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Time management - Commitment



Commitment

General

To manage your information flow and time you must have commitment to the processes that you set up.
It is easy to lapse and try to catch up at a later date.

This is easier said than done if you have people trying to take up your time. One of the key answers is to say ‘no’ when someone is trying to take up that valuable time. It is not a good idea just to be obstructive and rude. You must be able to say ‘no’ from a position of a soundly organised base.

Winning

We really only have 3 options in tackling tasks.

Full commitment to complete it in the time we inwardly agree.
Show no commitment and either drop the task or regularly postpone it.
Partial commitment. Where we delay the task based upon a reasoned argument with a view to completing later.

One problem is that we all like to feel the achievement of completing a task. If the task looks too big we tend to shy away from even starting it.
If we had a time machine and could jump to ‘task completion’ that would be fine but it is often the journey in between that presents the problems.
The solution is to break such tasks into smaller steps where each one has its own reward in terms of completion.

Definition

If the task seems daunting look closely at its ‘objective’. Is it clear? Are you happy with the purpose?
There is nothing worse than working for a period of time on a task only to find that you have misinterpreted much of it.
If the task is defined properly you will feel much better about starting it and much more committed.

This will include not only the purpose but the deadline date and even the format of the finished article.

Not knowing

If you don’t know what tasks you have there is little point in worrying about the other aspects.
If you collect all of the necessary information, process it correctly and are able to retrieve and review it you will have no problem.
Gained confidence in your system will reinforce your commitment to complete tasks.

Maintain a good habit.

Meetings

Improve your commitment by putting more into meetings. Don’t just follow the routine behaviour of others.
Prepare well and take notes.

By taking your own notes you will be much more focussed on your actions arising from the meeting.
You will be much clearer on the definition of any actions. Don’t wait for the minutes to come out before you process your task action reminders.
The minutes may be wrong anyway. They may be difficult to clarify if you haven’t taken notes at the time and the minutes are circulated 3 or 4 weeks later.

Less interruptions

If the management of tasks in terms of their processing, filing and review is very good across the team or company you will be much more confident that things will get done and on time. Many interruptions of your routine from telephone calls or face to face meetings arise because people lack confidence in a task being completed and need the extra reassurance. If this insecurity is removed the result may be a lot less interruptions.

Resource

No matter what the commitment is from you personally if you need additional resource and it can be brought to bear quickly then the task will be completed sooner.

This is covered in more detail elsewhere [see ‘The Complete Project Management package’] and [see 'The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2'].

Timing

Whilst commitment appears to cover the tasks in immediate view don’t forget those tasks or projects where the final goal is farther into the future.
These task will just require more steps to complete.

Non - PRINCE2 information