Most people look at Time Management as being a hard-to-learn discipline that is optionally added to their personal life or required to their professional life as they grow, rather than being a skill that would help them benefit the most out of their life (whether personal or professional).
In this week’s tip, you will learn a simple trick on how to change the way you look at your To-Do items in order to dramatically increase your productivity and the nice thing about it, is that each time you will apply this trick won’t take more than 30 seconds!
Let’s not make things very complicated, if you just look at your to do list, you will find items that would probably look like this:
– Write a report
– Call X,Y,Z
– Bring ABC from the Supermarket
– Meet with X,Y,Z
and the list would go on, and the list above applies to the tasks that you know in advance, but what about the interruptions that happen WHILE you’re doing another task, let’s say when one of your staff knocks on your door and interrupts your meeting to ask you about something… How to deal with that?
The answer is simple, as of today the trick is to expand the To-Do list (whether planned or un-planned) to have 4 items associated to it:
- Related to?
- Time to Execute
- Urgent / Important
So when you view your next task, you need to ask yourself (and preferably write down the answers)
- Why should I do the following task?: per example To which project this is related; most of the times we are faced with Tasks that does not add value to our core personal or professional objectives, and therefore you can simply ignore the task all together.
- How Long will it take to execute: divide it in 15 minutes chunks, even if it takes less… Practice makes perfect in this 🙂 and the general rule is that if it can be done in less than 2-5 minutes, then you can finish it immediately.
- When is the deadline for this: How urgent and Important this is? (is your friend’s Facebook status is about her new outfit or about her mother’s passing away??)
- What’s the context: do you need to Drive somewhere to finish it? do you need to be in the office? do you need internet? is it a phone call?
Once you practice the above method, things will start getting done more and you will be able to easily manage your time, and take better decisions on how prioritize your tasks.
Have a great week!
Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.
The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project