Last week I followed one of our business seminars. This one was called “Organize yourself as an entrepreneur” held by Gerd Hauer from Business Institut International. His intention was to teach us how we can better organize our tasks in order to be more effective and less stressed. And being Bavarian (like me by the way) he did it in a charming, open and straightforward way. But let’s talk now about the essential, the content.
1. You should divide up your big goals in, smaller sub-goals, again smaller tasks and tiny sub-tasks. Why do that? That’s easy … you won’t get lost within your big goals. Do know the phenomena: You have a big goal to achieve, but you don’t know where to start and after a day of work you can’t remember what you did do the whole day? That’s the massage of Gerd Hauer. Divide your goal in smaller parts, because you will much easier reach these. That’s good for the ego. You have a long list of mini-task and at the end of the day it’s half done. Yep, done! It’s very satisfying to tick off or tip-ex or cancel them with a big marker. Try it out!
2. Always plan in writing, because you will relieve your brain and sleep much better. The best time to do your planning for the next day is the end of your working day, because you have all your tasks still in mind and you are well prepared for the next days routine and of course you will sleep better. Doing everything in written (no matter if it’s a PDA, a paper calendar or a simple sheet of paper) because you can better control your different tasks in writing and make them more transparent. But of course don’t forget to verify afterwards if your planning was correct. You will learn from it for your future planning. And another good tip from Mr. Hauer: Plan only 70% of your day. Only 70%?? But why? 1. Everything takes longer than you think 2. You will be disturbed by your telephone, your employees …
3. How to prioritize your tasks? Mr. Hauer showed us two different principles to deal with the importance of your tasks.
3.1. The fist principle is the “Pareto-Principle” that says that you usually manage to do 80% of your deliverables in 20% of your time. The rest of your time (80%) you need for the resting 20% of your work. Conclusion: Don’t be too much a perfectionist. It takes too much time.
3.2. The second principle is the “Eisenhower-Principle”. The former US president Eisenhower used to work like this. Structure your tasks according to the criteria of importance and urgency in groups A, B and C tasks and important: throw the tasks which are not important neither urgent in the waste bin. Throwing away all the rest of the tasks prevents you form shuffling them around all the time, because you will always have other more important tasks (A, B, or C) to do and if they are not in one of your categories you won’t need them anyway. Of course you start your working day with A-tasks that are urgent and important followed by the B-tasks and C tasks today or tomorrow. Of course you repeat this kind of analysis every day to find out your urgent and important tasks for the day.
Oh … I could write a lot more about this seminar, but I don’t want to bother you.
(graphics made by Barbara Marsupialia)