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Do you ever feel like you start Mondays already behind? Or perhaps you are trying to slow things down and simply carve out some solid time to create.

Here, at COLI, we’ve implemented a few strategies this semester to help us get better use of our time in OM404. This includes digital scheduling that makes it easier for people to schedule meetings with us at their convenience. We use the time opposite of this scheduled consultation time to run workshops. Where we see the most action, however, is with our self-paced training. Our YouTube analytics and Wiki page views show that people are learning from us at all hours of the day, and night, using these carefully crafted resources. This is why it is important for our office to make sure we have time dedicated to creating and production, and we have set aside Fridays just for that purpose. Identifying a #CreateDay in your week may be a great strategy for you, too. Here are some tips:

  • Add a block on your calendar as your ‘to-do’ list. A bonus is that people can’t schedule with you during this time period because it is blocked off. Fill it up during the week with the things you need to create.
    • Perhaps you need to work on part of a large project, such as writing a grant, conducting research, or designing a department newsletter. It especially may include work you have been putting off all week.
    • Another option is to use this time to complete smaller tasks that can have large yields, such as using this time to schedule meetings or using this time to clean out or organize your inbox.
    • Your to-do list can also include links for things to look at and watch.
    • You can wrap-up this time by organizing your schedule for the following week using your calendar.
  • Find a space you can work in.
    • Find a place where you will not be disturbed.
      • Hint: Your office may not be it.
    • Some people work better in noisy coffee houses, others work better with music for concentration. Find what works for you.
  • Turn off the distractions.
    • Nothing is more distracting than phone notifications, so flip over that phone and turn it on silent during your working time.
    • Email notifications that pop up on your screen can also divert your attention. Shut down your email or turn off the notifications.
      • If you want to use this time for emailing, schedule your emails to go out so that you don’t get the urge to reply to their reply, and then they reply, and then you reply…
    • If you need to, install this plug-in to resist the urge to check Facebook.
    • You may also need a distraction free writing space.
  • Consider using a time management method, like Pomodoro.
    • Pomodoro is a time management method used by many folks. It involves working for 25 minutes at a time with 5 minute brain-breaks, and 15 minute breaks after every 2 hours put in. It may work for you, too.
    • Use a Pomodoro site or app to help you manage your time.
    • Consider using one of your breaks to meditate, which will get your eyes off the screen and may improve your focus for the next go-round.

We love #CreateDay so much that we are holding a #CanisiusCreateDay event on October 11. Join us to create something that will help you in your work, teaching and life; there are plenty of sessions to choose from. Find out more info and sign up, here. We hope to see you on the 11th!