Time is a resource or to be more precise, it is part of the human resource. When an organisation ‘buys’ its human resource it is buying time and skill. The first and most important message is simply – poor performance in any area of management means poor use of time and people will easily spot when someone is doing this well or not.
Why this model helps:
This simple 4 box model – Effort vs Impact – allows us to think more strategically about planning what we do and when. To-do lists can be helpful, however, arranging tasks into 4 separate boxes forces us to prioritise and clarify how we use our time as well as deciding when things get done. After all, one of the biggest barriers to effective time management is not knowing where to start.
How to apply it:
A good place to start is thinking what effort and impact means to you. Effort often equates to long hours or deep thinking. Impact is more about impressing others, achieving a significant goal or discovering something new (this can also be known as ‘reward’). With that in mind you can start to plan your workload according to these 2 variables, but be critical in this process. It may be that everything appears high effort/high impact and that there is little distinguishing your tasks. However, by thinking ahead, you will realise that focusing on low effort/high impact task achieves more for you and that high effort/low impact tasks should be avoided or delegated. Impact is making a difference and managing your time effectively could be one of the most impactful things you do. Your effort is a valuable resource. Don’t waste it.
Some Catseye wisdom:
Many individuals and organisations dream of mastering time management – a world where everything gets done, on time with zero stress. The reality is that not enough time is devoted to getting the root cause of Time Management problems and, like any skill, time must be invested in discovering effective ways to practise and improve. We say, experiment with your time management. Plot what you try, monitor your success and when you hit on your best approach apply it across your life – from organising holidays to the next party you throw. You can even invite us!