Fast handling of things has been the talk of the various categories of the work force for years and years. The basis of fast handling of tasks is time and mind management. It really boils down to these 2 major resources that we all have but tend to over (or under) use. The technique we will discuss here is how manage your time against your mind’s concentration in 5 simple steps:
- Draw a To-Do list with your tasks numbered in priority, importance, and scheduled dates and times of completion. Once a thing comes up (and mind you, “comes up” means “once it appears in the queue of things you have to do”, and not when it explodes as a problem!): When something comes up, there are a few simple steps you should follow in order to maintain rhythm with all your other things.
- Assess the importance of the new task (against all others in your list). In other words, you must evaluate whether or not this new task:
- Is more urging than others on the list
- Has more potential damage/harm if not done/handled before a specific time.
- Dependant on other tasks on the list? If other dependant tasks are not on the list and they’re your responsibility, then add them; otherwise, add a task to follow up on whoever has to take care of the dependant tasks to yours.
- Insert the new task (and their dependencies or follow-ups on dependencies) into their correct (or most appropriate) priority order on your To-Do list.
- Periodically Examine/Review your To-Do list. This is a must do issue every pre-set period of time proportional to the average length of tasks. For instance if your tasks are days and weeks long, then your review should be conducted every other day or every day. On the other hand, the review should be done every 2-3 hours if the tasks are within the minutes or hours (maximum 1 day) range.
Be careful not to overwhelm yourself with review sessions and finally waste your time. During the review session, examine which tasks have ended on time, which tasks are running late and which tasks seem to have problems in them. Whilst reviewing, re-arrange your priorities or resources accordingly to manage the lag in some projects/tasks (e.g. you might call in someone for help on something) or you may delay some other tasks to handle more urging ones. Such important decisions are a must make and take in order to constantly maintain order in your To-Do list and hence the system of your day and life.
- For tasks of priority 1 (and high concentration), do not perform multi-tasking.
This is an issue that one must handle as he/she goes along. For top priority tasks that need 100% of your concentration, like writing a business proposal or talking to your manager, DO NOT multi-task. Multitasking will not only immensely delay your schedule but will result in the original task taking ages and not getting done in half the quality it could have been done in.
For other less important (but still on the list) tasks, you might as well multi-task. For instance, you have to prepare lunch and listen to the news. Then do both at the same time! Switch on the television in the kitchen and prepare lunch. Wherever there are timers on steps in the food preparation process, DO put them on and switch on their alarms – so those will alert you in case you were slightly distracted watching TV.
Following the five simple steps will not only make you get your things done, but also you’ll have the time to spend on yourself and for relaxation purposes rather than always running out of time. You know what? You might as well add the time you need to relax on your list, so you can work towards fulfilling it as well.