Easier Simpler Better Living & Working
Lead projects to Succeed, Decide the Right Way, Do Well not Perfect, Less is More, Organize yourself & learn Time Management from the Inside
By Simone Janson
Published by Best of HR - Berufebilder.de®
Easier Simpler Better Living & Working
1st edition, 05.05.2019
© 2019 Publisher Simone Janson | Best of HR - Berufebilder.de®
Conception, editing, graphic design & layout: Simone Janson
Cover design with Canva
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Time planning and performance curves: Organize your daily routine
// By Simone Janson
If you know the criteria by which you measure the effort required for your tasks, you can devote yourself to the actual time planning. And certainly in writing.
Why does writing help?
Written planning has several advantages: On the one hand, you can visualize your tasks and the time required for doing so and thus better meet your own requirements. Do not rely on the fact that you already have everything in mind. If you have fixed your appointments in writing, if you suddenly have to reschedule, you can set much better new appointments and the likelihood that you forget appointments, is less. But planning does not mean concreting the future. On the contrary, if you also flexibly plan alternatives, you can react better to unforeseen circumstances.
First, set the order of activities. First, orient yourself to the priority that you personally assign to the individual tasks. Unfortunately, you also need to factor in a few external factors, such as when other people with whom you live and work together have time. Think about which factors you have no influence at all (such as school hours of children) - these are fixed. You may be able to change others (maybe you can put colleagues on hold for a better time or ask customers to call again). Create a checklist of what you need to consider when planning your time.
Checklist: Factors that are important for timing
- Which tasks have priority for me? (not very firm)
- When do employees have time with whom I want to work together? (not very firm)
- When do important people have time to reach? (Fixed)
- When does it make sense for me to be easy to reach for superiors or colleagues? (I can specify)
- When must the shop be closed - store closure law) (absolutely fixed)
- When are the children at school? (absolutely fixed)
Then create a list of your activities. Record the duration of each activity. Here is how long a thing lasts, is not necessarily dependent on the activity. Rather, a thing takes as long as time is available. On the other hand, you can also complete any activity with as much time as you want. For example, giving yourself a shorter period for a particular task will in many cases be more efficient.
How long does which activity last?
Example: Mr. W.'s daily morning meeting with his co-operation partners stretches endlessly: there is already something you can talk about. It would be much more useful to set a certain duration for individual discussion points and then make a decision in this timeframe.
No external influence determines the duration of an activity, but only you! Although it may help to start by looking at the guideline values for others: everyone needs different lengths for the same activity. So if other people tell you that they have organized the entire project in three days and cleaned up the entire office in another or are working 14 hours every day, do not let them push you. You have your own rhythm, because you are somebody else and your business is different. What other people do can be an initial guideline for you. Develop your own planning style.
Planning the daily routine - that's how it works
Do not plan your daily routine too much. As a rule of thumb, plan for 60 percent fix and leave 40 percent of the daily routine free for the unexpected and spontaneous. Of course, these guideline values can vary depending on the tasks, projects and also the form of the day. Nevertheless, they offer a first orientation.
You may not be able to schedule the right amount of time for all activities right away. Do not let that frustrate you. If you realize that you have spent more than the scheduled time for an activity, then just spend a little more time next time. If you do not get back and either have too much or too little time, plan to. You will see, over time, you will gain experience of how much time you will need for an activity and your planning will become more and more accurate. It is therefore important, especially at the beginning, that you plan enough buffer times. This could be an optimal daily schedule:
|Day of the week and date: Monday, 16.04.2007|
|Time of day||Activity||Routine||Note||Value||Dauer|
|8.00||project design||Without a hitch, colleagues are put off in the afternoon, meetings are scheduled for the time after completion of the project.||A||90 Min|
|9.30||Pause||Break with gymnastics||A||10 Min|
|9.40||project design||Without interference||A||95 Min|
|11.15||Pause||relaxing break||A||15 min|
|11.30||project design||Without interference||A||90 Min|
|13.00||Lunchtime||Food + digestive walk||A||90 Min|
|14.30||Bills Write||X||B||90 Min|
|16.15||Preparation telephone ticking||X||The acqise itself will be scheduled tomorrow||B||2 hours|
|16.30||Available for customer calls||If a customer spontaneously wants something without an appointment, I have time now||C||1 hours|
Stay consistent with the matter
It is important that you remain consistent in the matter: If you plan and sometimes not, you will not get the desired result. You need to be able to rely on your schedule. For example, you have not entered anything in your plan on Monday mornings. Now that you have to think about what might not have happened, you have not applied your schedule consistently enough. It is therefore important: You look into your calendar and know at first glance: Monday morning is still an appointment free! Even if dates and addresses change, you must update the data immediately. This may cost time, but it helps you to avoid planning and organizational chaos. Schedule power curves
Example: Actually, I wanted to do so much, "says Mr. D. in horror after looking at the clock. But the work wants and does not want to go away. "And I was so motivated this morning," he gets annoyed with himself.
Continuous work is an illusion
Even if it would be nice: No one can work continuously in one day. Sometimes things are better and sometimes things are getting worse. It depends on the workload, the personal habits, the diet, but also on how you slept and what you did before. The fact is, your body has its highs and lows. And then you should do it, because in the high phases you work better, but sometimes you just do not get anything wrong or make one mistake after another.
