A key to bettering your time management skills is to discover how you’re expanding your time. It’s simple to utilize your PDA or PC for this. Simply set up a time log.
The sort, Importance, Effectiveness, and Efficiency fields are picked out from pop-up lists that have the accompanying values:
Sort – Family, Personal, Business, Other Importance – 1 (crucial and pressing), 2 (Important, not pressing), 3 (Not significant, but pressing), 4 (Not crucial, Not pressing)
Effectiveness – 100%, 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, 50% or less
Efficiency – 100%, 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, 50% or less
The first time I utilized a time log, many years ago, I was truly shocked at how much time I was squandering. To truly get value out of it, you ought to utilize it for at least 3 typical days (not weekend days). Then you ought to study it to see where you are spending time ineffectively. A different useful log that you are able to track in a database on your Pocket PC/Palm is one that seizes Rework actions. Such actions are those that you need to redo something on.
An easy example is that you formulate a set of demonstrations and then need to rework it to address your boss’s remarks. To get value out of this sort of blog, you ought to utilize it for at least 3 weeks — occasionally rework doesn’t come out till a couple of weeks after the initial action. You are able to acquire a lot of efficiency by confronting those areas where you have the most rework.
Once you have to pick among many tasks, there are a lot of prioritization tools you are able to utilize. If you’re in a rut with your prioritization technique, trying out different techniques might yield the one that’s correct for you.
Note that it’s generally accepted that 20% of your actions will account for 80 percent of your success (The Pareto Principle). Therefore, if you have a hundred tasks in your job list, likely about twenty of those will be the key ones to centre on. Therefore, whatever prioritization technique you utilize, you ought to ensure it helps you pinpoint these tasks.
Stephen Covey names a high-level prioritization scheme in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In that scheme, jobs are categorized into 4 quadrants:
- QI – crucial and pressing
- QII – crucial but not pressing
- QIII – Not significant but pressing
- QIV – Not significant and not pressing
Dr. Covey mentions that highly effective individuals make time for the QII actions and that doing so may reduce the time spent in extra quadrants. Though QI – QIV prioritization doesn’t help you choose which QI activity to accomplish first and which to accomplish second, and so on, it may be really informative to discover which quadrants your tasks are in.
The ABC technique
I first became cognizant of this strategy when I utilized a paper-based Franklin planner. It ranks tasks into 3 categories:
A = critical
B = significant
C = nice
Then it subdivides tasks in these classes into A1, A2, A3, …, B1, B2, … And so on. Notice that the A, B, C categories have an above board correspondence to Quadrants I, II, and III discussed in Covey’s book. Many individuals discover this prioritization technique to be really helpful. While the standard Pocket PC and Palm Tasklist application don’t support these precise priorities, there are a few really good 3rd party applications that do. For instance, Pocket Informant and Agenda Fusion for the Pocket PC support prioritization and impact a number of additional valuable capabilities.
If you utilize Microsoft Outlook, you’re likely already aware that it has 3 priority settings for a job:
High, Normal, Low. These naturally correspond directly to the A, B, C precedences. Pocket Outlook on Pocket PCs and Smartphones utilize the same priority strategy as Outlook.
The payback versus time technique:
With this technique, you weight every task by the payback you anticipate from it versus the time it takes to accomplish it. Tasks that have elevated payback and that require little time are the ones you’d accomplish first. Correspondingly, jobs that have the low payback and that take much time are ones you’d accomplish last or not at all.
Occasionally priorities change. We’ve all had to juggle jobs. On balance, though, we have to ensure our priorities are ordered with our personal goals and the goals of our organizations. Doing this calls for a periodic critique, and a weekly planning sitting is a paragon for this.
Likewise, while the message has been out for a long time that organizations ought to clearly communicate their goals and priorities, inquiry continues to demonstrate that a lot of organizations are not great at this. Therefore, you might need to make an effort to distinguish the goals and priorities of your organization, to guarantee your priorities are consistent with those.
Lastly, to accent what was remarked earlier, you ought to take full advantage of the Pareto Principle.