The secret of time management – Part 4
Part 4 – The questions to ask yourself.
This is the final part of the secret of time management and is the solution to the NET problem.
I have explained we all have the same number of hours in a day and that to do more you have to make a few decisions. Here is what I said in the first part of the secret to time management:
1) Find more hours. This is working hours we are talking about.
2) Multi task, do more than one thing at once.
3) Stop doing something.
4) Work quicker. Be more efficient in what you do and how you do it.
Then we had the NET equation in which it was clear the person, that is you, can affect all aspects of the NET equation. The point I was making is that if you change behaviours you have every chance of solving the NET equation, the solution is in your hands and had been all along
Here is that revised equation again.
NET = Task and engagement x Person x Resources and training time
NET = Tt x P x Rt
This brings us back to the questions you have to ask yourself and the decisions you have to make.
NET Balancing Questions.
1) Do I have to do this task?
2) Am I the best person to do this task?
3) Should I delegate this task?
4) Is this a task I am qualified in doing?
5) Will I be fully engaged in accomplishing this task?
6) Have I the resources at my disposal to accomplish this task?
7) Could anyone else accomplish this task better than I could?
8) What am I avoiding doing by attempting this task?
9) What percentage of my working time will this task require and is it proportionally acceptable given the returns expected? This is a ROI question.
10) What should I stop doing in order to accommodate the new task?
11) Is it time to ask for help?
12) Do others really know how much I have on at the moment?
13) Is this a realistic expectation?
14) Are there any resources available to me that could save time and help accomplish the task sooner to the expected standard?
15) Do my expectations exceed the expected standards or outcomes?
16) Does this task need to be done now or at all?
17) What tasks will soon come to completion and what time will this release?
18) Is this a task I am suited to?
19) How much time will I allocate to the task?
20) How will I monitor or record the time spent on the task?
21) Where is this task in my hierarchy of urgent/important?
You may develop a simple flow chart to help you to ask the questions most relevant to you in a suitable order. For example you may not be able to delegate tasks and so asking this question is irrelevant. In such a case it may be more appropriate to ask “Do others really know how much I have on at the moment?”, we always assume they do and often they do not. This may lead to the question ” What should I stop doing in order to accommodate the new task?”
Balancing the NET equation is important for more than one reason. Firstly we work best when we are not under stress or in a conflict situation. Borrowing time from family can cause conflict and borrowing it from social or leisure time can cause stress and anxiety. Secondly being at our best means we work more objectively and make better decisions which ultimately leads to improved efficiency and a better outcome all round. Finally a measure of how well you are doing at balancing the NET equation is your degree of happiness, not necessarily the rolling around the floor laughing type of happiness but the type which is reflected in how content you are. You are meeting some of your basic needs.
These working needs are described as:
- Fun – engaged, positive relationships, objectivity, balance, able to hold a perspective.
- Freedom – being able to have some control over your work life balance.
- Belonging – sense of purpose, part of a team, trusted, given responsibility, acknowledged
- Power – able to make decisions about things which affect you. Where, when and how.
If you do find the NET equation and the questions useful please let others know.
I would also be glad to hear about any observations you have or comments you have to make about the secret of time management..