Organizing Your Workday – High School Style

Organizing Your Workday – High School Style


Remember high school when you had eight periods and at the end of each period the bell would ring?  Then you would get up and have ten minutes until your next class.  Remember?? I do, and sometimes I think about how efficient that system was.  Think about it….In 50 minutes (or however long a class was) a teacher would plan out exactly what they could do in that time period and by the end of the period chances are the students’ attention for that particular subject was at its end and the teaching for that day would be done. If something didn’t get finished, it might wait til the next day, or the students might take it with them to finish later in study hall perhaps. When you think about it, this is really not a bad way to work things – even in the workplace.

So I have tried this. When I sit down in the morning, I will set a timer for about 45 minutes. During that time period, I will work on one specific thing. For the first part of the morning I might focus specifically on getting through my e-mails and setting the schedule/focus for the rest of the day. Then when I am done and the timer rings, I will get up and stretch my legs, or reheat my coffee. I might see how much of my house I can pick up in those few minutes (and I usually surprise myself with how much I get done.)  Then, when I sit back down to work, I focus on sourcing from a particular tool for the next 45 minutes. I won’t check my e-mail during this time and chances are if someone IM’s me I might not answer them until I finish this task (IM is so rude, isn’t it?) Then, when I am towards the end of this time period and I feel good about my progress, I will respond to new IM’s or E-mails or voicemail. I love how much I get done using this method.  Having this type of structure in my day creates a ton of efficiencies that I didn’t have before I organized my time into periods of sorts, and gave myself periodic breaks. I find that when I come back and focus on my new “subject,” I am refreshed and get a lot more done!

This is also a great way to empower yourself with control over your day. I feel more in charge of my day and my calendar by doing this. I don’t let constant IM’s or e-mail take me off focus (unless it’s something urgent that truly can’t wait.) Now granted, not everyone can structure their ENTIRE day like this, but maybe you can set a few hours up where you are completely focused on a particular task with no interruptions and end with a small break or reward. Too often, people let others control their time with constant demands (haven’t we become a rude society with IM’s or phone calls being so intrusive?) Even if you are in a role that is customer service oriented you should try this for just a small part of your day. Wouldn’t it feel great to have more control over at least a portion of your time?

What are your thoughts on doing this? Have you ever tried organizing your day like this?

Becki Jacobs is a lead technical recruiter for one of the largest IT companies in the world.  She has an MBA with a focus in HR Management along with over 15 years of experience in HR and Recruiting.  Previous to her current role she spent 8 years as a top performing recruiter for a professional staffing company where she recruited for companies such as Xerox, Johnson and Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and EDS.

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Fun Friday – Pomegranate Margarita

Hi everyone and happy Friday!

I’ve given my husband a job on this blog (hey, it’s a family project) and that is to provide a drink recipe every Friday.  I may try to pair it with a fun food, but we will see.  So starting next week the drinks that you see on Fridays will be his – FUN!

Yesterday was the girls’ last day of school and as you can imagine they came home with bags filled with art projects, writing samples and report cards.  I’m trying to figure out what to do with everything, but I think I have a great idea!  I’m going to take pictures of some of the pieces that I would consider otherwise keeping.  That way, I will be able to save the memories of their work, but I won’t have this huge stash of papers.  I just never know what to do with the volume, but this way I won’t feel so bad about throwing so much of it out.  I can organize them into folders or even print them out.  Isn’t that a good idea?

This sample is my 1st grader’s….classic…seriously.  The really funny thing is it’s pretty much how the season went – she captured it beautifully!

So, after such a crazy week, come Friday we are usually ready for a cocktail or two. This one is from last Friday. I had some limes that I wanted to use so I got out my little juicer and used my muscles and got some fresh lime juice…it was hard work, but there is really nothing like fresh juice.

We really enjoyed these.  I think its important with your drinks to use really good, fresh ingredients because every flavor gets concentrated into the final product.  The pomegranate juice adds lots of antioxidants so I think that this drink is actually healthy – he he.  Nonetheless, enjoy and have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend!


Pomegranate Margarita

From POM Wonderful
1 1/2 c  pomegranate juice
1 1/2 c  tequila – we used Cabo Wabo Silver
1 c  triple sec
2/3 c  fresh lime juice – definitely try to do fresh if you can

In a pitcher, combine and stir 1 1/2 cups of pomegranate juice, the tequila, triple sec and lime juice.  In smaller amounts, shake the mixture in a large ice-filled shaker, then strain into each of your glasses.

You can garnish each glass with a little kosher salt.  Just dip them in some water or reserved POM juice and then some kosher salt.  Can also garnish the glass with some lime wedges.  Enjoy!