Time & Task Management with “IPA”
By Guest Blogger: Nancy Black, Owner of Organization Plus
One of the common things I find among many of my business clients is their constant challenge to get everything done. It can be stressful and it can make people feel overwhelmed at times. As a business owner, I can totally relate!
Many people feel like they can never get everything done or catch up. Their To Do lists rarely are 100% complete, they just keep getting longer and longer – a few things get checked off, but more and more things get added. Many suffer from what I call the “Terrible Toos” – too much to do, too little time to do it in.
When I see this I recommend that people rethink their time and task management strategies and start thinking IPA: Identify – Prioritize – Action.
But before starting the IPA exercise you must have a clear understanding of the driving force behind doing what you do, and have the desire (if not an obsession!) to improve your time and task management skills.
Ask Yourself These Questions
Why do you want to save time (what will you do with it?).
Why do you want to be more effective (what will be the benefit?).
Why do you want to improve your productivity (how will this make you feel?).
What is your purpose behind it (why are each of these things important to you?).
Once you have the answers to these questions the next step is to formulate a plan to achieve the results you want. That’s where IPA comes in.
The first step is to IDENTIFY the many different tasks and to-do items you need to get accomplished. Think of this as a “brainstorming” session. Put everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, down on a blank piece of paper.
The next step is to PRIORITIZE the tasks you have identified in step #1. In addition to prioritizing, take a moment to look at your list and DELEGATE anything you can to someone else. This is very important. Successful time managers know how to delegate!
Frustration and stress often is a result of having too many “open items.” You can identify and prioritize all day long, but if you don’t take ACTION nothing much is ever accomplished (and things keep piling onto your list of things to do!).
Try my IPA time and task management system for five days. I think you’ll find it helps you get more done while simultaneously giving you a greater sense of accomplishment.
And then, maybe as a reward, take a day off from work as a “ME DAY” and do something just for yourself, something you’ve been putting off for too long!
About the author
Nancy Black, Owner of Organization Plus. Questions or comments?
E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.organizationplus.com