Management for Geeks: Managing myself

Typemock has been growing steadily since the company started and our customer base is growing.

At one point I found myself overwhelmed with the amount of tasks that I have to do. I have done some Time Management courses in the past so I searched the bookshelf for the old training books, I dusted them and reread the material.

I then looked for the best application to help me manage my time. I tried RememberTheMilk and Toodledo, but they didn’t really work. It was too easy to write a task and let it collect dust within the system. I wrote a task and during the day, higher priority tasks came through: Customer Support, A Bug in the payment system, A killer feature. These tasks just stayed on the list and the list turned into a large pile of tasks to do.

Now in Lean Management, A Pile of Taskshaving an inventory is a waste that needs to be eliminated. A pile of tasks to do is an inventory. When looking at the list, it is really hard to sort out which tasks I need to do today, and it is depressing to see the task list just growing in time. I worked for 18 hours and the list just got bigger.

I needed something that was always in front me with a small list of items that I can visualize on a daily basis that I am succeeding to progress

What I found was that going back to the basics of pen and paper made all the difference. I downloaded David Seah Weekly and Daily Goal Tracker. image These are amazing, I now write my weekly goals at the beginning of each week.

Every morning I write my daily goals – these are tasks I need to do that will help me achieve the weekly goals.

The best thing is that I can Tick-Off and Cross-Out the tasks that I have completed. This is a great feeling, especially if I manage to do ALL the tasks that I wrote and Added more tasks.

At the end of the day I go back to the weekly tasks and cross out the tasks that are finished. This is a amazing feeling, I can visualize how I am clearing my desk!

p.s. As a non conformist, I downloaded the PowerPoint version and added some tweaks myself.

  1. What’s the difference between a list of a tasks in one program and a list of tasks in another program? Your still in the end deal with some sort of inventory of items that have to be managed; they don’t get input into the system or marked as complete by themselves.

    Is it the fact that it’s ‘grouped’ that makes the difference? I’ve given up searching for a program that makes it easier and have just succumbed to fact that I just live under a perpetual pile of tasks.

  2. You are totally right Brian.
    I found that using a program, any program, is really useless! It just leads to a huge inventory
    And Inventory is bad (it is a waste)

    That is why I use paper and I do a weekly iteration. Here is how:

    Each week: I write 5-10 major goals of the week.
    Each day: I write 3 major tasks of the day.
    When I finish a task I just cross it off.
    When a new task emerges – I write it and cross it off when it is complete.

    This way there is NO inventory, the tasks don’t pile up and I get great satisfaction in seeing the tasks get ticked of.

    At the end of the week, using this method, I almost always complete all the goals and more.

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