I was told that July and August would be the "down" time for my teammates and I at Microsoft, but someone lied.

During the rest of the year, we're preparing presentations, trying out technologies, planning tours, visiting user groups and traveling the country. It's gets pretty hectic. July and August are supposed to be quiet since you, our audience, are mostly on holiday. This is supposed to be the time when I can get more blog posts written, perhaps work on updating my certifications, do some more reading.

So it amazes me when I realize my last blog post was 2 whole weeks ago - instead I've been busy self evaluating my performance for the last year (we just had our fiscal year end) and planning for the next year. There have been lots of meetings and discussions as we ramp up for the Canadian IT Managers tour which will commence mid-September (more on that in a later post).

Time management is constant struggle for most people. I like to read Jim Estill's blog as he's a successful business person with an interest in time management and has written books on the subject. This week his post on how to conquer procrastination was really very helpful. Here's my synopsis:

  1. Do the worst task first.
  2. Break the task down into smaller tasks.
  3. Have a friend help you start the task. Often getting started is the hardest part.
  4. Do the pleasant part of the task.
  5. Spend just 15 minutes on it. That will usually give you enough momentum to finish it.
  6. Track it. If you know you have to write an update on it, it'll help you actually have sometime to write about.
  7. Reward or punish. Tie the completion of the task to a reward or the incompleteness to a punishment.
  8. Use mantras. Jim loves mantras. I'm not totally sold. I'm not doing badly in life, but look at where he's at. Hmmmmm....
  9. Develop successful habits.
  10. Don't over-commit in the first place.

Read the full article here.