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Time management - Implementing


Combining tasks

This is a very simple method which, although not reducing your workload, could help you to manage them better in the time available.
When you examine any of your tasks it is a simple matter to consider:

  • What tasks can you do at the same time?
  • Is there any common ground or overlap of the tasks?

If either of these criteria apply you can carry out more than one task during a set time period.
Provide there is not a resource issue.

Certain tasks lend them selves easily to this technique. For example, telephone calls can be made at any time; in a taxi, airport lounges or in hotel rooms.
These shorter tasks can be more easily fitted in to spare chunks of time.

Goal posts

Sometimes trying to fit what you have to do in the time available is tricky.
Why not modify what you need to produce? Consider a different output.
This is not to say that you should attempt to alter the output of every task you are struggling with.

There are a few options using this strategy.

Discuss the requirement with the person who has asked for it to see if you can get away with producing either less or an output of reduced quality.
That is change the scope. This may be needed anyway if it was ill-defined.
Finish the product prematurely and then get input from others that will help you polish the task.
Try to share the task. Who has skills that may help you?


Many of your tasks may not be that urgent. They might have a tendency to end up at the bottom of the pile, then delayed until the next day and the day after that. Many people leave particular tasks that continually simmer nicely on the back burner. They wait to see what else might develop which could alter the task. They hope that it will become irrelevant. Normally, if you do manage to delay an item for a long period then it is highly likely that it will no longer be required.


This is covered in more detail next, see 'prioritising'.

If you know it is likely that a particular daily task may over run you may wish to add more time either side of the task to help you manage it better.
You can do this by putting in false meetings etc. This is especially useful when you are using a software package on an intranet system which is accessible by others that may wish to book appointments.

If possible try to schedule personal items and family commitments as well. These would be more relevant outside of the workplace but there is no reason not to try it at work.

Non - PRINCE2 information