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What is Your Best Tip for Time Management? | Dara Little

By SRAI News posted 03-09-2023 09:33 AM


What is Your Best Tip for Time Management? | Dara Little

Members of SRAI’s Distinguished Faculty were recently asked what their best tip/aid for time management is. Over the next few months, we will share their insights and observations.

Working in sponsored programs means constantly managing deadlines and the expectations of our faculty, sponsors, institutions – all are important stakeholders in the funding enterprise, but they sometimes present us with competing priorities. 

Managing big projects and daily must-dos. I rely heavily on my Outlook calendar to manage these tasks. I review my calendar going into the week to make sure I’m ready for meetings, especially those that I’m leading and then I check my schedule again first thing in the morning. I block time for major projects and do my best not to schedule over that time. And I put ‘tickler’ notes or use the task feature to remind myself of things I need to do or people I need to follow up with (it’s important to follow through with people!). I set the appointment to show as ‘free’ since I’m jotting the note as a reminder and not a hard appointment. 

I also like Microsoft Sticky Notes and try to make notes at the end of the day of absolute must dos and goal projects for the next day.  I also do this each Friday for the following week. (Or for my weekend work, wait, we don’t work on weekends, right…?)

These aren’t overly innovative but since I work in Outlook most of the day anyway, my calendar is right there so it works for me. And Sticky Notes are right on my screen, so hard to avoid those! 

Authored by Dara C. Little, Assistant Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs
Northern Illinois University
SRAI Distinguished Faculty