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Posts Tagged ‘task management’

4 simple steps to position yourself for getting it done in 2012

Dec 21, 2011 2 comments

Christmas is coming up and hopefully you all will have some time to sit down, relax, review the past year and make some plans for 2012.

I know that “living without goals” seems to be state of the art nowadays, but if you are living an a goal-oriented business environment – like I am – where you cannot wake up and just do what you are passionate about, a system to manage yourself will be essential for your success. This is why I recommend to structure your ideas and to make some plans for 2012, now.

This year, I had the chance to do my review already before Christmas which gives me the opportunity to provide you with a step by step guide which I created while doing my planning for 2012. Read more…

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Have a reliable task management system as backbone in busy times

Oct 31, 2011 Leave a comment

As my days were very busy during the last weeks, I used the time on a flight back home today to review and to think about what really helped me to stay on top of what I am doing.

Besides the support of my wife 🙂 the two tools I am using frequently are my target mind map and my task management system.

About my mind map I have written another post already. Now I would like to take the opportunity to share my task management experience in busy times with you.

Read more…

Professional Performance Standards – Request for Comment

Jun 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Inspired by existing standards like EN ISO or OHSAS etc. and my previous suggestion for professional performance standards I decided to develop a request for comment for a professional performance standard applicable to all persons.

This is the first draft of my proposal for this standard and I am looking forward to receive your feedback! 🙂

Professional Performance Standards – Request for Comment

1. Introduction
The application of a self-management system is a strategic decision of a person to enhance personal performance and to improve cooperation in a business environment.

This standard is designed to prove reliability and honesty of the person.

The defined requirements are generic and shall be applicable to all persons.

2. Personal Commitment
The person shall state to comply with the requirements of this standard.

3. Basic Requirements

3.1. Task Management
The person shall establish and maintain a reliable task management system to register all tasks. These tasks shall be prioritized and scheduled to ensure completion.

3.2. Mail Management

3.2.1. Incoming Mail
The person shall process incoming mail within 24 business hours.

Processing shall be done by “first touch” without returning the incoming mail to inbox.

Processing of incoming mail is defined as:
a) delete mail, if information is not relevant and answering not requested
b) forward mail
c) answer mail
d) transform mail into a task
In case of b) and d) sender shall be informed about processing decision.

3.2.2. Outgoing Mail
The person shall write outgoing mail as short and precise as possible.

The person shall address outgoing mail to relevant addressees only.

3.3. Time Management
The person shall establish and maintain a system to manage available time.

3.4. Office/Desk Management
The person shall ensure privacy of all processed information.

The person shall minimize usage of paper.

3.5. Document Management
The person shall archive documents and records to ensure traceability of the work performed.

3.6. Password Management
The person shall ensure the use of strong passwords.

The person shall protect passwords and keep passwords a personal secret.

3.7. Feedback Management
The person shall evaluate received feedback regarding performance and shall develop measures to improve.

Suggestion for Professional Performance Standards

May 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Last week, I had a discussion with two colleagues about the cooperation difficulties with other colleagues that do not perform in accordance with minimum standards of professional behavior. I often experience that some colleagues – always the same – need weeks to answer mails or simply are not able to complete tasks. Often their desks are completely overwhelmed by printouts and notes and the office looks chaotic. – Do you know this type of colleagues? 😉

I believe, that beside personal traits everybody is able to work in accordance with minimum professional performance standards. To support this theory, I created a “one pager” with five suggestions for professional performance:

Professional Performance Standards – Englisch Version (PDF, 21.5 KB)
Professional Performance Standards – German Version (PDF, 18.0 KB)

In the future, I will use this one pager to give my colleagues an idea about my expectations concerning professional performance and I hope, this will improve the cooperation step by step.

What do you think about these minimum standards? Do you have ideas for additional suggestions?

Just updated: Operational Planning Q2/2011 – First targets achieved!

Apr 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I just checked my 2011 targets in the context of my monthly operational planning and I thought it might be interesting to post an update.

To check my current position, I opened the file that I created during my yearly planning and I went through the targets and measures quickly.

Interestingly, I was able to mark the first targets as achieved and I had to integrate only minor changes into my planning.

Finally, I added one additional task to toodledo to start working on an upcoming target which I scheduled for May 2011.

What about you? Are you on track with your targets for 2011? Feel free to post your status! 🙂

Quickstart after vacation: Overview in less than 60 minutes

Apr 6, 2011 Leave a comment

This week, my wife and I took two days off and we went for an extended weekend trip to a beautiful recreation area. But for today, I expected to get lost in a load of emails that flooded my company inbox during the last two days. Thus, I decided to quick start this morning by “speed processing” my inbox to get an overview as fast as possible. – This is how I achieved it:

1. I got up early to be one of the first people in the company to minimize interruptions by colleagues.

2. By screening my inbox for outdated and deletable emails, I could easily delete all newsflashes that came in during the days and I quickly checked for updated appointments or requests that were already answered by colleagues. This reduced my inbox by nearly 30 percent.

3. Finally: Strict application of my inbox processing methodology (delete, delegate, do within 2 minutes, schedule) to get to zero email in my inbox.

To be honest, I was a little bit surprised that I was really able to process all new emails (approx. 60) within less than 55 minutes. But I did! 🙂

What is your experience? How do you process your emails after a vacation? Please post or email your experience! Many thanks in advance!

Toodledo.com: HowTo get started in 4+2 steps… (Updated!)

Feb 15, 2011 1 comment

After explaining to a few people how to get started with Toodledo during the last weeks, I decided to write a short “HowTo get started with Toodledo in 4+2 steps”:

1. Register at Toodledo.com, it’s free and it takes only seconds!

2. Go to “Settings” (top right corner) and…

  • Set “Display Preferences” to “Entire page scrolls”, “Grid (One line with columns)” and activate “Show note and file attachment icons on the left”.
  • Activate the following “Fields/Functions Used”:
    Folder, Start Date, Due Date, Repeat, Length, Timer, Priority, Tag, Status, Star.
    To learn more about how I use these fields, please see “Task Management with Toodledo.com”.
  • Set “Row Style” to “Title is styled by priority” and “Completed tasks are dimmed”.
  • Set “Default View” to “Folder”.
  • Configure the following “New Task Defaults”:
    Start Date: Today, Status: Next Action
  • Set “Show Tab Counts” to “Show the number of tasks inside each list”.

3. Go to “Tools > More…” and activate e-mail importing within “Email Import / Export”. You can use this e-mail-address to mail tasks to toodledo.

4. Go to “Organize > Folders” and create folders (these are your to-do lists) for different areas like main job, bigger projects, private, shopping,…

Optional steps:

5. If you like to go to “Goals” and insert your goals. If you are interested in this topic please see “planning section”.

6. Finally, if you want to import tasks from an existing tool go to “Tools > Import / Export” and use the appropriate function.

This is it! Now you are ready to go to your “Tasks” and to add tasks via “Add Task”.

To read more about how to use Toodledo, I recommend to continue with “Daily Operations – How to manage my day?” or “Inbox processing”.

PS: If you have ideas or comments how to optimize this howto, please do not hesitate to post your thoughts.