One Simple Tool to Improve Your Time Management

time managementDo you struggle with time and priority management? Your struggle is probably similar to every executive and business owner with whom I work, including myself. I struggle with it too. Much has been written and taught on personal management.  I have particularly appreciated the work of Stephen Covey and David Allen.  

A Daily Review

One of the most helpful disciplines that I practice is my Daily Review.  This is a time on my calendar every day that I gather all my "loose ends" into one place and then "process" them.  By "loose ends," I mean everything that's undone, including:
  • Emails (inbox)
  • Calls needing to be returned
  • To-dos on my list
  • Follow-up actions that are pending
  • Physical inbox
  • Everything!
As David Allen says, it's important to have all your stuff and every "open loop" accounted for (the loose ends). That way, nothing is left dangling or left out.

A Repeatable Process

Once I have collected everything, I start "processing."  This is where I take each item one by one and determine if it is:
  • Actionable
  • Trash
  • To be considered or acted on at a later date (pending)
  • To be filed for later reference
If an item is actionable, I determine if it can be done quickly, within 2 to 3 minutes. If so, I do it immediately.  If not, I schedule it or assign it as a "project" with multiple tasks to be scheduled and completed over time. By practicing this simple discipline, I am able to control most of the typical daily clutter.  I have some other practices that help me in addition to this, but if you can master this single discipline, you will find yourself way ahead of the game instead of always under the pile. As a business coach and executive coach in Sugar Land, Katy, and the Houston area, sharing tools like the Daily Review is just one way we help our clients get a grasp of their time and create margin in their lives. Tweet This

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