Saturday, July 18, 2009

Do it, Ditch it, Delegate it or Delay it

If you adopt the practice of do it, ditch it, delegate it or delay it, you can gain minutes or even hours each and every day.

"Napoleon is said to have...[put] all routine letters aside for two weeks before replying to them. He claimed that during that period most matters had taken care of themselves; those that had not, he could now handle in a more leisurely manner. On the other hand, whenever time was critical Napoleon moved swiftly. “The reason I defeated the Austrians, “ he once said, “is because they didn't understand the value of five minutes. Edwin Bliss, Doing it Now, 1984, Bantam Books

Take action right now to deal with what is at hand. Do it.

Throw it in the garbage. Say “No.” Get it off your desk. Ditch it.

Give it to the appropriate person to deal with. Delegate it.

Put it aside for attention at a later and more opportune time. Delay it.

You can literally gain hours every day by carrying out one of those four functions as often as possible. In order to develop this into a habit, write it out on an index card and review it several times daily for a few weeks until you are acting consistently. It’s a sure fire way to gain yourself valuable time.

Here are a further five days of action.

It's simple time management strategy. But do you practice it? We may be seasoned executive level leaders and still need to periodically examine how we do on the basics. How are you doing? Tell the truth and resolve to make needed changes.

Delegate something today that you have for too long kept on your own plate. Notice the relief.

Today, practice clearing your desk, inbox or email more quickly. Make good decisions promptly and act on them without further thought. Be aware of doing this over the next few days. Catch yourself being distracted and change direction immediately.

Take hold of the bottom two inches of your inbox pile. Throw it in the garbage. This one act will improve your efficiency significantly. Do the same thing next week until you get it.

Articulate the difference between procrastination and good delay. Notice yourself doing both today. Practice good delay if and when the situation is appropriate.

This was adapted from my new book, 52 Solutions for Those Who Need a 25 Hour Day. For another practical 51 Solutions, purchase the book. Work through it every day for a year and you will revolutionize the way you go about your work. You will achieve more of higher quality work. It can mean greater success, less time wasted, increased income and more satisfaction.

We can always improve by revisiting the basics.

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