Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.
One of my struggles over the past few months has been finding a time management system that works. I have tried every system out there over the past year and I have to say I’ve finally determined that time management systems are extremely personal. What works for one person will not work for another and even if it does work for another person it may work in an entirely different way.
So I’ve found what works for me is David Allen’s GTD or Getting Things Done system with pen and paper. Call me old fashioned but I like the feeling of using a pen to cross items off my To Do list.
I use a separate page or pages for projects.
I use a separate page for diffent contexts of tasks: @Computer, @Desk, @Home, etc.
I cross reference projects and tasks using numbers and letters. Letters for projects and numbers for tasks.
Like I said it works for me. But I’d love to hear what works for you?
So for the next few weeks if I don’t post as much know that I am currently overextended. I seem to have a problem saying no to things. I literally have more work than I can complete by the end of June. It is all high priority and none of it can be delayed.
Part of this was poor planning and procrastination on my part. I’m not normally like that but have been rather apathetic about my job for a few months this year.
So now it is crunch time! I will we working every waking hour. Thank goodness my spouse takes care of the kids during times like this when I need to burn the midnight oil.
If you have any tips on how you like to organize and track projects, please post them in the comments!
An important lesson I’ve learned this month is that other people’s lack of planning does not have to become my emergency. The same people always wait until the last minute to put their requests in to me. This has to change. Today I spent half a day working on something that someone could have completed a month ago.
Wow. Friday is finally here. It has been a busy week which is why I have not posted much. I’m getting ready to unplug for the weekend and wanted to check in.
This week has been crazy! I got sucked into a project that is consuming a lot of my time and really has nothing to do with my job. The whole project was poorly planned. When there is not good planning and leadership it really shows when it comes time for implementation. And I’m sorry but another department’s lack of planning does not result in my emergency.
Next week I have to set boundaries and it will be hard. For privacy I can’t give too many details but I can give an illustration. Let’s say you are a graphic designer and another department is working on a new product launch. Ideally you would be involved from the beginning to get a feel for the product and have time to make a great design with ample time for feedback and revisions. But instead you are asked a week before product launch to develop an entire marketing campaign. I’m sure you’ve been there.
As frustrating as this is for me, it’s also a great lesson for my own future projects.
- Make sure to involve stakeholders in the beginning. Let them know what will be expected and when so they have time to fit it in to their busy schedules.
- Another person’s lack of planning is not your emergency.
- Learn how to say no.
- Remember that it’s just work! In 6 months I won’t care about this so there is no point in being frustrated now.