Have you heard of the 4 D’s of Time Management?
If not, you may be one of the countless people who struggle to get their work done on a daily basis.
When it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, it’s frustrating, isn’t it? No matter how hard you work, you never seem to get to the bottom of your to-do list.
The 4 D’s of Time Management are brilliantly simple and are probably the answer to your productivity woes. Here’s how they work.
There’s a saying that goes like this: “eat that frog”. It refers to the point that, if you have a horrible task on your to-do list tomorrow, just get it done.
Equally, if a task is likely to take you less than two minutes – just do it.
The more stuff you simply, ‘do’, the more time you’ll have at the end of the day (or, indeed, during it) to get onto the cool things.
There are exceptions, though.
We’re all pretty good at setting ourselves tasks that we don’t really need to complete.
Sounds daft, doesn’t it? But, if you take a look at your to-do list for tomorrow, there’s a strong chance there’ll be one or two things on there you simply don’t need to do.
They may be old and no longer relevant, or you may be overpromising yourself. They may simply be totally pointless.
If you spot tasks like that, don’t dwell on their reason for being; just delete.
Humans are also brilliant at setting tasks for completion way before completion is actually required.
That board report, for instance – does it really need to be done today, or should it wait until next week when the meeting is nearer and you have it fresh in your mind?
For tasks that you know you can’t delete but whose urgency doesn’t give them permission to be at the top of your to-do list, defer them to a later date.
You don’t have to do everything.
As hard as it might be to hand the reins over to someone else (particularly if you work for yourself), it could be the most important decision you make today.
Take a look at the tasks you complete regularly that are nothing more than a time suck. They’re probably repetitive, boring and, although important, way below your pay grade.
When you identify those tasks, pass them onto someone else, or find some software that will automate them for you. The time you’ll get back can then be invested in stuff that will drive your career or business forward.
There you go – 4 Ds you probably didn’t know you needed in your life, but which will probably become the cornerstone of your productivity.
If you’ve been struggling to get things done recently or have felt your level of productivity slowly slip away from you, the above strategies should get you back on track, sharpish.