Most of us have a very small staff – or no staff at all – so we’re supposed to wear many hats. As executive director of a small museum, I wear so many hats that I often feel like I own a hat shop!

Today, for example, I cleaned up the bathroom, helped carry in snakes for our kids program, updated our Facebook page, worked on sponsorship requests, and prepared the financial report for the Board of Trustees meeting.

And I’m not alone. Many of you reading this probably experience something similar.

As I examine my overflowing to-do list, my heart palpitates from the impending stress. I ask myself, “Why can’t there be 10 more hours in a day?” Ten more hours, or an assistant, would make my workload manageable. But it’s easier to change the rotation of the earth than to find money to hire an assistant.

How do I manage my time? 

I love making lists – lists for the grocery store, lists to clean my house, lists of lists. At the end of every day, I update, save and organize my to-do list by date on my computer. This list currently has 36 items on it, color-coded by priority:

– Red is what I should have finished yesterday.

– Green duties are the current needs.

– Orange duties are next.

– Black duties are “items I really need to do someday.”

It may seem like overkill to update my to-do list every day, but reviewing it is how I stay on track. At the end of the day, as I remove items from the list, I can actually see that I have something to show for my time.

These resources offer more practical ways to manage your time and evaluate it: