Work organisation


Work organization

calendar, flexible task lists, contexts and activities, projects and tasks

Part A. List – my objectives, tasks and obligations.

The first part of the exercise is to prepare a list of all uncompleted, unfinished or planned objectives, tasks and obligations. You should not consider whether they are more or less important; professional or personal; short-term or long-term; general or detailed: the task is to record them in the order and form that appear in your mind. By default, the to-do list in this exercise should not be systematised or organised. The creation of the list ends when you are unable to remember or formulate any valid objective, matter, task or obligation important to you that you have not already recorded. Reading through the following categories of objectives, matters, tasks and obligations may prove useful:

  1. Financial matters and legal documents: banks, accounts, invoices, balance sheets, budgets, declarations, fees, rents, bills, purchases, credits, taxes, insurance, savings, deposits, funds, policies, insurance, statistics, reports, contracts;
  2. Infrastructure: real estate, roof, flues, heating and air conditioning, electricity, plumbing, walls, floors, ceilings, decorations, finishes, equipment, furniture, electrical goods, archives, storage, garage, garden, building surroundings, lighting, new buildings, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, technologies, machines, devices, computers, telephones, software, the Internet;
  3. Personal matters: schools and universities, studies, training, courses, languages, diplomas, certificates, degrees, libraries, books, articles, educational materials, playing an instrument, sport and physical activity, weight and diet, sleep, diseases, medications, doctors, clothing, cosmetics, appearance, projects, results, decisions, travels, new projects, plans, initiatives, new products, services, concepts, visions, strategies;
  4. Professional relationships: telephones, emails, letters, faxes, memos, responses, meetings, invitations, obligations, promises, superiors, co-workers, subordinates, customers, partners, investors, competitors, sales, marketing, logistics, distribution;
  5. Family and friends: telephones, emails, letters, meetings, invitations, responses, promises, husband/wife, children, parents, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, neighbours, toys, health, clothing, hygiene, education, development, name days, birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, travels, holidays, gifts, photos; cat, dog, fish, birds, etc.
  6. Activities: cleaning, throwing away, cleaning, organising and sorting, installing, starting up, laying, analysing, writing, learning, teaching, resting, treating, repairing, maintaining, replacing, training, giving up, ceasing, refusing, buying, designing, nurturing, decorating, altering, improving, developing, building, limiting, being together, celebrating, investing, producing, supplying, selling, promoting, moving.
Part B. Development of a system of work organisation

Step 1. For each of the objectives, tasks or obligations recorded on the list, define:

  1. The nearest and simplest action that starts its implementation, and add it to your list, e.g. in case of the task: replacement of tyres for winter, the first action may be: find the phone number to a tyre service on the Internet. Do not determine the nearest and simplest actions for the objectives, targets or obligations that cannot be broken down into smaller meaningful wholes;
  2. That have 90% sure and strictly specified dates (if any); that are related to individual objectives, tasks or obligations. A 90% sure date is one that is precisely defined in time and results from circumstances that are difficult to change, e.g.
    • Finish the Z report by 21 May at noon – this date has been included in the contract with the customer and if exceeded, may result in liquidated damages or breaking off the agreement,
    • Duration of production meetings, participated by the Management Board and key managers, taking place regularly on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Important! Do not plan the time or dates for objectives, tasks or obligations whose implementation is not or cannot be strictly defined in time, e.g. do not enter the task: replacement of tyres for winter in the calendar until you obtain the information from the tyre service when exactly it will be possible. The most common mistake of work organisation is to fill in the entire calendar and plan time of completion of most objectives, targets and obligations. Due to changes in circumstances, the implementation of such plans is never possible and your assumptions prove infeasible.

Step 2. In your calendar, record the tasks, objectives and obligations associated with 90% sure and strictly defined dates (day, time). Do not write anything else in the calendar. Place other matters on flexible to-do lists.

Step 3. Review all the objectives, tasks and obligations one by one and mark those that comprise the nearest and simplest action in respect of others. These will be contextual actions and will be ordered according to the context necessary for their implementation. The remaining unmarked and more complex tasks will be referred to as systemic tasks, and will be arranged into categories according to whom or what they refer to.

Step 4. Develop 5 flexible contextual to-do lists, ordering them into the following categories: Telephones, emails, computer, shopping, TO-DOs – in case of free time . The flexibility of each list is about not determining any specific date for each specific contextual objective, task or obligation.

Step 5. Develop 5 flexible systemic to-do lists, ordering them into the following categories: Personal, family, home, work, maybe/one day. The flexibility of each list is about not determining any specific date for each specific systemic objective, task or obligation.

Step 6. This way, enter your to-do lists into a mobile device that enables you to browse them daily and set reminders. Important: Set the reminders only for contextual tasks. Systemic tasks enable to manage the general scope and direction of our objectives, targets and obligations. After a few days, adapt the system to your life: if necessary, modify the quantity and nature of accepted categories and how to use the reminders.

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