Wick Communications

Posts Tagged ‘Time management’

Like sand through the hourglass…

In Management on 6 May 2016 at 8:19 am


Where does the time go?

I imagine that all of us can relate to the notion that some days time just slips through our fingers. At the end of a day like that we might feel frazzled and as if we really haven’t accomplished anything. Those days, which somehow don’t feel particularly productive, sometimes feel like the busiest of all.

It was after a day like that that I resolved to try and capture the shifting sands of time in my hand – or rather on a Google Sheet. The results were certainly imperfect, but they do point to what I would call “a situation.”

Over the last two weeks, I’ve asked the Half Moon Bay Review news writers to humor me and try to jot down the time they spend on various tasks. I left it pretty unstructured on purpose. The image above shows how I measured my own time over the week. I made categories for a story I was working on (Foyer), mundane tasks like email, time spent representing the newspaper in the community, on The Kicker, etc. At the end of a week, I went through, tallied up the hours and then figured out the percentage of the total time I spent on each category of tasks.

One wise gal on the staff said she needed a separate category for time spent filling out the silly form. Point taken.

The categories for each of us varied a bit, but for me the takeaway was that we all spent between 20 and 47 percent of our time on what I would call “job maintenance.” That is email, planning, answering phones, filling out the weekly news budget, going to meetings, etc. It’s the stuff that in one way is the scaffolding upon which more meaningful work is built, but it is also not that meaningful work itself. (I outlined those tasks in red in my Sheet, which showed that I spent 28 percent of my total time on clerical, planning and email tasks.) … Read the rest of this entry »


Too much to do

In Time management on 27 Jan 2012 at 9:38 am

This week I had the distinct pleasure of talking on the phone with Steve Buttry. He is the director of community engagement and social media for Digital First Media. Digital First Media used to be known as the Journal Register Company and it owns a bunch of news properties in the Northeast and beyond. Steve is a well-known innovator in the journalism world and often speaks to industry groups about his experience with the hyperlocal news startup TBD.com and other ventures.

I wanted to talk to Steve about why I am so damn busy. Actually, I wanted to pick his brain about ways to deal with the ever-increasing workload we all feel as journalists in the 21st century. Why bother an even busier guy with a question like that? Well, because, Steve is presenting a webinar titled “Managing your Changing Workload.” (It’s from 1 to 2 p.m., CST, Feb. 10, and it would be $35 well spent.)

Newspapermen and women have always worked at break-neck speed. It’s just that we did far fewer things in the not-so old days. We used our time to obsess over comma splices and AP style. We still do that, but now we have to update the Web, tweet game results, write blogs that add nuance to our coverage, upload videos, moderate comments, curate user generated content… Obviously, something’s got to give. … Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping track of time

In Ideas on 15 Dec 2011 at 12:21 pm

I’m a little bit obsessed with time management. I certainly wouldn’t call it a strength of mine. I waste as much time as anyone I know. But I’m always on the lookout for the holy grail – that one tip that will add hours to my day, serenity to my life, more value to my work.

Well, this isn’t it. It’s an idea, though.

I ran into this column in the Wall Street Journal and I think it had interesting ideas.

  • Fragmentation: I agree that I seem to get the least done on those days when I have the most unrelated things to do. I think multi-tasking is really a myth. To do anything well, you have to focus on it. I just don’t believe you when you say you can focus on more than one thing at a time. What you mean is that you can focus on several things for short spurts at a time and you add all that time together and you have several productive fragments. We all have to do that out of necessity, but I don’t think it’s optimal, do you?
  • Time oasis: I love the idea of carving out some time, however limited, for the one thing that is most important to you. You can even schedule it. Get out of the office, close the door – do what you have to do. Make sure you see the forest and not just the trees. … Read the rest of this entry »