I was recently a guest on an OSHC Think Tank online session, where there was a long list of excellent questions on time management from the attendees. Over the oncoming weeks, I though I would provide feedback on several of the questions in my posts.
Is There Such A Thing As Over Planning?
The simple answer is yes!
Planning your day involves balancing a realistic list of tasks you plan to do, with your calendar of appointments and activities.
I see people constantly creating a list of tasks that they say they want to do on a specific day, that simply was not possible to achieve in the first place. Then, when I look at their calendar, it has several hours already taken up with other appointments and activities. They had no real sense of time, balance, and possibility of achievement. They never had a chance of achieving what they had planned, and just set themselves up for frustration and failure.
To plan your day, the first thing to do is, visit Time Retrievers Productivity Bundle Download page and download the FREE productivity bundle. In the bundle will be a copy of The Ultimate Daily Planning Guide, use this guide to learn how to plan your day.
Use The Ultimate Daily Planning Guide process to prepare your day.
This planning process is based on a person who is planning a standard 7.5 – 8hr day. You will need to adjust, based on whether you plan to work more or less hours.
Let’s just focus on your To Do List and over planning!
When preparing your to do list, use the guides planning process, to list everything you plan to do in your day, as you write each task down, write next to it, the estimated amount of time you expect each task to take. (We know that how long it actually takes can vary based on several factors. However, across the list, I find the gains and losses will even out).
The next step is to prioritise the list. Look at all of the tasks and ask yourself, if I only get one of these done today, which is the most important to get done. Once this is selected, mark it as number 1. Use this method to select the next 2 most important tasks for the day.
You now have the top 3 most important tasks for the day. We recommend that when you start using this planning process, you only prioritise the top 3 tasks. (As you become more skilled at getting these tasks done first each day, you can then build up to prioritising your top 5 tasks of the day. We recommend, you only prioritise 2 to 5 tasks at a time).
OK, now we have our top 3 tasks for the day, add up the time that you expect these tasks to take. If they add up to 4 or a little more hours, then that is your task list for the day. Move the remaining tasks back to your master to do list. If they add up to less than four hours, select tasks from your list that are the next in importance, and fit into the 4-hour limit. Move the remaining tasks to your master list.
(I use a 4-hour limit, based on experience that on a standard 7.5 to 8hr day, 4 hours will be the average amount of time you will have available based on interruptions, distractions, and other activities you do. The time available to do tasks is also dependent on what appointments, activities etc, that you also have planned for your day. You need to plan the amount of tasks you intend to complete around these time limits.)
Our to do list is ready for tomorrow. In the morning you can quickly review your plan and then get on with your day. As you work through your list, starting with your No1 task, when other tasks or items pop up, add them to the bottom of your list and stay focused on completing your prioritised tasks.
When you have completed your number 3 task, stop, and review your list again, and select your next 3 most important tasks from all items on the list including the new ones, and focus on completing them. By using this process, you will be amazed at how much extra you can complete in your day, and be less stressed, as you are getting the important tasks completed.
(Some new tasks that are added during the day may be urgent and we tend to drop what we are doing and go and do it. You need to stop yourself from doing this unless the task is super urgent. The concept of prioritising the 3 most important tasks considers that there may be other high priority tasks that will come in during the day. The concept here is, that you focus and complete your top 3, and then when you prioritise the next 3, the new important task can be prioritised as No 1 in this batch and you get on and do it. By using this method, you will find that you will get all items done and be more productive than normal.)
If you find that you are getting through your tasks quicker, simply bring back tasks you moved to your master list and complete them.
This process takes practice, at first it may feel awkward, but through persistence and application you will find your skills of planning your day and achieving your plan will increase day by day.
Do you want to find out more on how to reduce the stress and pressure in your day and get more done in less time? Register for the FREE session “I Get “busy” Doing The Wrong Things, Because I Am Avoiding Doing The Hard/Important Things!”
Have a great week,
Peter Johnson – The Time Retriever – www.timeretrievers.com.au
Peter is an experienced business coach who has been working with over 158 businesses and childcare centres, and thousands of people in his workshops and speaking engagements.
He found that another of the big issues for business owners, is the lack of knowledge and skill on how to employ high quality team members .
He has helped business owners create successful businesses, through first developing their time management skills and then using these skills, plus many others, to grow and develop the critical areas of their businesses.