a clear mind, and developing a time budget. Also covered are techniques for managing a full inbox, processing email, and reserving time for the most important activities. Exercise files accompany the course.
Up to this point in the course, I have primarily been sharing with you principles. We haven't talked too much about the action, although you've picked up some great tips and some things that you can use in general. The next section of this course goes into hands-on implementation of your productivity and time-management strategy. Because of that, make sure that you watch this next section in your workspace. What do I mean when I say workspace? It's the place where you are most often when you handle things like email, paperwork, and scheduling.
Most people have some sort of a home base when it comes to doing their work, and that's what I mean. If you have a mobile office, that's fine; just make sure that your briefcase and all of the resources that you normally use when doing your work are at hand when you go through the next section. You'll get the maximum benefit from this training if you complete it in your workspace. I can't emphasize that enough. Once you have the time budgeted to complete the training, and once you're in your workspace, then there's a third component that you'll also need, which is the Resources Checklist.
We've provided a simple checklist for you to download. Keep in mind that this list we've given you isn't necessarily a shopping list. If you already have these items on hand, you don't need to go buy them. But if you're missing any items, I recommend that you go get them prior to going into the Action section of this training. It's very possible you won't need to use every item on this list, but it's much better to have these items on hand and then return any unused items rather than find your training process interrupted because you're missing a resource.
First, you'll want to have some large boxes--at least eight of them. Really any kind of box where you can put things will work. Then you will want to have an electronic labeler, similar to this one that I have here. The exact make and model doesn't matter. There are plenty of inexpensive options out there. Just get the less expensive option. Also make sure that the labeler has the batteries it needs. I recommend that you also have some place to put your DVDs or CDs in case you have some, like this storage wallet.
You may find stray discs that need to be put away as you go through the process. Then you will want to have an inbox, something like this really deep file box that's legal-sized--the bigger the better. Next, you will want to have a set of hanging file folders that match the size of your filing cabinet. So if you have a letter-size filing cabinet, then get the letter-size hanging file. And if you have a legal- sized filing cabinet, of course get the legal-size hanging file folders. Then you'll want to have a set of manila folders, usually 100.
Again, whether you get the legal or regular size depends on your filing cabinet. Next, I recommend you pick up two sets of something like these, which are alphabetical guides for hanging file folders. These are not absolutely necessary, but you will save yourself a lot of time if you don't have to write out letters by hand. So save yourself a little bit of time and headache and make sure you have these on hand. Then you'll want to have a set of stacking trays--six, minimum.
The plastic ones are the cheapest. You can get higher quality if you're more concerned with the aesthetics of your office. But if you're trying to save money, any stacking plastic letter tray will do. I recommend the horizontal loading kind instead of the vertical, or the ones that load wide rather than the ones that load deep. This layout makes it easier to put papers in and pull them out. And finally, if you've made a decision to change to a new calendaring system, different than what you've used in the past, make sure that you have that system in hand or installed and ready to go on your computer.
In other words, if you decided to start using Outlook, make sure that Outlook is installed in your computer. Once you have all of these items and in your workspace and you've budgeted the time to complete this course, you're ready to go. So, let's get started.
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