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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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).

I love the ritual of drawing up lists, and there's something wonderfully satisfying about ticking tasks off.

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