Last week at work, we had a company wide meeting to have some time management training. Daniel Markovitz, president of TimeBack Management and author of A Factory of One, came in and spoke to us about methods to manage our time better and helped us discuss how we can apply it internally to our team. He said that if we were to take anything away from the meeting, it should be the 4 D's (listed in no particular order):
See if the project is even worth your time and effort. If it's not, let the person know that you just don't have time for it with the 30+ other things you have to do.
Try to quickly gauge how long the project would take. If it's a quick email you have to send or a task that will only take you 2-3 minutes to complete, make the conscious decision to do it right then and there. When I did this for the first time after that meeting, I wanted to pat myself on the back. In the middle of thinking, "Oh, I need to write down that I need to send that email out", I stopped and thought, "You know what? This will only take a minute or two at max. Do it now." So I did. And it was one less thing I had to worry about.
If you can't make the time for it given other higher priorities, ask someone else for help so the task can move forward. If it's just you doing the tasks, see the first D.
When assigned a task that you can't tend to immediately, make it a point to schedule in time on your calendar to work on it.
It has been almost a full week since we had that meeting, and the things I've learned are still fresh in my mind. At work, I've been trying to be pretty mindful of making quick decisions about whether or not I should do something or delegate it (since ditching isn't quite an option once tasks get filtered down to me). I've also been trying designate time for projects both in and out of work (because I'm working on finding balance between the two since I let one overlap the other too often).
It is too early to say how it's going at this point since I've only just started, but I'm hopeful. It will be a work in progress, and I'm excited to keep you all updated.
Live on the Bright Side,