Total Recall: Time Management

New Time Management Habits for Your Best Work

Your new time management system:

We spend our time in four quadrants at work – where are you today?

Q1 – Panic, Crisis, Firefighting    Q2 – Progress (where we should be!)

Q3 – Pointless some meetings, emails etc  Q4 – Preference, Nice things!

How to spend more time in Q2:

  • Schedule blocks of 30 to 60 minutes (max) in outlook calendar (1 of 6, 2 of 3 etc starting with deadline, working backwards and be specific on task in next couple of blocks coming up each time) – these are all meetings with yourself! (Colour code each project/priority etc)
  • Say “Can I come back to you in next….minutes” when distracted! (Colour code each project/priority etc)
  • Schedule Q2 in highest energy points of your day if you can
  • Include tasks towards achievements; that take account of good/bad 80/20; that deal with things you are putting off
  • Three-part day book – back of book for ‘To Do’ list: things not yet in calendar I want to capture somewhere for future (e.g. ideas) – tick
    when scheduled into calendar, line through when completed
  • Front of book for ‘Today’ list: Things I need to do today or tomorrow that will last less than 30 mins – tick when completed
  • Middle of book: Meeting notes, anything else….
  • Optional: Highlight with colour three things that must be done today (midday calendar recurring reminder) and this week (wed night reminder)

Adding email to your system:

  • Inbox down to less than 30 – everything else in ‘deleted’ or a dedicated ‘deleted’ folder
  • Reduce number of folders and introduce ‘Chasing/Waiting’ (drag sent emails into it with calendar reminder at 3pm every day to review folder) and ‘To Read’ folder with calendar reminder every week to review - Consider sending CC email to its own folder
  • If email takes less than 5 minutes to sort out then do so and delete
  • If email takes between 5 and 30 mins it belongs on Today list
  • If email takes longer than 30 mins it deserves its own calendar slot

Don't forget three other tips:

- Doctors Surgery

-121s in half the time

-Eight new meeting rules

More detail on these in the Total Recall document you should have received separately which includes the key slides and additional tips to help you further.