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The 4 limiting factors to plan your next move
So you’ve captured all your inputs, clarified their meaning, organised the results in a system and reviewed it frequently. How can you now choose the right thing to do in any given moment? Your meetings and events obviously dictate a portion of your day (maybe even too much). But how can you flow your tasks into the remaining time?
4 factors will help you determine which task you should choose, building trust in your intuition and system.
- Context – not the first thought that may come to mind, but it doesn’t matter how important a particular task is … if you are not in the right context, location, or with a specific person, you don’t want to see that task displayed.
- Time – try to match the time you have available with the time required to do a specific task. Starting a large piece of work when you only have 15 minutes before your next meeting is often ineffective (unless you can suitably chunk up your time – see Pomodoro Technique).
- Energy – starting a difficult, challenging task when you’re having a mid-afternoon slump can also be ineffective. By the same token, filling your stapler on Tuesday at 10:00am when you’re at your peak is not an optimum use of resources. Choose tasks that match your energy, perhaps by keeping a list (context) of easy tasks.
- Priority – obviously a key factor, but not the only one, to get the best use of our resources. How do you determine priorities? (see the IV Quadrants of time management).
Traditionally, a Pomodoro consists of a 25-minute work zone, followed by a 5-minute break. Additional Pomodoros are completed and after 4 cycles, a longer break is awarded.
There are plenty of apps and plug-ins for this approach and the timings can be adjusted to your preferences.