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Time management - Information flow sheet



Information flow sheet

information flow sheetinformation flow sheet

Information

As we have mentioned already this is everything that you will need to act upon for both your professional and private life.



Take action?

Now that we know the real purpose of the information we have received we can decide if we need to take any action.
If we decide there is no action required we only really have 3 options.

Dispose

Put it in the bin or shred it. If you rally decide you don’t need it get rid of it. Don’t leave it hanging around holding some psychological grip over you, afraid that one day it may be useful.

Deposit

If you don’t throw it away there are only 2 alternatives left. If we feel that the item will not be useful in the next, say, 3 months plus, or it definitely falls under the heading of reference or archive material, we need to ‘deposit’ it somewhere.
This obviously comes under ‘filing’ which we have touched on before, see 'filing notes'.

Note: The first 2 decisions remove the item from your attention. You have dealt with these and no further action will be required.

Delay

These are items that may be of interest in the future either for current activities or possible useful new ideas etc.

If we decide that some form of action is required then we must decide if the action will be 1 step or 2 or more steps. by a previous definition if the it requires 2 or more steps then we put it into a project file.

If it only requires 1 step you need to ask yourself just how long this 1 step is likely to take.

If you gauge 5 minutes or less then ‘act’ and ‘do it’.
(The choice of 5 minutes is arbitrary, it really represents a time that you feel comfortable with in being able to action the task. Once you become familiar with the idea you may wish to reduce this to 2 or 1 minute).

If not you have 2 options.

Delegate

If you feel someone is in a better position than your self to do the task delegate it. This may be because the other person has more experience in this area or you have no time and another can take over the task, see elsewhere, ‘poor delegation and the team’, ‘delegation process’ and ‘delegation towards independence’.

Delay

Put the task to one side so that you can tackle it later.

Sorting

Once you have decided what you wish to do with each piece of information you must put it somewhere prior to working on.
Obvious options are trays, filing cabinets, desk drawers. Try to keep the desk as clear as possible for the priority tasks that you will be working on.

At this point you will have completed the information sorting and only need to focus on.

  • Project tasks.
  • Delayed tasks expected to take more than 5 minutes.

Be careful. Don’t forget all of the delegated tasks that you will need to keep track of even if you are not doing them.
You are still ‘accountable’ for their completion if not directly ‘responsible’.

We now need to have a system to monitor and control the outstanding workload.

Non - PRINCE2 information