The Triage Of Time: Three Tools To Manage Your Life Like A Pro
Can you remember a time when you had enough time to do everything you wanted to and the way you wanted? A time when you were able to start a task early enough and with enough background information to do a great job?
For me, it’s tough to remember such a time. I think it must have been back in my university days where I mostly wasted the time that I had!
Looking at my professional life, it feels like I’ve never had enough time to meet my needs. For example, in my domain, the professional software testing documents are lacking, development is already behind schedule, deadlines are pressing, and the project budget ran out last month.
So what is the best way to approach these constraints and deal with it like a pro?
The first step in all work is to understand how much time you exactly have. Even if it’s too little, knowing the exact amount is paramount. If nobody can tell you, you need to decide how much you will allow it right now.
After the decision, you’ll be able to prioritize, scope, and communicate your work to match what you got.
For a long time, my pitfall with time management was that I started with to-do lists and others’ demands. And I always fell short of their expectation, felt stressed while working, and miserable after failing to stick with the deadlines someone gave me.
Before anything else, remember to agree on an exact number of hours to budget on a specific outcome. After you’ve clarified the specific time-budget, things get more comfortable.
Your job is done when the time’s up.
Now, with a specific time-budget at hand, it’s time to make a plan.
Next, I want to share the three most useful principles for managing and planning time that I’ve found. But let me warn you. They may seem simple at first. And the danger in simple things is that they are as easy to do as they are to neglect.
1. The Pareto Principle
In 1896 an economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that about 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population.