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Sep 01 2014
CSI Credit: Credit Specialist Investigations
Erik Wright, CBF, Spectrum Engineers, Inc.

What helps you stay on task?  What time management tips have helped you succeed?


"Being a credit manager means constantly having things thrown at you. Every night before I leave work, I prioritize what is urgent and what can wait. It helps to make sure that urgent matters are kept on top of the list so that nothing slips through the cracks. I have recently decided to go back to school to get my accounting degree, on top of being a single parent. I manage my time at home pretty much the same way; I cut my days into priorities. A typical Monday night is for my last minute homework that did not get finished and spending time with my kids. Tuesday night is for classes only. Wednesday is my night off where I hang out with kids, friends, and clean house. Thursday is, again, homework. Friday is my free night. Saturday I do homework only. And, Sunday is reserved for me, my kids and my sanity." Shanna Smith, CCE, Credit Manager, Easton Corp


"I prioritize my day first thing. I look through my emails and get things taken care of there first. After emails, I will move on to my paperwork/phone calls. I try to have a set routine for each day and stick as closely to that routine as possible." Ryan Palmer, CCE, LKL Associates


"I use my Excel calendar and set reminders. I have to anticipate items such as lien and bond filing deadlines weeks into the future. Setting the reminder for these deadlines a couple of days prior to the deadline is very helpful. We also use a system here that forwards a job file to a particular employee on a certain date. It's a simple little lined form on the job cover that has lines for 'TO' and 'DATE.' All of us at Alders pay attention to that form and pass the file along to the requestor when they need it. This is efficient for making sure that each department, whether Accounting, Credit, or Project Manager, gets the job file when they need it." Rebecca Knaak, CCE, Credit Manager, Alder Sales Corporation


Call it ADD or OCD . . . or, whatever, when I'm not on top of my e-mail, I feel out of control. Because, I perceive that people tend to associate responsiveness with competence, it's important for me to get my email under-control to help me to be able to focus on other more pressing tasks. Therefore, as an essential survival skill, I have had to learn to become an email Ninja! Here are a few tips that I use:


Empty your INBOX every day-This is the daily goal. I ensure that every message is processed before I leave for the day. This is done by setting specific time for my email.


Don't get bogged down; keep moving-If  the email is ACTIONABLE then I either Do - if I can do it in less than 2 minutes/ Delegate - if there is someone better  equipped to do what is being asked, then I delegate the task to this person/ or lastly, Defer - schedule a time with myself to do it. If it's not ACTIONABLE I file it - I will file it in the client folder or job folder or I Delete - if it is not specific to me . . .


Use keyboard short-cuts and rules to filter low priority emails Create a CC folder to have all emails that you have been Bcc'd on go there. Make sure junk mail is identified as such and I use multiple 'signatures'; pre-written responses that have been prepared so all I have to do is INSERT the desired signature." Erik Wright, CBF, Spectrum Engineers