How do you cope with the rush of responsibilities? Effective work planning gives good results. However, you need to get it right. We have a number of methods at our disposal: from simple tricks for everyday use to dedicated computer programs.
When does work planning become effective?
First of all, it is necessary to choose the right work planning method for us. Of course, it should also be adequate to the type of professional activity we perform.
Help yourself with modern technologies
The market of applications supporting work planning is developing rapidly. An additional incentive for this is the growing popularity of remote working. Emerging and improved tools are often dedicated to entire project teams. Increasing the efficiency of performed tasks will allow such programs as:
- TIME Planner,
Start with the tasks that will bring you the most benefit
Numerous time management methods indicate that it’s a good idea to segment your tasks. For example, the popular “80/20” rule is based on the concepts of Italian economist Vilfriedo Pareto. In this view, 20% of the time spent on a task is responsible for 80% of the results, while the remaining 80% produces only 20% of the profits. So if we have 10 tasks to do, let’s get down to the 2 that will give the best results. Then, even if you don’t get all the work done, your losses will be limited.
Plan to have some extra time available
It is worth taking into account what you cannot predict – sounds paradoxical, but it is very helpful. There are always unforeseen obstacles that will result in wasted time. So it’s better to have a little extra room in your schedule for them beforehand. The ”60:40 rule” indicates to plan only 60% of your time for work. You may not need to leave that much, but a certain amount is essential.
A step-by-step daily plan
It’s claimed that planning your workday, consuming 1% of your time, can ultimately save you as much as an hour spent on chaotic activities. The best way to do this is:
- Make a daily plan in writing to relieve our mind from memorizing unnecessary content.
- Using the “salami technique”, make a plan consisting of a list of smaller tasks.
- Organize tasks according to two possible keys: difficulty and/or deadline.
- Evaluate and monitor the results.
Long-term planning: weeks and months
Obviously, implementing daily plans should add up to dealing with tasks in the long term. How much is such a long-term perspective at present? A natural frame of reference is the results achieved in one week, which can be regarded as the average planning time. Weeks add up to a month. This is often followed by a metaplan, which leads to the realisation of strategic tasks.
When planning the weekly work programme, we should take into account:
- the intended results,
- the actions envisaged to achieve the results,
- priority tasks,
- estimated time for completion of individual tasks,
- a daily schedule of activities,
- time left as a backup for unforeseen activities,
- space for summary of activities.
Take care of the needs of your body and mind in work planning
Many people overlook a very important fact – in planning the time for work, it is necessary to take into account matters related to human physiology, the needs of his body and mind. It is impossible to live a life of work alone without harming one’s productivity. So, although there are periods of high mobilization, when professional matters gain a particularly important status, such a situation must be anticipated as an exception. Hence, it is useful to:
- choose the most productive time to do work (usually the morning, but there is no rule about this),
- allow one hour for relaxation before going to bed,
- get physical exercise,
- eat quietly,
- get enough sleep.