Implementing a Time Management System Pt. 2A

By Christina Suter on May 04, 2019 at 09:00 AM in Business Issues
Implementing a Time Management System Pt. 2A

So far I've discussed the time management strategy of dividing your to-do list into tasks and projects. Your list of tasks get checked off one-by-one and your projects' subset of tasks-- the same. One thing I want to emphasize is, not to use due dates on your tasks. Trust that you know what's next, what's best for you and when it needs to happen. When your tasks are context appropriately broken down, you know which ones you should do first, which ones you can do quickly, and what you need available in order to complete each. So if you have 15 minutes before a meeting starts, look at your "phone tasks" and do the tasks that require your phone, like returning texts, placing a quick call or two, etc. The flip side of that would be having a looming project and an hour of "free" time where you can work on the task under that project that will take some time.

I suggest your typical day be to walk in, set up your office, sit down and on a sticky note, do a mind dump. The things pressing on your mind will spill out and that will give you space and clarity for your day as well as give you your tasks for that day. Action your emails--reply to those that can be answered quickly, delete those that don't require attention, and file the ones that will require more time; do the same with your postal mail. The window of time that follows those clearing will be met either with a meeting or event on your calendar, or time. If you have some time, choose to complete the task that has the highest level of importance to your company. When that's done move to the next task until your window of free time is done. 

At least half of what you write down in your morning brain dump won't get done in a day, it's a rotating list. Update your project lists often as more information becomes known to you. By the end of your week make sure all emails have been opened, all snail mail is open and filed, and leave your office at the end of your week clean and organized so you set yourself up for success the following Monday. 

Every six months or so I decide whether my large projects still serve and fit my higher goals. I ask myself whether my company is going the way I like, do I like the results of the things I've done the past six months, has the shape and form or direction of my company shifted because of all of the things I've done the last six months? Then I ask, do the projects still on my list apply? 

Someday Maybe

You can call it whatever you want, but I call my mind dump list of things I'm not going to do right away, 'Someday Maybe'. This list contains the ideas you aren't willing to let go of yet, but that aren't actionable or applicable in your life or business right now. Be honest with yourself about what applies to your business and what doesn't. File them and review them every six months to see if any have become current or need to be permanently thrown out or deleted. 

When I do a weekly flow checklist I break down my days around the things I have to get done. Sundays I work on my finances, Mondays I see clients, and Thursdays I do my marketing. In between those things and days I do my normal work, check off tasks, and attend meetings. But I make sure the things that must get done have a dedicated day so I can manage my time and work on tasks and projects around them.