Time management is another area harm reduction leaders, and indeed many people, report struggling with. There are many systems for dealing with time management that deal with one of two issues:
One of the most famous models for prioritizing tasks was developed by Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey describes the time management matrix to help prioritize tasks. The matrix divides tasks into four quadrants and encourages people to list their to-dos within the matrix to determine what order to go about them:
Many harm reduction leaders would also add an extra row for delegation. Like this:
Here is a sample Monday to-do list from a fictional harm reduction leader we’ll call Jay:
Here is that list prioritized using the Covey method:
|Important||Run payroll (due tomorrow)||Write grant report (due Friday)
Prep for Community meeting (Wednesday)
|Unimportant||Respond to email||Sign up for warranty on new computer|
|Delegate||Put away supplies
To focus on specific tasks there are many tips and tricks but one of the most famous, evidence-based ones, is the Pomodoro Technique. This method was developed by Francesco Cirillo, a university student frustrated with his own inability to focus for long periods. Instead, he found that he could focus on longer-focus tasks for 25 minutes followed by a short break of 5 minutes then returning to the original task or moving on to a new longer-focus task. This method has been studied and has proven useful to many. There are multiple free apps and websites to help learn and utilize this method of task management.
Other recommendations for focusing on tasks include:
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.
Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation.