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Tools that may help if you are a “I didn’t have time to do this” person

November 23rd, 2009

In the post I didn’t have time to do this Martin said :

Life is as such as we accept more work and activities than we have time for, so claiming we didn’t have time for something seems like an understatement. In reality, what really happens is:

1. the individual didn’t want to do the work in the first place;

2. the person is procrastinating;

3. the person has difficulties in prioritizing their activities and cannot make a decision to determine which piece of work is more critical and should be completed first.

boite à outils gestion du temps

I used to get this excuse out of my hat too often in the past and that’s something I’m really trying to improve.

The tools I use are Getting Things Done known as GTD and popularized by David Allen and more recently the Pomodoro technique as they help me to manage my todos : to prioritize and to focus on doing.

The Pomodoro technique really helps to focus on the work that has to be done. Prioritize your tasks for the day, estimate, and do it focusing in small iterations : 25 minutes time-boxes + a 5 minutes break.

GTD is more big picture. But the most valuable impact from GTD is that all the work “to be done” is visible, and so that’s oblige me to make a decision : “Do I want to do it? Do I have to do it? Yes? No?”. If the answer is “NO”, I delegate it, or I delete it. No longer in my list, no longer in my mind! Sometimes I fold the idea in a “Someday/Maybe” place to delay it until I recover enough energy, or it becomes the things to do.

The last thing I did is to publicly communicate my occupations to my colleagues.

Learning to say “NO” is one of the hardest thing to do for me 🙂

How do you manage to eradicate the “I didn’t have time to do this” excuse from your vocabulary?