This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
This will prevent you going ‘off task’ every time you remember another thing to do. Simply add it to your list and return to the task in hand. This will stop the ‘butterfly’. Writing things down will help you remember them and is a better recorder than your memory. You need to devise a system to suit you, but many people have a general list, and then a specific daily or weekly list of tasks to be achieved within a certain timeframe pulled out from the general list. A lot of people find it helpful to rank the items on their ‘to-do’ list in order of importance. Not everything is of equal importance. Habit 2: Clear priorities Identify your priorities and distinguish tasks that are urgent from tasks which are important. Urgent tasks have an immediate impact. Important tasks have a significant impact. Do tasks in this order: 1– urgent and important 2– urgent (but do them quickly) 3– important. Try to prioritise important tasks. Don’t be tempted to fill in odd moments with low-rated tasks. Try and at least start a more important task. Be clear what the critical 20 per cent of your tasks are. Pareto’s Law suggests that 20 per cent of the work produces 80 per cent of the results. Be clear what the critical 20 per cent of your tasks are and prioritise them. Habit 3: Saying no and delegation Not all tasks are relevant or appropriate for you to do. Some jobs are more appropriate to delegate. Delegation is not activity dumping, you need to check that the task is suitable for the person, and you need to clarify with them what needs to be done and to what performance standard and check they have the ability to do it and that it is appropriate to their role or development. You may also need to provide them with some coaching and other support, and ensure they have the responsibility and authority required. Many managers are afraid of ‘letting go’ feeling that they either are the only ones that can do the job effectively, or alternatively it will look as if they are a shirker, continually passing work on to others. This is often not the case, especially if they have considered carefully which tasks to delegate. It is worth examining your job and working out which tasks are most suitable for you to do and which tasks would more appropriately be done by a subordinate, colleague or even someone higher up the organisation. Habit 4: The best use? Try not to drift between tasks – as you complete one task don’t float onto another. Stand back and ask yourself: What is the best use of my time now? Be honest – it is very unlikely to be something trivial. It is more likely to be getting started on ‘the big one’. Habit 5: Achieving the big one – break it down If something appears to be too difficult, then the first thing you need to do is break it down into smaller, achievable tasks. These tasks, which you can put on your to-do list, can then be given a schedule, and a priority. Habit 6: Do it now: get started! A written first draft is rarely very polished, so it may be a good idea to lower your expectations and tell yourself it is more important to finish a draft, however poor, in order to create something to work on and polish, than to not begin at all and miss an important deadline. Habit 7: Re-engineer your day, best time for best tasks Some people are larks – they get up early in the morning, bright and raring to go, yet by mid afternoon they are flagging. Others are owls, they drag themselves out of bed, sit sleepily at their desk in the morning, but then by evening they are ready to work, full of energy, burning the midnight oil. Different people have different ‘best times’ – what is your best time of day for working? Ideally you should aim to re-engineer your day so that you undertake your critical 20 per cent and your top priorities when you are at your best. Likewise you could save your routine work for when you are tired, and your energy is low. Prepared by Jovin Hurry, for AIESEC New Horizons – November 2006, Ukraine
or what? How can I use this material? – The third step is to consider note taking. calm and take life a bit more easily. or at least away from the office and the distractions of colleagues. . practise . .Habit 8: Cut yourself off: find a hideaway Re-engineering your day also may mean training others to respect your concentration time. Then when you start reading in detail make sure you are actively engaging with the material by asking the following: – How would I sum up the message in this article in a few sentences? – What are the key points? – In what way will I use this article – does it provide me with material for an argument in an essay. Why allow yourself to become a battery farmed animal? Take care of yourself. Habit 14: Active reading The first step in active reading is to skim abstracts to see how relevant material is. Adopt one new habit at a time. . an example methodology to use. (Courtsey: Personal Effectiveness by Diana Winstanley. Habit 10: Killing two birds with one stone Type A personalities are people who are driving. or working in a library. in his book The 7 Habits of Effective People provides the example of the goose that lays the golden egg. You may need to find somewhere quiet where you can work effectively – it may even mean taking work home. . free-range produced eggs are better than battery farmed ones. Habit 13: The electronic battlefield Delete and file as you go rather than letting old messages hang around and clog up your system. Go for quality rather than quantity. work yourself into the ground. and your work is the egg. Ukraine 2 . Habit 15: Look after the goose Steven Covey (1989). dipping your toe in the water and having a go will show you that you can do it . Move from theory to practise . You are trying to change deeply entrenched habits. Stop deferring decisions. unlike type B people who are more laid back. practise. This takes time. you need to make sure your performance is being judged by outcomes and not process. how can you expect to be able to continue to produce the golden eggs? Everyone knows organic. time off. and you may be about to get started on something important and don’t want to allow bits of paper to divert you from that important task. If you exhaust yourself. This works particularly well when you have lots of trivial tasks to do – for example you could be signing letters or viewing e-mails when on the telephone to that manager who does tend to go on rather. Skim through first of all to check how useful it is really going to be. for AIESEC New Horizons – November 2006. Habit 11: Once Is enough Handle each piece of paper once. Is it relevant. For this to be effective. Published by the CIPD. Of course there is some material that doesn’t need immediate attention. Habit 9: Wait productively Alternatively reading is a good space-filler. So work productively rather than to burnout. you can then concentrate on how you read.. looking forward to your commuter journey. don’t download everything. always liking to be on the go. ambitious. and you may find you get to like this habit. Habit 12: Tidy up You do need to have a place for everything. This may not always be possible in noisy office environments. not life as one hard slog. Assume you are the goose. In that case mark the material you need to return to later with the relevant date and put a note in your diary/’to-do’ list to remind you. Habit 16: Adopt a habit Time management is a habit. . competitive. Type As like this habit – doing two tasks at once. and uninterrupted time for reading those books or reports.) Prepared by Jovin Hurry. . restless. and everything in its place. is it widely cited. does it appear in a top journal? Once you have narrowed down the focus for your reading. value yourself enough to give yourself time to relax.