Making Best Use Of Time

January 10, 2012

Internal sessions have always been useful to me, especially when they are based on time management and agile methodologies. Last week, a session conducted in our office introduced two time-management techniques, GTD (Getting Things Done) and Pomodoro. (You can see the slides here) These practices, developed by David Allen and Francesco Cirillo, significantly talk about how one can record their tasks, prioritize them and finish them-off in an efficient manner.

This Session was followed by an interactive discussion on several practices that people follow to manage their time efficiently. Participants shared their views and came up with different practices that help them to manage their time more effectively. All these points can be easily exploited on daily basis to manage your time, and hence, I am sharing the list here:

  • Sticky notes are the easiest way to manage your time, especially at your work place
  • Some people mentioned that they usually make use of white board at their desk to prioritize their daily job, while some feel that To-Do-List on their personal desktops, laptops and phones work great for them
  • Many people depend on others for reminding them about their critical work and when it is due
  • One of the participants shared something very unique. He creates to-do-lists and saves them as his current system wallpaper, so that every time he logs-in, he knows what is next on the list that needs to be done
  • Next, when to allow interruptions? For example, how do you deal with phone calls, emails or manual interruptions in between your work schedule? Various strategies were discussed, and the most interesting one was having a ‘priority’ list to allow or disallow interruptions. For example, a participant mentioned that he doesn’t pick any phone while he is in the middle of some work, except when the call is from an unknown land line number (All others, he can call back later)
  • Peak energy time usage : The best way is to use that time to do your critical jobs when your energy is at its peak
  • Analysis of time wasters and deciding how to avoid them
  • Having notes ready before calling someone
  • Tasks can be split into various sections, may be, important, non-important, critical and waiting for list
  • Shuffling the work is a different idea, which allows you to prioritize your work and manage things systematically
  • Flagging : This technique can be used to categorize Emails, based on the response expected (Example: Red Flag : Immediate Response, Blue Flag : To Read later etc.,)
  • Open door time: Example: all my pre-lunch hours are scheduled for all kinds of interruptions and post lunch hours are scheduled only for critical jobs, when I do not allow interruptions to hinder my work
  • Try to create templates that can be reused, saving you time and effort
What is your big Time management idea? Share in the comments area!
– Charu Mehta

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