Archive for June 25th, 2012

Checklist on Time Management June 25th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

This is one of the most common topics that I have discussed over this blog. Yet I find it interesting in sharing more and more on the same subject. Feel free to use them in your life as these are surely time-tested methods and coming out of some experience. I am sure there will be moments of “Aaahhaaa” that might come and I would surely want to hear them. Drop us a note over the comments.

Most of the time management tips are high level and these are my 25 step. This is 100% not exhaustive and there is a lot I can learn from you too, so feel free to drop the same.

Expanding the Checklist:

  1. Use the "80/20 Rule" – Work on the 20% of activities that produce the 80% of your results.
  2. Know the – Who, what, when, where, why, how? and find ways to team with someone to execute if needed.

    Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely – Rodin

  3. Have a small pad for tasks, notes and ideas that come to your mind. It can also be something you can use to guide your time during the day.
  4. Evaluate how you’re using your time from time-to-time. There is always cases where you might have missed the opportunity. Don’t hold on to it so tight that you miss the next opportunity that is in front of you.
  5. Avoid procrastinating and get into a “Do it now” mindset. Doing it is way better than trying to be perfectionist. Understand that perfection is a journey and not destination.
  6. If you know it is a routine, make time and make sure it gets done. This is particularly important for activities like exercise, walks, family time etc.
  7. Start your day early and start chipping your day with doing things small and predictable. It is not about moving a mountain that is in front of you, it is the million small rocks that needs to be moved one-after-another – as simple as it gets.

    What may be done at any time will be done at no time. – Scottish Proverb

  8. Create time for everything that requires the much needed time – family time, recreation time, sleep time, recreation time, relaxing time etc.
  9. During the day, know your productive hours and plan the most important work during this timeframe. This is to make appointments for yourself to get things done.
  10. Avoid and minimize the distractions from social network, emails, phone calls etc.
  11. Make a routine for your emails by – Delegate it, Delete it or Differ it.
  12. Manage administration activities that drain your time away and concentrate on your strengths in executing the same.
  13. Don’t try to multi-task and get time-sliced away in mind. Always have something different to fall back just from a change and get your energy levels high. Focus on one thing at a time and have a checklist that will prioritize what you are executing.

    Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late – William Shakespeare

  14. If you are serious about anything, then know what are the top 5 things you want to achieve out of the day, week and month. Look at your activities in hand and revisit the above list to see if you are on track.
  15. Set your goals in life reasonable and keep revisiting them from time to time – maybe once every 3 months to track the progress.
  16. Allocate time for administrative tasks like meetings and ask two question – Are you required for the same and secondly, is the time reasonable enough to finish the accomplished tasks.
  17. Know why you are going to do a task, this keeps the morale high and you will be surely motivated enough in doing the task.
  18. Know how long things actually take you versus how long you think they should take. This surely helps you to later go a judge for the future. Be realistic and be reasonable.

    It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau

  19. Do the most important things first even if it might be the dirtiest thing to handle. I am a big fan of Covey rules :). Prioritize your tasks based on importance, not urgency.
  20. Say "No" skillfully to make time for priorities and to stay focused. Use your mind to answer and not your heart in answering with an affirmative “No”.
  21. Feel free to delegate tasks if you feel this needs to get executed by someone else.
  22. Keep your TODO list short, measurable, achievable and always in sight and chip your way forward.
  23. Map the work and breakdown on the things as you execute. If you can time-box them based on calendar slices, feel free to do it. Every task needs its time and give them the time.
  24. Don’t over-engineer on a 5 minute problem for more than half hour. Snap out and move on and return back to it later if you are in a brain-dead state.
  25. Don’t try to chew more than what you can eat. Set your internal limits of time, quality of work and the task list in hand.
  26. Bonus: Do any activity to the best capacity of your knowledge and never hesitate to stand up for the work you have done. If you personally feel it is not worth, don’t try to do a half baked job. Ask for time and do a better job that will be acceptable by you and hence by others too !!!

The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. – Stephen R. Covey

These are some items that come on top of my mind. Feel free to give me your feedbacks. Thanks again for reading this far :).

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