Advertising
Advertising

Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules

Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules
Obstacle

    Even as one learns to be able to take control of time and work according to a set schedule, one should realize that life may not be as smooth as one would hope for. Taking charge of the time that you have in a day, each day of your life is an essential part of achieving the long term goals that you may have set for yourself but there is a high probability that during the course of things, you may realize that there will be times, in spite of planning that you feel totally out of control.

    Advertising

    These disturbances and obstacles that life presents may clash with the daily goals and schedules at times. They also contribute a lot to a situation of lack of control. Letting these situations and issues become important and assume control is something that needs to be avoided at any cost. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that regardless of what disruptions arise in a daytime, you are responsible for what you do at the end of the day. Resorting to excuses about why you could not complete the tasks that you set out to do at the beginning of the day shall lead you nowhere.

    Advertising

    A technique to take charge of a situation is to detach yourself from the problem and view the situation from a perspective. For example what advice would you give to someone who is facing a similar situation? When you look at the problem from a perspective, the solution you arrive at would most likely be the ideal one as there is no fear aspect involved which otherwise would be present when you are attached to the situation and the outcome. To give you an example, take the situation of a surgeon who is going to operate on his son. Even though the surgeon might have successfully operated on hundreds of patients, his hands may tremble this time. This is because the surgeon gets involved and is bothered about the outcome.

    Advertising

    Once you have detached yourself from the situation and have arrived at best possible solution, do not take time to get into action mode. Don’t fret about how your schedule was disrupted and how you will need to spend more time at office trying to ensure that you meet the deadlines that you have committed. Cribbing, making excuses and getting frustrated will take you no where. On the other hand, taking charge and accepting the situation and doing something about it will ensure that you emerge victorious from the situations that come your way. Time management is not just about following the schedule planned on paper but also involves handling surprises along the way.

    Advertising

    Vishal P. Rao shares his insights and tips on holistic living at Relishing Life.

    More by this author

    Managing Stress in Daily Life Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules Get Rid of Your Clutter! Dealing with an Angry Spouse Making Quick Choices to Manage Time Better

    Trending in Featured

    1 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines 2 How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck 3 15 Ways to Cultivate Lifelong Learning for a Sharper Brain 4 How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position 5 Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on April 8, 2019

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

    Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

    Advertising

    1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
    2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
    3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
    4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
    5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
    6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
    7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
    8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
    9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
    10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
    11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
    12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
    13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
    14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
    15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
    16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
    17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
    18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
    19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
    20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
    21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
    22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

    Advertising

    Advertising

    Read Next