But even if, of course, external events can influence your willingness to perform and sometimes even change spontaneously (just think of the adrenaline rush that you receive when you receive a positive message), your performance curve will run in a certain regularity so that you can plan accordingly. Aligning your schedule with this natural daily rhythm can greatly improve your productivity. Basically, this daily rhythm is similar for every person:
Performance curves and highlights
In the morning, for example against 10, most people reach their performance peak. A morning muffle may reach its peak a little later, but he's also particularly productive in the morning. In the mornings you have the best prerequisites to concentrate and to deal with difficult problems. You will not have such a performance highlight during the entire day. For example, if you want to work creatively, you should use that time to collect and write down all the ideas that your brain hatched in your sleep. This will get you into a veritable workflow. What's important is that you use this energy to focus on the issue and avoid disruptions such as the telephone, colleagues and supervisors. It's better not to hold lengthy meetings early in the morning, because most people are now focused on power and confrontation, leaving little room for compromise.
Of course, you can not always align your daily schedule according to your performance curves - if only because you have to deal with other people in your work, who have their own performance curves. Nevertheless, try, at least with your cooperation partners, to consider the daily rhythms and they will work together more effectively.
Know your nadir
In the afternoon, after lunch, you reach the low point of the day - especially if you have eaten hard. At this time of day, schedule routine activities that do not require your full concentration. Or just have a long siesta. If you prefer to spend your time wisely, you can now prepare for later or next day's work. Even more informal meetings or meetings with colleagues who do not require too much attention are now a good time.
In the early evening you have a new peak, but not reached the level of the morning. Here is time for concentrated work. From then on, it goes down steeply with your performance. If you want to work hard into the night, keep in mind that you probably will not get the same performance the next morning.
Get to know your daily routine
In order to know what your own, personal daily routine looks like, you should observe yourself at least once a week (or even longer) and summarize the results. Use the template below and rate your performance with grades: When do you work the fastest and have the best ideas? At this time, you should set your power curve at the top of 1 or 2. When is nothing more going on with you? Here is your low point reached, set points here for 5 or 6. It is possible that the curve varies slightly from one day to the next. But you will recognize a certain regularity that you can include in your planning.
Performance 1-2: above average 3-4: average 5-6: below average
Take breaks - but right
If you work too long and intensively, your performance diminishes and mistakes creep in. Therefore, also plan regular breaks.
Breaks are by no means a waste of time, but urgently needed to recharge your batteries. But break is not just a break: the trick is to take the break in time. If you only pause, if nothing works, you need the longer afterwards to refill your energy reserves. The right time for a break is reached when you do not feel like you have to make one. If you prefer to schedule such short breaks - then recharge your reserves much faster.
This is how to take a break: Not only when exhausted, but on time, preferably regularly every hour for five to ten minutes. Do some relaxation exercises, go to the fresh air for a short time or at least move something in the office.
Procrastination and Aufschieberitis in time management: It comes differently ...
// By Simone Janson
Why do not many people reach their goals through hard work? Often distractions and disruptive factors are responsible for our delaying something - or our own inner attitude. How can you change that?
What does Aufschieberitis look like?
Let's start with an example: Mr. G. wants to plan his time in the future exactly and stick to this plan. But soon he realizes that, despite the very best planning, things do not go as he imagined. "In theory, that sounds very nice, but in practice it looks different, because I have to react flexibly and for that the whole planning is just too unspontan", he talks about his frustration and pushes with this excuse the topic of time management first to the page.
But it does not have to come that far. Of course, especially in professional life, external factors are often responsible that you can not do everything you want to do: difficult customers, a broken computer, insolvent employer or a car breakdown. Unfortunately, you have no influence on that. But it always depends on how you deal with such difficulties. And some factors that prevent your successful self-management are simply homemade too. If you have problems to really implement your planning, you should work on it.
Overcome the "inner bastard"
While reading literature on the subject of time management, you are taking the first step towards optimal self-management - but only the first step. Now you have to put your knowledge into practice. And you really have to want the change, because if this is not the case, you will not implement your planning consistently enough in the often stressful work routine. But be patient with yourself: you can not immediately change all your habits.
If you want too much at once, you will fail and then probably give up prematurely in frustration. To prevent this from happening, you should first of all make it clear where the "inner bastard" shows, which prevents you from optimally implementing your planning. First, think about when to use similar excuses as Mr. G. in the example above. Then analyze the motives behind these excuses.
Causes of procrastination - an overview
If you know where the root cause lies, you can usually do the same. The following overview should help you:
|excuse||Cause behind it||Your approach|
|"Today I have too much to do, I start implementing it tomorrow."||They postpone the implementation.||Start either immediately with the implementation, because you have no time to lose. Make a schedule, when you want to implement which planning step, so that you stay on the ball.|
|"There is so much to keep in mind, I do not even know where to start and in the end I will not stick to it."||You want to implement all the tips at once and lose the overview and the pleasure.||Start with manageable problems. One step at a time - you do not have to implement everything immediately. Do not do too much at once. Stay patient and optimistic.|
|"There are so many different methods, I do not know which one to start with."||You want to try all the time management methods at once instead of finding out which one is ideal for you.||Plan with which methods you want to start. You do not have to try all the methods, it is enough if you try a few (Pareto principle), otherwise you run the risk of getting bogged down. Find out which method suits you best.|
|"Some tips are so banal, that's not worth it, that I'm dealing with it!"||They think simple methods are less helpful because they are so easy and you would do that anyway.||Try simple methods as well. You will be surprised how effective even simple techniques can be. If you were on it yourself, so much the better!|