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MBXam: Time Management

Published Thursday, October 17, 2019

Time management: the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. - Wikipedia 

Ben Cotton, Program Manager for Red Hat, dropped by MBXam to talk with us about time management and share his best guidelines for how work gets done while life is happening. Here’s a shortlist of the top takeaways we walked away with: 

1. The key to managing your time is in your answers to 3 questions

What do you want or need to do, and how much time does it take? 
Be detailed about all the steps to accomplishing a task and how long each step might take you.

How much time do you have, and what kind of time is it? 
What time of day, and how much flexibility you have at the time are important considerations for managing what you do with the time you have. 

What from step 1 fits into step 2?
For example, if the most flexible time you have is after the sun goes down, that’s probably not when you’ll get around to mowing the lawn. 

2. Write it down

Getting it out of your head can free up headspace for you to be more focused. It’s also helpful to not only make a list, but to make notes about what you’re thinking of when you add something to it. 

Whether it’s a calendar, bullet journal, kanban board, whiteboard, or all of the above, find a way to keep track of all those to-do’s. Ben is partial to Wunderlist

3. Try a few different tactics

Make some notes about what works and what doesn’t work for you. Keep track of how much time you spend and where it’s going, you might be surprised and need to make adjustments. 

4. Do things more efficiently

Batch similar tasks, do work at the time of day that you’re best for that kind of work, and take steps to create an environment for yourself that helps you be effective. 

5. Be flexible

Being flexible allows us to be nimble and do what’s urgent and necessary when it’s required of us. Review your tasks/calendar daily and adjust what needs to be adjusted. Make time for yourself to re-energize. Know what motivates you and what doesn’t.

Fellow members:

Revisioning the concept of traditional work environments and moving to a collaborative space has been an amazing opportunity for our organization to remain engaged with our constituents and expand our connections in the community.

—Kitty Campbell

"MatchBOX is helping my company (One Fact) survive and prosper. The affordable space is only the start. It is the connection with the other co-coworkers that is proving helpful. MatchBOX gets a share of credit for any success One Fact sees in 2017!”

—Cortland Starrett

MatchBOX is where I met some of my newest best friends, Amanda, Emily, Matt, Ed, and sometimes Ryan. It's conveniently located near Kathy's candies and a bunch of places to get drinks during lunch. Could use a couple more Pokestops though.

<3 Austin Toombs

MatchBOX has provided an incredible opportunity for getting my work done, collaborating with others (at least 4 projects so far), hosting meetings for organizations I'm part of, and meeting other independent contractors in the area. The feel and ambience of the place just adds to the fabulous workplace -- not to mention the coffee and snacks! I have friends around the country who are jealous of our MatchBox space.

—Johanna Merritt Wu

My Enactus Purdue team got a tour of this studio recently. The environment is outstandingly innovative! Everyone there is incredibly friendly and hospitable and passionate about what they are doing. What a great place to see opportunity in the city of Lafayette!

—Acaimie Catron (from Facebook)

There is such a positive, creative vibe to this space. I participated in Lafayette Writers' Studio events and classes at MatchBOX fall, 2016. It is easy to access, convenient to downtown Lafayette and parking is not difficult in its area of town.

—Sandra B. (from Yelp)