Planner Productivity: Complex Task Management 

Last week we discussed the benefits of planning your work which can be found here for anyone who missed it.

This week I am going to discuss the method which I use for more complex tasks such as Project management. 
When I start a more complex task the first thing I do is to make a checklist of everything I need to do.
Once I have done that I go through the list and give everything a priority or mark it down into a sequence. 

After that I add timescales. I do this by looking at my overall deadline and assigning smaller deadlines to the individual tasks.

The next part of my process is to check resources. I like to ensure that everything I need is available and if I need assistance it is available and I’ve given notice of my request.

The one thing that is probably the most important thing is to allow some wiggle room and to have a contingency plan as sometimes no matter how much we plan, things can go wrong or get delayed. This could be on your part or someone else’s. 

I always add a few days throughout my timescale to allow for set backs, If I am relying on someone else I always have someone readily available for back up, or an alternative way to resolve the problem. It always helps to have a think at the start about any potential problems.

Once I have planned for all of the above I get started.

I hope this helps you plan for any complex tasks. If you have a different method I would love to hear it.

Next week we will look at Effective Working Methods. 

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x

Previous posts in the series;

Planner Productivity: Prioritising Your Tasks 

Planning Productivity: Benefits To Planning Your Work 


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Planner Productivity: The Benefits To Planning Your Work.

Last week I shared with you my method for prioritising my tasks. You can read the post here if you missed it.

This week I want to discuss the reasons why I plan and the benefits it holds not just personally but professionally.

The main reason for planning any work is simple, to ensure it’s the best use of your time and energy. Prior planning always means you have a clear objective.

You’ll have to excuse the language but the phrase “proper planning prevents piss poor production” is right and I completely agree.

So what other benefits are there to planning your work?

Let’s have a look;

  1. You will save time in the long run.
  2. You will get more jobs done because you are organised with your time.
  3. Your most important and urgent tasks will be completed.
  4. You will make fewer mistakes.
  5. You will be more organised.
  6. You will find it much easier to check your progress.
  7. You will be much more likely to meet your targets.
  8. You will be less stressed which will lead to better morale.
  9. Having your work planned makes the task less daunting and will provide more motivation.

It really does pay to spend a little time getting yourself organised in the long run.

I hope that this is some benefit to you. Next week we will look at Complex Task Management.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Previous posts in the series;
Prioritising Your Tasks

Planner Productivity: Prioritising Your Tasks

Hello and Welcome to the first in my productivity mini series.

There will be 8 posts released 1 per week all focusing on improving your productivity ready for 2017.

Some of these posts will have little quizzes and are easy to jot down and implement into your planning routine.

Today’s post is quite short and sweet and focuses on prioritising your tasks.

As we all know it’s pretty easy to get bogged down with everything we have to do, and then never really get anything done as we don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming to say the least.

This little tip should help you figure out what needs doing and the order in which it should be done.

First of all write down all your tasks, don’t focus on an order yet just write them all.

Next go through the list and either colour-code or number the Urgent and Important tasks (these require the most focus).

Next go through and colour-code or number the Urgent Only tasks these are the tasks which should be completed after all the Urgent and Important tasks are complete.

Next colour-code or number the Important Only tasks. These should be the next to be completed.

Lastly, you can get on with everything else.

If your task list extends over the day remember to check it each morning and move the priorities as necessary and add anything that has come up since originally writing the list.

I use colour-coding for my priority list.

Red: Urgent and Important

Blue: Urgent

Green: Important

Black: Everything else.

I really like this method as I find it helps immensely whether it’s with house chores, my posts, my business, and just life in general.

Stay tuned for next week’s Planning post.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Guest Post Shout Out

Hey Everyone! 
Lately I have taken part in a couple of Guest posts for other blogs (which I will link to when published) and it’s given me the idea to host a few guest posts also.

If anyone would be interested in writing a post for The Stationery Geekette then please get in touch.

