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Time management - Decision PATH



Decision PATH

General

PATH is a simple acronym for the key things you may wish to consider when you try tackling more than one task over a short time period, for example, 1 day. They are not designed to be carried out in any particular order but for consideration as a whole from which you can make a more informed judgement and utilise your time more wisely.
This technique will fit alongside others that might examine the ‘importance’ and ‘urgency’ of tasks, described elsewhere, see ‘urgent v important’.

Priorities

This we have already covered elsewhere, see ‘prioritising objectives’.
Once this is complete you will have a list of ordered tasks.
If you have a project within this it will need to be considered as a whole. Clearly, any multiple steps identified will have their own sequencing.

Activity

When you carry out a task will be highly dependant on its exact nature.
If the task clearly requires constant concentration, for example, the analysis and interpretation of a set of data you may wish to carry it out during an uninterrupted period of 1 hour. On the other hand, it may be something that can be fitted in when you have a spare 5 minute here and there.
You may not be able to carry out the task any way in your current location, or you may be lacking the necessary equipment or facilities. If you wish to rehearse a presentation and want to hold it in the conference room you may have to wait until it is available or reserve it.

Time

Your time may just not be available to fit in a particular activity.
An unplanned fire drill alters your schedules, you have a meeting coming up or an urgent report you are expecting suddenly arrives changing your priorities.

Health

How are you feeling?
Do you have a headache? If so you, are unlikely to tackle tasks that require a high degree of concentration or the juggling of facts.
If you are feeling low for any reason the trickier tasks will naturally slip down the list of priorities.

Most people have a favourite time of the day at which their energy levels are at their peak. For many this is in the morning period.
Tricky tasks or high priority ones are best tackled in this period.

Based on these assessments you will be in a better position to act.

If you have been able to include a ‘quiet period’ of 1 hour in your daily routine this will help.

Unfortunately, tasks will crop up that you haven’t planned that you will need to do.
Hopefully, a lot of these ‘interruptions’ will have been minimised by good Time Management.

Decision is not action

A decision is made in a couple of seconds, albeit having assessed particular information.
This in itself can not be considered an action as it contains no physical aspect. Having made the decision you will need to put it into practice by instigating a plan which is a series of actions.

Non - PRINCE2 information