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Time management - Being disorganised

Being disorganised

Being disorganised doesn’t only affect you there can be a big knock on effect. If you are inefficient and do not complete tasks it will affect the work of others.

To-do list

Seems like a good idea. Put the tasks you need ‘to-do’ down on paper. What happens when you lose the paper or you have so many tasks you start another piece of paper. The point is paper can get lost easily and adds to desk top clutter.

The problem is we don’t want to have all the things we wish to remember floating around on separate bits of paper if we can help it.
We need to somehow consolidate all of the items we need to know in one place.

We need a system that allows us to work on our top priority task and to have all the necessary information to hand.
There is no problem with the ‘to-do’ list as such. It is a common practice to create a list of ‘all’ the jobs you need to do. This would consist of work and personal related items literally everything. It is then a matter of prioritising these in some fashion to carry them out.
Ways of prioritising these are discussed elsewhere, see ‘prioritising’.

This next section broadly covers comments on a system for organising the paperwork after prioritising the jobs.
This is covered in more detail elsewhere, see ‘filing notes’.


Manual filing system:

We need somewhere to store all the bits of paper we need for daily Time Management.
It must be able to record:
  • Goals and objectives
  • To-do lists
  • Contact log
  • Project activity
  • Phone call information and call backs
  • Correspondence
  • Meetings
  • Other appointments

If you have this information to hand you can manage your daily activities more easily.
If you have an assistant they can sort any papers coming across your desk into the appropriate folders for ease of access.
You will agree the system with your assistant.

Some of the systems you could use might be:

Example 1:

Number your files.

1: High priority Important messages from senior managers, external companies. Telephone call backs, deadlines and anything else that must be completed on the same day.
2: Telephone Other call information not requiring ‘high priority’ attention.
3: Assistant Dictation any other matters to discuss with your assistant.
4: ‘To-do’ Minor tasks requiring completion. Items requiring a signature and anything else not fitting into the above.
5: Miscellaneous Technical journals. Other articles of interest.
Example 2:

You could adopt exactly the same system as for example 1 but colour code the folders for visual ease.

Once a piece of paperwork has been completed it should be marked in some fashion for filing and we will look at this elsewhere, see ‘filing notes’ and ‘day files’.

Electronic filing systems:

Many items now exist with all sorts of features.
These can only help and provide an excellent way of maintaining some of the above whilst eliminating the paper.
You will need to do some ground work to find what works for you.

You will still need the discipline of organisation to implement Time Management principles.

Obviously, if you do not have the luxury of a personal assistant then you can still adopt the system it is just that you will need to sort and file yourself.
This is covered elsewhere, see ‘filing notes’ and ‘day files’.

Non - PRINCE2 information