“Doing nothing in particular – but doing it very well?”
Not just a line from a Gilbert and Sullivan light opera but a mantra that should be at the heart of any good time management system or technique to avoid this elephant trap! It invites you to answer these two questions:-
1. Do you do the wrong things well but the right things wrong?
2. Or do you spend so much time thinking about the process of doing something that there is no actual tangible outcome or delivery? Paralysis by analysis!
Research shows too that “Time Bandits” abound. The most common time-stealers are:
- Poor communication
- Visitors who drop in
- Ineffective delegation
- An inability to say ‘no’
- Trying to do too much at once
- Confused responsibility and authority
- Untrained or inadequate staff
- Tasks left unfinished
- Telephone interruptions
- Lack of objectives and priorities
- Cluttered desk/personal disorganisation
Here are my top 10 favourite time management techniques:-
1. Ask for shorter or better structured reports
2. Start the day with unpleasant tasks you’ve been putting off
3. Delegate attendance at meetings
4. Before you pick up a piece of paper, decide you will do SOMETHING with it!
5. Build into your plans an allowance for unplanned events
6. Let people know if they waste your time
7. Have smaller meetings
8. Have stand-up meetings
9. Find somewhere inaccessible to work on important things
10. Before interrupting someone, think whether it is really necessary
And I have 100 more! What do you do?
Not this, I am sure!
“He slept beneath the moon, he basked beneath the sun, he lived a life of going-to-do, and died with nothing done.” James Albery.
Guest Blog by William Chadwick – Owner of QED Training.