Today I wanted to share some specific places that you can go to improve your productivity and time management. These systems to maximize your productivity are: Mission Control, Getting Things Done and Franklin Covey.
Mission Control: This is a program that I am really familiar with as it is a program that I use. I wont get into a lot of depth with each of these programs but I will give as good of an overview as I can. With Mission Control, the first step is to establish core values for your self so that you can identify activities that you should and should not do. From there they talk to you about carrying around a capture tool. The capture tool is typically a small note pad that you can tear out at the end of each day. Every time someone makes a request of you throughout the day, you write it on your capture tool. At the end of the day you evaluate the items in your capture tool and decide which items you will do and any items that you may pass on. From there it's about putting these tasks into your virtual calendar (google, outlook etc.) and assigning a specific time and space to get the item done. Every item goes onto your calendar that you are doing. The purpose is to get items onto your calendar with time to complete them so that they are not hanging over your head.
Getting Things Done: This is system that caught my attention through a video that I watched by the founder, David Allen. One of my business partner is currently utilizing their systems and was gracious enough to share. The first step in the GTD workflow is the items that come into your inbox (e-mail, voice mail, verbal requests etc). Once you receive an item you then decide if the item is actionable or not. If it's actionable, you then ask the questions “what's the next action?”. If it's a project, you need to go through and indentify all the steps that need to be taken in that project. For single items you decide whether to do it now (if it only takes a few minutes), delegate it (notify them immediately of the task) or defer it (put it on your calendar for later). In this system you can carry around a capture tool as well but you only put items on your calendar that have to be done that day.
Franklin Covey Time Management: Franklin Covey is great because they have always been about vision and values. Their time management system starts with identifying your values and then aligning your life to those values. Step 2 in the program is to set goals. Ther next two phases consist of planning. The first is to plan weekly and then from their to plan daily. These 4 steps are called the “producitivty pyramid”. This system seems to deal a lot with overall planning vs how to handle specific items in your life.
These are three systems that I know of but there are others. In the end it's about finding a system that works best for you and how you like to get things done. Have you used any systems in the past? How did they work for you? If you aren't using a productivity system, why not?