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Effective time management is an indispensable skill. In Time Management Fundamentals, Dave Crenshaw explains how to sensibly allocate time in order to achieve greater productivity. Dave details a set of principles for staying organized, consolidating the workspace, keeping a clear mind, and developing a time budget. Also covered are techniques for managing a full inbox, processing email, and reserving time for the most important activities. Exercise files accompany the course.
The sixth and final gathering point that you may have I call the wild card. This wild card gathering point just represents whatever gathering point you need to fit your unique situation. For instance, if you need a separate personal email inbox from a work email inbox, the wild card allows you a space among the sixth gathering points to do that. Briefly, I want to discuss some other possible wild card gathering points.
The first is a raw task list. A raw task list is simply a running list of to-do's that are unprocessed. It's different than a traditional to- do list though, in that you're not going to check things off as you complete them; instead you're going to check them off as you process them. Remember, processing is simply deciding what you're going to do with it, when you do it, and where its home is. Once you've made the what, when, where decisions, you can check an item of your raw task list.
Raw task lists it can be paper, such as having a spot in your paper planner, or they can be digital, such as having a list of tasks within Outlook that aren't categorized. Another potential gathering point is text messaging. If you're someone who sends and receives a lot of text messages in you day, or if your work environment requires you to use text, then I would recommend that you treat text messaging as a gathering point. Have a set time and a set place to go through those text messages along with the other processing that you do.
Social networking sites are another wild-card option for some people. For instance, if your Facebook account doesn't forward to your email, then you would need to check it separately. If you're fortunate enough to have a dedicated personal assistant, meaning that person who handles your schedule and acts as a gatekeeper for you in a dedicated way, then you can use that person as a gathering point. This means that whenever something comes into your mind that you have to do, you can turn to your dedicated personal assistant and say, "Remind me to do that." Now, by the way, many people do ask others for reminders, but they're asking coworkers or family members. This just creates a random gathering point that's unreliable.
In short, you don't have to use the sixth wild card gathering point, but I leave it to you as an option, because I understand that this course needs to be adaptable to a wide variety of situations. So right now take a moment and consider, do you need a sixth gathering point? And if so, what will you choose as that sixth wild card gathering point?
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