Home Forums Work Managing ToDos, projects and so on

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Hollyuk 8 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #158850


    I’m looking for some ideas again here. My past method of managing my work life has broken down a bit and I wonder of you would mind sharing what you do or offer me some suggestions.

    The background is that I run two businesses, one of which contains a number of projects which are really ‘jobs’ for customers (as well as tasks to grow the business), the second is a discrete business which also needs daily tasks done, and other tasks to grow the business. In my first business I typically have two large and a few small customers – the larger customers have a number of projects on the go at any time.

    My problem is twofold – firstly dividing my time between these businesses / projects and secondly how to manange the tasks. For example do I have multiple todo lists for each business/project, or one large one?

    I do have a problem with ‘out of sight out of mind’ so having lots of lists can sometimes make me forget what is waiting for my attention.

    I’ve also muddied the waters by trying different types of notebooks / filofaxes etc. I’m also undecided whether to allocate specific time to each thing (i.e. mornings for business a and afternoons for business b and so on).

    To be honest I feel a bit like a rabbit in the headlights with all this going on – I also recently suffered a family bereavement which has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything and I have to get on with things pretty soon otherwise I will lose a lot of business.

    I was wondering if anyone else has a similar set of circumstances and how they manage their time/projects. Sorry if I am rambling and hope you can offer some suggestions.

  • #172678


    Managing ToDos, projects and so on

    Hi Hollyuk. I used a portable spreadsheet-style 9 by 11″ paper grid during college, labeled across the top with days of the week and labeled down the left side with each hour of the day. I filled in each class, study time, mealtime, research time; whatever I needed to remember.

    I have seen some people do this with paper, others with dry erase boards. Color coding worked really well for me, such as writing special events such as exams,
    homework due dates etc. in red. Each class was highlighted in a different color.

    You might want a portable version to carry with you, like I did. Something large on a wall could be used along with that, or in place of a notebook.

  • #172679


    Managing ToDos, projects and so on

    First of all, condolences on your bereavement. That is enough to put anyone off their stride for a while. You might consider notifying your various clients that you have had a family loss, and give them a slightly-extended target date to deliver the next thing due to them. Better to let them know in advance there might be a slight delay – which under the circumstances they should understand – than to be late and then ask forgiveness.

    Dividing your time should probably be done on a very unemotional level. Apportion time for each business based on the income it generates. If the first business produces 70% of your income, then it should get 70% of your time.

    As to organizing the actual projects, I would advise setting aside extra time for each task – say 150 minutes for a task that would ordinarily take you 120 – and use the additional time to go through ALL your existing calendars, notebooks, task lists, etc. to collate ALL the to-do’s that might apply to that task. Get everything in one place, do the task, then set it all aside together.

    As you go along you’ll accumulate a few piles of completed work. Then use some of your “free” time to analyze what you’ve got. You’ll see a pattern of how you collect and organize your information, and then you’ll be able to see what physical tools would best suit your pattern.

    It’s better to select tools that fit the way you work, than to try to make your method fit certain tools. Good luck!

  • #172692


    Managing ToDos, projects and so on

    My condolences, Hollyuk.

    Lately I have been inspired by listening to some free podcasts from Ali Brown (www.alibrown.com)for time management and organizing tips. May not be news to you, but still, can be inspiring and lifting when you need a boost. I found her podcasts on iTunes. They are not too long, maybe 15 minutes or so. She’s on the peppy side but not annoyingly so. (Personally, pert always makes me want to stab people in the dimples)


  • #172696


    Managing ToDos, projects and so on

    Some great ideas here thank you. I will perhaps try to observe myself over the next week and see how it seems to divide out. The only problem I have is that if I don’t make time for both businesses the one tends to get neglected!

    Also thanks for the Ali Brown tip – I’ll certainly investigate that – I do like podcasts so will look for that one!

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