There are a wide variety of topics available so there will be something to suit everyone.

What I will be asking is that you write a post on an agreed topic and include links where is necessary. 

What I will do is check over the post and links and then upload it to my site along with your blog and social media details.

Should this be something you are interested in please drop me a comment below or send me an email at thestationerygeekette@yahoo.com. 

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Blog Content Update!

Hey Everyone! 

So…this post is basically a run down of all the things I have coming up over the next month when it comes to content. I won’t go into specifics but you’ll get the gyst of things.

First of all I will be continuing my book reviews. I also have some which link to an author signing events I attended and Giveaways for a signed copies of the books in question. 

My Stationery / Planner related posts will focus a little more on some of the small businesses which I have purchased from.

I will be starting a new blog series about effective planning methods, efficient target planning and other productivity related posts.

The site itself will undergo a few changes. I am re-categorising to make content more slimlined and easier to navigate, I’ll be updating my personal about me and info section as well.

The Confessions posts will continue to run as our schedule takes us up to mid-December as it stands.

I am also going to be featuring a few Guest Posts from some of my favourite bloggers which I am excited about and you will see a post explaining how to become one if you are interested.

In the meantime if you are interested in finding out about the Guest posts or want to take part in the Confessions link up then feel free to drop me comment below or email me on thestationerygeekette@yahoo.com. 

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x 

G.T.D for Studying Including Free Planner Checklist

Hey!
Everyone who has read my blog knows I am a huge fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I have previously discussed this topic many times before.

However now I am due to start studying again I thought it would be a great opportunity to see how GTD will work with my studies to maximise efficiency and productivity.

There are many aspects that are completely irrelevant from the original GTD premise however there are still many helpful tips that can be taken on your educational journey.

I have included a checklist that can be printed. It is available in A4 and A5. It is the first time I have ever attempted to attach a file so if there are any errors please let me know and I will attempt to fix them:)

So before I link the checklists I will explain the way I will be implementing and adapting the techniques I have learnt.

These are the Categories: Inboxes, Calendar, Reviewing, Projects, File, Next Actions, Vision board/Future Log. I will also breakdown the assignment projects method to.

Inboxes. By this I don’t just mean your email inbox, what this refers to is anywhere you have incoming information. This could be your email or during a lesson from a teacher. You will find that these are the places that items will get stored until properly processed. When you are processing your inbox make sure you first of all ascertain whether the item requires any action, if so what? Note down at least the first 3 actions required and add them to your calendar. If not, discard or file the information.

Calendar. This is where you will note any time sensitive assignments, essays, exams, events etc.

Reviewing. This should be done on a daily, weekly and term basis.

Daily reviewing should be a time to review items in the inboxes, review date sensitive tasks and run through and edit next actions.

Weekly reviewing should be when you process all outstanding items, review and edit the week ahead next actions, review project lists, add any new weekly tasks from your project list and file items no longer required.

Term Reviewing should be where you reflect, upon the previous term and the upcoming term. Assess what is needed for the immediate future and plan ahead for the next term. It should also be a time to assess educational goals and file away previous modules work.

Projects. This covers Assignments, Research and Exam prep.

File. This is the place for key notes, module information, support material and research and old assignments

Next Actions. This is where you write down a list of all the tasks which need to be completed as a priority. Usually start with the one which requires the most urgent response. It is best daily to remove the completed ones and add new ones.

Vision Board/Future Log. This is where your ultimate goal is. What do you want to achieve, how do you get to where you want to be, what steps are needed to be taken. It is helpful to have this to look back to so you don’t lose you way or get overwhelmed.This helps to maintain focus and motivation. It also serves as a reminder of how far you have already come.

