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Becoming pro in missing missed deadlines

Updated: Dec 31, 2020


Why manage time?


As you grow professionally and personally, your responsibilities are ever-growing. Responsibilities mostly proportionate to the number of activities you need to perform. While that happens to you, the number of hours in a day remains constant and you will always have only 24 hours in a day. At any point, as a smart worker, you would never want to jeopardize the health of your work.


You need to work smart, and not hard, in order to accomplish more in less time. One of the best skills that helps you work smart is Time Management.

“Time management” is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.

According to me, the most important points of the time management are:

  • Prioritize your to-do list

  • Focus on what is necessary

  • Plan Your Work. Execute your plan. Replan.

  • Know When To Multitask

  • Minimize Interruptions

  • Keep your short term commitments


Prioritize your to-do list

Personal or work related, you must have a clear backlog of to-do items. And you should always work on the right prioritization of it.
I see two folds to the above statement. One, there should be PRIORITIZATION. And two, the prioritization should be RIGHT.

Unless you know how much value the to-do item carries, it is tough to weigh it on a priority scale.

If you are running a money-making business, you should know how much Dollars your activity will be earning or saving for the business. Whichever activities in the backlog has a bigger $$$ value, should move up high in the priority list.


Focus on what is necessary.

How many unnecessary works do you often perform in a day?

Focus on value. Value to the doer, to the consumer, to the system, society or family, or to the end-user. Someone should have a value generated at the end of your activity. If not, doing it is worthless. You are responsible for being wise with the limited time you have in hand.

You need to draw a firm distinction line between the “necessary” and “unnecessary”. When you have a stricter definition handy, you’ll find that a lot of things are truly unnecessary in your life.


Plan Your Work. Execute your plan. Replan.

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Yes, plan every cycle of the work. Determine the milestones. Use the best strategies to achieve milestones.

Think of the entire year, then the quarters, months, weeks/sprints everything… Mark the milestones for each of them. Plan your strategies to achieve each of the milestones/goals. Define more clear goals for near time milestones, maybe little loose goals for the future timelines.

And then, you will realize that there are several distractions, new priorities arise with time and that translates into rescope, rearrange, re-prioritize, or rescheduling of the current or future goals/milestones. But that doesn’t mean you should not plan.

The plans give you vision and motivation. The strategy gives you the strength to look through the bigger picture.


Know When To Multitask.

Multitasking is never free. [Read our blog]

Multitasking is to deal with more than one task at the same time or execute more than one program or task simultaneously. However there are dangers of multitasking, study shows that multitasking actually makes you less productive. But that doesn’t mean you should not be doing costly things. That also doesn’t mean multitask is not helpful, what matters is knowing when to multitask.


It is decided based on factors like saving time, focus, quality of work, knowing your limits, ideation, and productivity. It's a balance between these factors which will help you in deciding when to switch between tasks/activities or when to multitask.

Here are some examples for your reference.

  • Ideation or brainstorming when doing dishes.

  • Reading books while traveling.

  • Listen to podcasts while you fold laundry.


Minimize Interruptions.


This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. While you are multitasking or switching between tasks, make sure you are not allowing anything that is interrupting you or your activity.

Proactiveness is key to minimize interruptions.

Here are some steps which will help you.

  1. Have your TO-DO list ready

  2. Set focus time for your activity, block your calendar

  3. Communicate in advance to respective about your activity

  4. Limit personal tasks like social media notifications, email, or phone calls

  5. if needed have a quick coffee break (Note that this might become interruptions)

However, while you are all set with your activity, you can not always avoid interruptions. In case of interruptions bound to happen, make sure to refocus. A quick recap of what you have completed before interruptions and what is remaining will help you in refocusing.


Keep your short term commitments.

This is very important in terms of keeping your schedule and credits, both. Keeping the short term commitments help you grow big as a person and earn positive rapport within your sphere of influence.

You always know better what you possibly can deliver immediately than over a long period of time. For example, you can estimate an amount of work much closer to what you can accomplish in the next one hour versus estimating the total amount of work on something to be done by you in the next one month.


Conclusion

If you know the priorities well, eliminating any potential waste and then you are planning your short term goals followed by keeping those commitments, it will help you accomplish big things.



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1 Comment


Kedar Kulkarni
Kedar Kulkarni
Sep 22, 2020

Thank you Ashish, this is great article for planning!!

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