Tag Archives: time management

My Best Task Management Tip (Life Really Is Better After “4D”)

It’s Time to Get Really Honest About Your Responsibilities

If you’re like most non-lazy human beings, your to-do list is miles long. *sad face* It’s such a bummer too because you really aren’t the crazy headless chicken you are acting like, you’re just overwhelmed. It’s time to get really honest with yourself. I mean really honest.

There are things on your list that don’t need to be there. I know, I know, you meticulously listed every single thing that needed to be done, hence its spot on the list. And if you did something that wasn’t on the list, you wrote it down just so you could check it off. I know the drill.

But here’s the thing. If you are as overwhelmed as I have been at times, then you absolutely have things that do not need to be on that list. While there are other techniques to managing yourself around time that don’t include elimination, sometimes you just need to double check that everything you are doing is in line with your one true path.

It’s list scrubbing time!

Manage Your Overwhelming Tasks Honestly With The 4 Ds

There are a few steps in this process, but it won’t take very long, unless you resist being honest with yourself… In fact, to help with that, I’m going to add an extra step in the beginning to put you in the right frame of mind. Grab some paper and a pen and here we go:

  1. Vision: Write down what your ideal work day looks like. If most of your work days looked like this, you would have a fulfilling place in business and life. This will help you get clear on what really matters to you.
  2. Mind Dump: Make a list of all of your general responsibilities and frequent tasks. (Plus getting them out of your head helps you think more clearly!)
  3. Prioritize: Reorder that list according to importance and separate into three categories—high, medium, and low importance.
  4. 4 Ds: Finally, assign each task or general responsibility one of 4 Ds: Do, Delay, Delegate, Delete

Learning to delete and delegate may be the two most important things you can learn from enforcing the 4D rule!

You may think you don’t have anyone to delegate to right now, but if you are solution-oriented, you will soon begin to see opportunities to delegate in a new light. Here are some examples to get your mind thinking differently:

  • Pay the neighbor kid $5 to come fold your laundry
  • Hire a VA (Virtual Assistant) part time just to start handing a few things off a month
  • Hire an errand runner to go get your dry cleaning and light bulbs

It’s time to take your life back and get control of your tasks! And another thing—you do not have to finish everything on that list! There will always be more. Revel in what was accomplished when it’s time to stop and do something else for a bit. :)

For a fantastic self-management around time two-week up-level course, join my Busy Girl Bootcamp starting Monday, June 30! (And, yes, guys can join too!) It’s a purely digital course, so if you join after June 30, you will still start with “Day 1.”

Your Time is Gold—Your Time Management Should Be Too

Gold Time Management

Clock

You’ve probably realized by now that you can’t manage time. Time doesn’t obey. It doesn’t speed up or slow down, even if it feels like it’s running out at a rate of a million seconds per normal second. Or it feels like that meeting is dragging on for years. (And for all of you Einstein lovers, sure, there may be some evidence to time actually changing, but this isn’t really about that right now…)

What you can manage is YOU. Here is a fabulous tip I got from Jinny S. Ditzler’s book, Your Best Year Yet.

What We Do

Every single task we ever dream of having on our to-do list can be categorized into one of the four quadrants on this chart.

Chart: What We Do

The red quadrant represents what we most often spend our time doing—running around like a headless chicken, putting out fires, and tearing our hair out trying to get all the urgent/important crises handled. (Or, in some cases, we spend time on the opposite end of the spectrum. We end up wasting our time on all of the busy work in the bottom right quadrant reserved for Not Urgent / Not Important tasks because we are too overwhelmed by everything else to face any of it. This is called avoidance. Stop it. [I can say that because I find myself there from time to time. Ugh!])

Let’s take a moment and look at the top right quadrant—the one that includes Important tasks that are Not Urgent. This is where our personal goals, such as exercise, trying a new raw recipe, and spending more time with friends and family lie. This is where your long-term business goals such as adding a new target market, launching a new product, and beginning public speaking lie. It also includes to-do’s that are not urgent today, but will be tomorrow.

And this is why we’re stuck in the red zone—because we only do what we think has to be done right now, and we never get around to doing anything else, which inevitably end up moving into the red zone. It’s a vicious cycle. Plus we’re unhappy because we’re not getting around to what we really want for ourselves.

What We Should Do—The Key to Time

Clock and Key

Can you imagine having only one “fire” a week instead of five a day? Can you imagine actually making progress on your true, heartfelt goals, instead of being stuck doing only what has to be done? Can you imagine easing into each task in joy rather than dread? There is hope.

There will be an adjustment period to break the downward spiral, but it will be so worth it! It comes down to one basic rule. Do the Not Urgent / Important tasks FIRST. Jinny promised, and I promise, and deep down you know, the Urgent / Important tasks will get done! They will. You know they will. You owe it to yourself to create the life you really want, so go ahead and break the cycle. You can do it!

Chart: Gold Time Management

So start with the Not Urgent / Important tasks and work your way counter-clockwise around each quadrant. It’s called Gold Time Management, but it’s really self-management around time. From here on out, make your first goal of every day to practice Gold Time Management and pretty soon you’ll be singing a different tune!