Early Intervention Strategies for Success

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  • 10 Tips for Organizing & Prioritizing! – Part II(current)

Last week we posted 3 tips to help you get organize and prioritize your many work duties. These tips involved organizing lists, prioritizing yourStressed Woman Passed Out Desk work, and using tickler systems. Here are 3 more tips for managing your time!

Tip #4: Follow the 3 minute rule (or 5 minute rule or whatever time you set for yourself)

  • Will it take 3 minutes or less to complete without breaking my workflow?
  • Decide if you can do one of the following in 3 minutes or less:
    • Act on it
    • Refer or delegate it
    • File it
    • Set it aside to read for later
    • Throw it away if it isn’t something you need
  • Bonus tip….this rule works great when deciding to accept/return phone calls and/or emails!

Tip #5: Take a temporary “time out” or establish a “quiet zone” when needed

  • Sometimes a time out is time for a mental break and sometimes it is a scheduled block of quiet time that you give yourself on a daily and/or weekly basis to play catch up on miscellaneous activities and/or activities that require extra time.
  • If you work in an office where there is a lot of activity you can create a fun and/or quirky sign that you put on your door (or the back of your chair if you don’t have a door) to let others know that you wish not to be disturbed at this time.

Tip #6: Save 30 minutes at the end of each day to wrap-up your paperwork

  • Use this time to finish documentation for the day’s activities or reply to emails and phone messages. This helps you stay on top of your work and avoid getting “behind.”.
  • Block off this time in your calendar to avoid scheduling other activities at the same time.
  • If it works better for you, block time at the start of the day.
  • Another option might be blocking one afternoon a week to catch up on paperwork. However you do it, planning time for completing your desk work can be a great way to stay on top of it!

The next post in this series will describe tips for taking charge of your phone calls, emails, and calendar!

What strategies do you use to manage your time? How do you keep up with completing your paperwork?

To read other posts in this series, click below:

Part I (getting organized and prioritizing your work)

Part III (taking charge of your communication)

Part IV (taking care of yourself)

Sarah SmilingSarah Nichols is an Early Intervention Consultant for the Early Intervention Training Program at the University of Illinois (formerly the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program).  She has been working in the field of Early Intervention since the year 2000. She was a service coordinator for seven years and she has been a training consultant for the Early Intervention Training Program in Illinois since 2002. Sarah assists in the development of web-based learning opportunities, manages the Early Intervention Training Program website, facilitates state and national webinars, and develops and manages online workspaces for early interventionists, training consultants, and members of the Early Intervention-Early Childhood Professional Development Community of Practice (EI-EC PD CoP). Sarah is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) and she is currently a Co-Leader for the DEC Professional Development Special Interest Group (DEC PD SIG) .

3 comments on “10 Tips for Organizing & Prioritizing! – Part II

  • Mary Ellen Plitt says:

    Thanks for these posts. They are one of the first things I like to share with new staff members as all this stuff gets thrown their way 🙂

    • Hi Mary Ellen! I’m glad these posts are helpful!

    • Sarah Nichols says:

      Thanks for sharing how you have found them helpful to prepare and support new staff members! If you or your staff members have any additional tips to add we would love to hear them. Please also let your staff know they are welcome to comment on what they have found most helpful and what additional strategies they have adopted over time.


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