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More productive in 2011. Christo Bothma 28 January 2011. Agenda. Choose the most important tasks Close to the revenue line Capture all your to-do’s in one place Remember the 3 Q’s and 4 D’s Create the time to get things done Avoid e-mails for the 1 st hour of the day Beware multitasking

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more productive in 2011

More productive in 2011

Christo Bothma

28 January 2011

  • Choose the most important tasks
    • Close to the revenue line
    • Capture all your to-do’s in one place
    • Remember the 3 Q’s and 4 D’s
  • Create the time to get things done
    • Avoid e-mails for the 1st hour of the day
    • Beware multitasking
    • Stretch time by planning

Choose the

most important



Close to the revenue line

  • Top – down prioritizing
    • Find what creates the revenue for your company i.e. billable hours, most products sold
    • Allocate a number to your To-do items – 1 being closest to your revenue line and 3 being furthers
    • When prioritizing be conscious of your revenue generators and perform them first (i.e. no 1’s)
  • Why start with the most important tasks
    • This will give you a sense of accomplishment
    • Give you some breathing room
  • Doing the workplace dance
    • Look at the time allocation to perform a task and try and balance time consuming and non time consuming items

Capture all your to-do’s in one place

  • Keep a complete list of all your To-do’s
    • You can only plan and prioritize properly by having a complete picture of what you have to do
  • Keep it all in once place
    • Find a suitable medium for your To-do list i.e. Paper, electronic or both. This should suite your personality
  • Keep track of all your To-do’s
    • By keeping a complete written list will keep you conscious of where you spend your time
to do matrix
To Do matrix

Example of a matrix


Remember the 3 Q’s and 4 D’s

  • The 3 Questions
    • How long will it take
    • What is the return on investment (ROI)
    • What is the deadline
  • The 4 d’s (delete, delay, delegate, diminish)
    • Delete – will anybody miss a project if not completed / performed
    • Delay – what projects can you delay until you have proper time to perform what is needed
    • Delegate – delegate items if someone else can do it better, faster or well enough (leverage)
    • Diminish – try and streamline regular items
  • LET GO
    • It is important to let go of the non important items and not to stress these items

Avoid E-mail for the 1st hour of the day

  • Focus on your most critical task for the first hour
  • Managing email the rest of the day
    • Keep your email alarm off
    • Process emails fully during email session
    • Say what you need in the subject line
    • Start your email by telling the reader what you need from them
    • Keep emails short and to the point
    • Create stock / standard templates for routine requests
  • Do not substitute emails for Human contact

Beware multitasking

  • Brain power
    • NeuroImage science journal - you cannot perform 2 tasks to the best of your ability at the same time
  • Determine your concentration threshold
    • Determine what your best concentration threshold is i.e. 15min, 30min or a hour
  • Focus on the completion
    • Break tasks down in manageable units
    • Work these units into your concentration threshold units

Stretch time by planning

  • Group similar tasks
    • Group certain tasks together during pockets of your time i.e. return all calls during one session
  • Sample daily Patterns
    • Layout a routine for yourself during your day keeping you focused
  • Work with your energy cycles
    • Try and plan your routine to take your natural energy levels into account
doing your best work
Doing Your Best Work
  • I hope your are more productive going forward
  • Resource – “Never check E-mail in the morning – Julie Morgenstern”