Today has been a catching up/admin day and as part of that I had some managers training. It was the first session on a 3 month course and I am finding it really useful. Its funny to think that I have managed staff for a cumulative of about 15 years of my 30 years plus career but you are always learning. Today’s session was about time management and I have found it fascinating to learn all about the unknown capability of the Outlook email programme. One of my pet hates is someone who “replies to all” even when it’s not necessary, so then you get hundreds of alerts and your inbox is rammed with things to read. It was quite a revelation to hear about all of the rules you can set up, the ability to remove “reply to all” and the acronym FAST – file, assign, store, trash it. My homework is to try out the new way of using email and a really great tip is to treat it like hard post and only look at it a few times a day not constantly.

I am always a great lover of books to back up learning and I was reminded of the Stephen Covey book “7 Habits of highly effective people” which I have on my book shelf and on my Kindle. For some reason I thought I had already consumed it as part of another course, but its pristine condition makes me think not. I like the look of the book and one of the chapters is “Put first things first”. This appeals to me as I tend to procrastinate at times, doing tasks I enjoy more than others and then getting frustrated with myself. Today I pulled out and dusted off my productivity planner which is great as it makes me list my most important things to do – critical tasks, today’s wins and progress so it reminds you that you have achieved things which is important.

I will need to be strict on myself with diary management to block out time for my own learning – for the management programme and also the free Future Learn course online I am doing. We were asked today how we encourage those we manage to do learning and I said its important to be a role model, so I make sure that I do my own learning and encourage them to take time out to do the same. I have always been like a sponge with knowledge since I engrossed myself in books from a young age, this was mainly to escape the mayhem that was my childhood and it has stayed with me. Although my reading mojo is poor at present, I will aim to start and pick up this book and see what it can teach this old dog! For now, back to on call duties …..