Become a Member

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 or visit

About Lorie Skolski

Lorie K. Skolski Principal & Chief Operating Officer, DMS design, llc Lorie co-founded DMS in 2006 with her husband Dan who manages the design side of the business. Lorie manages the operations and business side of DMS which includes the following functions: Accounting, Legal, HR, IT, Marketing, Business Development and staff management. She complements the architectural business by bringing her vast knowledge of creating processes, efficiencies and proven sales and marketing plans and techniques. Lorie works closely with the project managers to quantify progress on every engagement and to track the various metrics associated with the timely and successful completion while creating efficiencies throughout the project. She brings high-caliber client management experience along with the ability to understand client issues and identify the best solutions. Lorie has previously started two other consulting firms. In 2008, she co-founded ZeroPoint Risk Research, a data security firm in Boston. ZeroPoint worked with dozens of Fortune companies with a specialty in financial services. ZeroPoint had international clients as well as national work throughout the United States. ZeroPoint was merged with a larger consulting firm in 2014. Lorie also founded in 2014, Staffing & Operations Solutions, LLC (“SOS”), a business consulting firm in Beverly. SOS had several clients on the North Shore that Lorie consulted on business processes and business plans. SOS is now in dormant status as Lorie has committed her time to growing DMS. Lorie’s previous experience includes executive consultative business development roles specializing in business operations. She has extensive experience in relationship building, client management, problem-solving, and implementing solutions. Lorie’s industry focus has been manufacturing, technology and life sciences companies. She has worked with many Fortune 1000 companies as well as companies in the middle-market. Lorie is currently on the Board of Directors for the North Shore Technology Council and has been involved with the Council in various roles for the last 9 years. Lorie has also had membership level involvement with the following organizations: Financial Executives International, International Accounts Payable Professionals, Institute of Management and Administration, Institute for Professionals in Taxation, Association of Computers in Taxation.