Time management skills are increasingly important in a world where people seem to rush headlong from one crisis to another. Add in the effect of social media and addictive computer games that can be accessed from anywhere at any time and it’s no wonder that some people struggle to fit everything into their days.
So what can be done about it?
How about invoking D to the Power of Four? This is a quick and simple way to make sure you use your time more effectively by sorting your tasks into four categories, delete, delegate, defer and do.
If you receive an email you don’t need, delete it immediately. If it’s junk mail, file it straight in the recycling bin. If it’s a task you’ve always done, check you still need to do it. If you don’t, take it off your to do list.
If it’s something that would be better done by someone else, then delegate it. Make sure whoever you delegate to has the skills, capacity and ability to get it done by the deadline. Don’t turn something you delegate into a boomerang that’s going to come back to you at the when you least need it.
Sometimes there are tasks would be better deferred to another time. You might have the luxury of a longer deadline or need to devote a bigger chunk of time to the task than you have immediately available. Plan the most effective time to return to it but make sure you don’t defer it until it becomes a real problem.
If the job is urgent, it’s quicker to do it immediately or will help you kick start your way to a more productive day, then do it. Then, when it’s done, move on.
So there you have it, the four Ds that will give you more power over your time.