tips on time

We're all busy, and there's all sorts of things to keep us even busier, so when I find any tips on saving time, using time, and enjoying time (vs. being overwhelmed by lack of time), I take note. Bobbi Newman, the Digital Services Librarian at the Missouri River Regional Library, keeps a blog worth watching, and recently she posted about how she finds the time to keep up with web 2.0 technology. I particularly liked her first tip...

"I don't try to keep up with everything. There is so much going on, I think it would be impossible to try to do it all and have a balanced life, so I accept that there will always be something I don’t know about."

It's reasurring to know that someone who presents on the topic of web 2.0 also feels the pinch, the need to step back before getting overwhelmed by the rapid-fire innovations surrounding us. Check out her entire post, here:

And also be sure to read her colleague's blog: Passion for 'Puters. We've posted about Robin Hastings in the past, and she's a MaintainIT Project contributor, too. Expect to learn more from Robin and others in the next Cookbook, due out later this summer.



I liked Bobbi's post a lot, too, Sarah. This is a topic that's so interesting to me. I'm always intrigued by how people learn and I think that's what this is really about. I'd like to do a study or create some sort of software that helps track people's learning "flow". I feel like I be-bop through a bunch of blogs, looking for interesting tidbits, and if I seriously need to learn something or understand what something is, then I get on IM and ask one of the smarties I have as buddies. "Chris Peters, what does this mean?" "Kendra Morgan, how do I do this?" "Chris Jowaisas, help me understand" etc.... That's just my gut feel for how I learn. I'd like to really track how I do though... and how others do, too. No, I'm not going to change my dissertation topic (although it's tempting), but I am going to pursue this in a formal way one day. Or will hope that someone else does. Maybe they already have???

Thank you Sarah! Time management is something I've always struggled with and probably always will. Letting go and accepting that I can not keep up on everything is one of the hardest things I've done. When people ask me how I keep up I can often sense their feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. It looks easier from this side, but if you're just getting started it can be truly daunting. I'd really like to hear tips and tricks from other people. I don't think any one method will work for everyone. I'd like to know how I can improve too!

This recent post on David King's blog reminded me of the time conversation we were having here: -- Gina (director of Topeka Public) posts a thoughtful response, too.

I never felt a lack of time until having children. The best piece of advice I ever received...You can have it all just not at the same time. Right now I'm focused on family and career. My house is a mess. Yard full of weeds. I also gave up TV. When I stopped watching TV I found the extra time I needed for myself. The $ saved from canceling cable it a nice bonus too.

Lori, I also feel that not watching TV gives me more time. Have you seen the Clay Shirky video where he talks about that? He's responding to the question of how people find the time to do things like contribute to social networks and he says, well, they aren't watching as much TV. It's pretty interesting and it's at

There is a link in the comment of the original post on my blog pointing to this this post of his about the same thing, he makes some really great points. In fact I bought his book because of it and I just started reading it last week. It's hard to say without offending anyone, that we all have the same hours in the day, we just make different choices on how to spend them. I recently sold my large house and moved back into an small apartment you wouldn't believe how much time that freed up. no yard to mow, nothing to maintain, less than half the space to clean! For some people that wouldn't even be a consideration but for me I just realized I'd rather spend my time elsewhere.

Wow. Two thorny, metaphysical subjects in one comment thread.

I gave up the beast (TV) a long time ago, and I still don't have enough time, but it's a huge improvement.

For time management, I really like Remember the Milk. It took me awhile to adjust to its quirks, but it's a really rich, full-featured application. Also, about a year ago, I picked up some great tips from a book called Total Workday Control. It really gave me a different perspective on handling tasks and email in Outlook (the book is specific to Outlook).

For flow of learning, Andy Hunt is writing a really interesting book called Pragmatic Thinking and Learning. He's taking a bunch of learning theories from academia and business, simplifying them (somewhat) and making connections between them. There are still some tough concepts in there, and some of his examples come from the programming world, but I'm still learning a lot about learning. You can download a draft of the book for $25 at That purchase entitles you to download all future drafts, up to and including the final version. If you want the hard copy mailed to you too (when it's ready), it'll cost you $50.