සිතිවිලි (Sithiwili)

A time management tool that works

Posted in Self help by Nalaka(නාලක) on December 3, 2007

A scan of a sample day planning sheet.

So many things to do, but so little time…
I always had trouble managing my time. Over the years, I have read many a book on this subject looking for tools and techniques on how best to do that. But none of them worked for me. That is, until this…

This technique is deceptively simple. But it works!

  1. First I prepare a list of all outstanding tasks.
    • This is lot like a memory dump. I find that it helps clear-up my mind of the “overwhelmed by the workload” feeling.
    • I list the long (over 8 hours), medium (1-8 hours), and short (under 1 hour) tasks separately.
  2. I also use a month sheet for recording engagements and appointments for the whole month.
  3. For each day, I use an A4 sized planning sheet.
    • A list of the “primary tasks” and the “secondary tasks” for the day appears on the top right.
      • This does not have to be filled-in at the start of the day but can be filled as the day progresses.
    • The left side of the sheet contains time-boxes for marking time spent on these tasks.
      • The first four columns are reserved for the four primary tasks. The next four boxes are shared between all the secondary tasks.
      • Each little time-box (usually) represents 15 minutes- and progress on a particular task is recorded by filling in these boxes as I work on a task.
      • This is an example of a used day planning sheet.

Give it a try and tell me how it goes…
The Sinhala version will be posted soon. (සිංහල ලිපිය ඉක්මනින්ම පල කරන්නම්)

Note: The day sheet was inspired partly by the “Emergent Task Planner/Timer” by Dave Seah and the the template from the “The forgotten Milk” blog.

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