aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Running Out of Time

Posted by Ellen on January 27, 2010

“There’s just not enough time!”

“Where’d the day go? Seems like nothing on my to-do list got done!”

You’ve heard all the tips about time management — have probably even led sessions on the topic. We know to plan our time, prioritize, make the most of delegation, etc. etc.

Don’t shrug them off!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your TIME is a valuable association resource. Think of it as another thing your members are paying for when they send in their dues — the association magazine, the discounts — and your expertise.

Make the most of that member benefit — your time — in every way you can. Here are a few ideas:

  • Maybe you’ve seen this  handy cue-card before (above). Though your Importance/Urgency blocks would probably differ than this example, the chart itself is an excellent reminder that you don’t have to answer every e-mail immediately; some phone calls can be returned rather than answered directly. Take a few minutes to create your own time management matrix, laminate it, and prop it next to your phone or computer screen. Respect it and live by it.
  • Track the data. Not only will it will provide important evidence for the success of your programs, but it can — and should — be used as evidence when you campaign for staff assistance or other resources.
  • Watch the calendar. When do you most need help? Are there tasks a temporary worker could handle for a short period of time so you’re free to attend to other responsibilities? Think about the best uses of your time for what your association invests in you. Where can you make your time work more efficiently, task-to-dollars? (See the post on Best Resolution You Can Make)
  • Set aside the time you need — and do it without guilt. If you need to draft an elearning strategy, revise your curriculum to meet new competencies, or complete other tasks that require concentration, don’t be afraid to close your office door, have your calls held, or ask for time to work away from the office. Turn off your e-mail.

You were hired for your expertise. Your special knowledge and skills. Require your association to make the most of what you have to offer.

Sometimes they’ll need your help to do that, so take the lead, create the environment you need to get those important tasks checked off your to-do list.

What are you waiting for?

One Response to “Running Out of Time”

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