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Tools and tips to structure and manage your time

When looking for a job, perhaps the most important thing a potential employer considers is the first impression. The way you dress and present yourself is very important, but if you show up late, odds are you’re not going to get the job.

A need to be on time means a need for structure. Sometimes it is natural, sometimes we need help. Here are some tips and tools to help make waking up trouble free - not just for the job hunter, but for the whole family.

Waking Up Is Hard to Do

An important part of making the most of everyday is simply getting up on time, which becomes even more difficult as the days grow shorter. It is especially hard for children who have been free of routine for the entire summer. A reliable alarm clock is a must for every member of the family.

“Since everybody wakes up in a different way, there are a wide variety of alarm designs to fit every wake-up routine,” says Steve Horovitz, general manager of the clock division at the Chaney Instrument Company, a leading U.S. clock company.

There are simple alarms that have big, easy-to-read numbers for those who have a hard time seeing in the morning and clock radios for those who like to wake up gently to music. Key-wound alarms are great for traditionalists who find the gentle tic-tock of a key-wound alarm soothing and the bell ring just loud enough. And then there are very loud alarms, like the Alert that has a 90- to 100-decibel buzzer, for those who need to be shaken from their beds.

One brand has a built-in night light for a little light in the room at night, another has a hidden night-glo dial that is easy to read in the dark and easy-to-grip setting knobs on the back for those whose fingers are not so nimble.

Family Time

Get organized as a family. According to published reports, being disorganized actually wastes time. Being disorganized as a family can compound the problem. Looking for missing pieces of paper or keys or books takes away from productive time. But disorganization is not necessarily genetic. Anyone can decide to become organized.

Make a schedule as a family

Spend time thinking about what needs to get done today, or this week. What are the deadlines? According to “a popular consumer magazine, making time to create a schedule will save you time in the end.


Make a to-do list and rank the items according to importance. This will help to sort out the very important tasks from the minor ones. Teach your children about the importance of scheduling time by including them in the process of setting family goals, priorities, and timetables for necessary tasks such as homework and practice as well as play time and extracurricular activities. Then teach them how to match the timetables to calendars and clocks of their own.

The experts at recommend taming “morning madness” by creating a “launch pad” or dedicated space for each member of the family where they can keep their “out-the-door” essentials such as lunchboxes, homework, library books, car keys, etc. This works just as well for setting up all the necessary tools you need to bring to that important interview — resume, pen or pencil, breath mints or anything else. An empty shelf or just a plastic bin works well for each person to have a place to store all the items they need to leave the house in the morning. Have an alarm in the staging area that is set to alert everyone in the house that it is time to get ready to leave.

Get the whole family in synch

Designate one clock in the house as the clock that keeps the “official” time. Try one that keeps perfect time and self-adjusts to the right time according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology every day — even one that self-adjusts for daylight-saving time twice a year. So, when that time comes, you know that you have one clock in the house that has the right time and one less task to perform.

Learn to say “no”

This is the single most important thing a busy person can do to make the best use of their time. We are all asked to do many more things than we could ever have time for. It is important to be selective. For more information about clocks that will help keep you on track, visit For more tips on organizing your time visit the following Web sites:;;;;;

- Courtesy of ARA Content

More Get Out of Bed Tips

• Set the clock as far away from your bed as possible so you have to get up to turn it off.

• Rotate alarms so that you don't get used to and sleep through the wake-up call.

• Have multiple clocks set to go off within five minutes of each other.

• Set the alarm to radio static or to music you hate, as loud as possible.

More managing your time tips

• Plan ahead. You must be able to create a schedule and also implement it. Be sure to include day-to-day realities of work, family and other responsibilities.

• Schedule leisure activities. Create holistic plans which encompass your whole life rather than just your working hours. You may learn something about your work-to-home ratio and make some adjustments.

• Break big jobs into manageable chunks. Large jobs are intimidating, and we have a tendency to put them off. If we break them up, we get them done with a lot less stress.

• Keep track of your progress. Every project requires a schedule or timetable listing the major tasks and priorities.

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