Achieving Balance: Time Management for Modern Professionals
Time Management • Productivity • Project Management


Seminar Instructor: Clay Spinuzzi, PhD
Upcoming Course Dates: March 11, 2020

Due to changes in work and technology, people’s personal and professional lives are more connected than ever before—and more fragmented, more busy, more crammed with tasks and obligations. How can we regain work-life balance? How can we achieve confidence, clarity, and the ability to plan? In this one-day seminar, Dr. Clay Spinuzzi uses a mix of research, theory, and experience to discuss the challenges we face in planning our time and projects.

Course Description

Due to changes in work and technology, people’s personal and professional lives are more connected than ever before—and more fragmented, more busy, more crammed with tasks and obligations. Faced with this seemingly endless cycle, people declare “email bankruptcy,” triage tasks, react instead of planning, and sometimes lose their work-life balance entirely. How can we regain that balance? How can we achieve confidence, clarity, and the ability to plan?

In this one-day seminar, Dr. Clay Spinuzzi uses a mix of research, theory, and experience to discuss the challenges we face in planning our time and projects. The seminar covers:

  • How We Got Here: How changes in work and communication have made our work lives so fragmented.
  • What Mediation Is: How we mediate (or control) our own behavior “from outside” with symbols and abstractions—and how we can stack these abstractions to give ourselves new abilities.
  • How to Plan Our Personal Time: How to use nine levels of symbolic tools to represent our time, tasks, and plans so we can achieve clarity.
  • When to Say Yes and How to Say No: Five basic principles for making those abstractions work in practice.
  • How to Plan in Groups and Organizations: How to understand common disruptions in organizations that derail planning; how to plan and evaluate chains of symbolic tools so your team can synchronize expectations.

Participants are encouraged to bring examples from their current planning materials (to do lists, bullet journals, calendars, project management systems, etc.) to the seminar. Dr. Spinuzzi will also provide samples of these materials for participants if they can’t/don’t wish to bring in their own.

In small workgroups, participants examine these materials and discuss:

  • What challenges do you personally face in planning your time and projects?
  • What abstractions are being used here?
  • Where do these belong on the continuum of the nine levels of symbolic tools?
  • What levels of symbolic tools are you missing?
  • When do you struggle with executing your planned tasks? Where in your planning materials do you struggle? Which (if any) of the five principles is hardest to achieve for you?
  • How do these planning materials interface with your team or organization? Do they clash with others’ tools and/or with the logic of your organization?
  • What unofficial workarounds are being used in your team or organization? What does that tell us about the tools or tasks to which they’re applied?
Details & Registration

Location: UT Austin Campus
Upcoming Courses: March 11, 2020
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 0.7 CEUs will be awarded upon completion of this course (seven hours of instruction)

Seminar Pricing

Seminar Fee Includes:

  • Course Registration
  • Parking
  • WiFi Access
  • Lunch
  • Refreshments
  • Course Materials

If you have questions prior to registering, please see our Professional Training FAQ or contact Miles Husid, HDO’s Marketing Coordinator, at miles.husid@utexas.edu.


Spring 2020


Course Leader(s)

Clay Spinuzzi is a Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at UT Austin. Dr. Spinuzzi leads HDO 386: Persuasion and Argumentation in the HDO Master’s Degree program. He has presented at industry conferences, including SXSW, and recently led a SXSW core conversation on communication in distributed workplaces. His research focuses on how organizations circulate and coordinate information to solve complex problems.

Dr. Spinuzzi has published several award-winning articles and four books: Tracing Genres through Organizations (MIT Press, 2003), Network (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Topsight (Amazon CreateSpace, 2013), and All Edge: Inside the New Workplace Networks (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Who Should Participate?

The majority of participants in our Seminars and Certificate Programs are mid- and upper-level professionals working in the business, nonprofit, government, or military sectors; however, professionals at all levels of experience are welcome to participate. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in an HDO Professional Seminar.

While all HDO Seminars are developed with wide-ranging applicability in mind, the following individuals and groups will likely find Achieving Balance: Time Management for Modern Professionals most directly relevant to their work:

  • Senior/Executive Leadership
  • Middle Management
  • Team Leaders & Supervisors
  • Human Resources/Recruiting Directors & Managers
  • Individuals and groups who struggle to manage their time and projects and/or have gotten into reaction loops
  • Individuals and groups who know how to plan, but struggle with follow through
  • Managers who seek to understand why their teams can’t effectively align their planning
Out-of-Town Participants

For participants coming in for seminars from outside the Austin area, there are several hotels near campus, many within walking distance.

HDO recommends the following hotels:

HDO works with these many of these venues on a regular basis. If you need assistance selecting a hotel, please contact Jessica Crawford, HDO’s Senior Administrative Associate at jessica.crawford@austin.utexas.edu.

On-campus parking is covered for all participants for the day of their seminar. For transit information, please visit Capital Metro’s website.

 

I truly enjoyed deeply exploring a topic that has been an area that I struggle with professionally. Time management has been an area where I have used the ‘work longer and harder’ mantra and not the ‘work smarter’ mantra. The framework outlined will allow me to achieve what is needed for myself and my organization, and ultimately lead to improved care for the patients our organization cares for.

– Susan Kohl M.D., Physician at BSW Hospital Medicine

 

My favorite element of the seminar was learning about the different levels of being organized. I now have a better understanding of my current level of organization and new tools from Dr. Spinuzzi to help me upgrade and be more successful.

– Bethaney Watson, Senior Research Program Coordinator, Neurology, Dell Medical School

 

The engaging presentation of real-life examples made it easy to see these principles apply not only to work life and career goals, but to personal and internal evaluations of life. This was a very open, safe, and friendly environment for interaction and discussion.

– Tina Reynolds, Customer Support Consultant at Compeat Restaurant Management Systems

 

The framing of time and attention management strategies in relation to one another was one of my favorite elements of the seminar. Additionally, the tool to capture searchable research and learnings was also very helpful.

– Jim Smalley, System Director, Organizational Development, Texas Children’s Hospital

 

This was a super great seminar! I thought the small group exercises were extremely helpful because of the multiple opportunities to share and learn from each other. So many great lessons to take back and utilize in my work and personal life.

– Vali Martin, Associate Executive Director, YMCA of Austin

 

My favorite element was how ideas, theories, and principles were explained using real-world concepts. I was able to identify how I can apply the systems and principles in both my personal and professional life.

– Lisa M. Stacavich, Senior Administrative Associate, University of Texas McCombs School of Business

 

The presenter was excellent. This was my first encounter with a professor with a rhetoric background. I learned a completely different way of mapping organization processes, and I will definitely use this.

– Jyothi Gupta, PhD, Occupational Therapy Department Chair and Director of Residential Programs, A.T. Still University

 
 

 

 
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