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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.
This course qualifies for 2.75 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.
The second principle I recommend you practice in order to have time mastery and improve your productivity is to make sure that your mind is clear, a mind that is uncluttered with to-do's, action items, and unresolved ideas. In order to keep your mind clear, you have to have a system ready at a moment's notice to clear your mind of any ideas that come into your head. Here are three quick principles to keep in mind when selecting your mind-clearing option. First, the faster the option, the more likely you are to use it.
Meaning when an idea comes into your head, you need to be able to get it out of your mind as quickly as possible and put it into an approved gathering point. You want your option to be fast. Second, the easier it is to use the option, the more likely you are to use it. If you have to fumble through your computer or find the program, not only will that slow you down, but it's just a mental barrier for you clearing out your mind. Make sure that you use an easy option for clearing your mind.
Third, the more portable the option, the more likely you are to use it. Because I'm going to show you how to clear out your mind, no matter where you are, you definitely need to use mind- clearing options that are portable, so that no matter where you are, no matter what's you're doing, if an idea pops into your head or a task that's unresolved comes to mind, you can get it out quickly and easily. Now in terms of selecting which mind- clearing option you are going to use, any of the six approved gathering points will work.
I'll just walk you through a few of the most common mind-clearing options people use. At the end of this video, I suggest you decide which two you're going to use. So keep that in mind as I talk to you about the different options. The first is a small notepad or notebook. The great thing about this is that you can carry it with you wherever you go. It's very fast. It's zero technology, and it's so portable it fits those three principles I talked to you about. Really, the only downside is that you may have to transfer the notes to your portable inbox or to your inbox and then process it later. And also because it's not digital, there may be the necessity of retyping notes that you've made.
A second option is a paper list of unprocessed tasks. This would fit into that wildcard gathering point that I mentioned before. This is simply a running list of to-do's. It's portable, fast, easy, and zero technology skills required. However, it can be bulky to carry around a separate list from a notepad. A third option is your phone, meaning typing notes into your phone. There are two ways that you can do this.
Either you can type items into a task list on your phone, or you can send yourself an email. This is definitely portable, and it can be fast depending on how technologically advanced you are. It may not be easy though. There may be multiple steps to get to this. So if you're not a power phone user, this may be too slow for you. But if you find that using your phone is very easy for you, then that's a great option for clearing out your mind.
Another option is a dictation service. Now obviously, if you have a personal assistant, you can send them a voicemail message and they can dictate it for you and send it to you by email. That's a great option. Most people don't have a personal assistant though, so that's not practical. A couple of options that I've recommended to clients are recall or jot. These options allow you to call a number and leave yourself a message. These services will transcribe the message and send it to you in an email.
That way you get it out of your mind very quickly. You didn't take a lot of time, and it put the message into an approved gathering point. This is great for mobile situations, where you're out and about; you can't take the time to pull out a notepad and write something down. The only disadvantage is that some of the options may cost you a little bit of money, and it may take a little bit of time to set up for a learning curve. Finally, the last option for clearing your mind would be making a note to yourself on the computer.
This is great when you're sitting at your desk. It's digital, so you don't have to recopy the notes. You could perhaps type it into a notepad program like Microsoft OneNote or EverNote. The disadvantages are that it's slow to boot up sometimes, and it's not highly portable. So if you're not at your computer, you're not going to use this option. So I've talked to you about several different options: a notepad, a task list, using your phone, dictation service, or making notes to yourself on your computer.
To wrap up this video, I'd like you to select the top two options that you're going to use from this point forward to clear tasks out of your mind.
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