Assignment project list breakdown. I find it best to breakdown my assignments into steps. I think this helps motivate and prevent overwhelm. It allows you to easily check progress and have a solid plan which means less procrastination later. First I brainstorm ideas surrounding the assignment, then I look at what keywords I need to focus on and what my research aims are, for this I usually break down the question into smaller parts. I then organise what I have and assign deadlines to each part so I know what to move onto when. I then gather all the information I need and start my first draft. Once I have finished this step I go through my work and edit for a final draft.

So there we have it. I really hope that this works, the true test will be once I actually start but if i find anything else that does or does not work I will edit the post accordingly.

A5 GTD for Studying Checklist

A4 GTD Checklist for Studying

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

 

 

G.T.D Actions In The Moment (Four-Criteria Model)

When you have numerous tasks to complete but cannot seem to decide which to move forward with David Allen suggests in his book Getting Thing’s Done using what is referred to as the four-criteria model for choosing actions in the moment.

David Allen describes these four criteria in the following way;

“The first three describe the constraints within which you continually operate, and the fourth provides the hierarchial values to ascribe to your actions” Page 53, Chapter 2.

1) Context – What is your capability at this time?  Do you require a specific location or item to complete any if the tasks? This first factor will help narrow down your list of what you are able to do in the moment.

2) Time Available – How much time do you have? Have you anything planned which limits the time you have available?  This will futher narrow down the list removing any tasks that would take longer than the time you have available.

3) Energy Available – How much energy do you have? some tasks require a lot more physical or mental energy than others and you may not be up to them. Now you can remove tasks you don’t have the energy for I.e cleaning the car but your full of flu, it maybe better to sort the paperwork instead.

4) Priority – Now you can prioritise the remaining tasks on the list. This will be down to your judgement, what you feel is the most to least important. Start by completing the most important task first.

So there you have it. I find this is a great little model and I keep the prompts of it in both my Everyday and Blog planners as I frequently have many tasks to do and no idea where to start.

It really does help reduce procrastination and boost focus.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

G.T.D Project Planning (The Natural Planning Model)

I frequently use this next model when I plan any projects I have to do. David Allen describes this as the natural steps the mind goes through when we want to accomplish any task.

I really feel it helps me focus and throughly understand why I am wanting to get this particular project done.

1) Defining Purpose and Principles – This is your intention, your boundaries and your reason WHY. It helps define, motivate and clarify.

2) Outcome Visioning – This is the clear picture in your mind of the outcome,  WHAT you want to achieve.

3) Brainstorming – This is the stage where you can throw out ideas. It helps to create options, generate ideas and offers reflection. This is not the time for organisation.

4) Organisation – This is the stage of structure. Where you identify and prioritise the ideas.

5) Next Actions – This is the list of actions which you need to be able to complete in order to move ahead and hit that final goal.

I’d love to know if this is how you plan, I find that I do everything he talks about without even realising that’s what I am doing.

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x 

G.T.D Reviewing Your Work (Six-Level Model)

I’m not sure about you but I always like to review over any work I do regularly to ensure that I’ve not made any errors or forgotten anything important.

In his book Getting Thing’s Done David Allen disucsses a model to use when you are reviewing any work. This model should help define what your work is and what your priorities are.

1) Purpose and Principles – This is the big picture view, what is it you want to achieve 10-20 years from now? Why do you exist, What matters to you? This is primary purpose that provides the cire definition of what your work really is,  everything you do derives from this.

2) Vision – How do you envisage your life in 3-5 years,  what will your job be? This helps narrow your vision down and clarify what the next phase is to achieve your desired outcome.

3) Goals – What do you want to experience in your life 1-2 years from now? This will help shift your focus to a more immediate future goal.

4)  Areas of Focus and Accountability – This is where you break down those goals into areas such as health, home, financial, career etc.

5) Current Projects – This is the list of all the projects that you have these projects are what will combine to give you the desired outcome in step 1.

6) Current Actions – This is the list of actions you need to complete to make progress in your projects.

Using this model to review your work should encourage, motivate and serve as a reminder as to what you want and where you’re going and to ensure nothing has been missed or overlooked.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x