Creative Ways to Manage Any Process

After going through a lengthy project that may take several days, I find that the project required so much attention and had such a long list of things to get done, that I get away from preparing a schedule for the day’s activities.

This morning was one of those days for me.  What happens on a day without scheduled events is that I am not very productive.  I check my email.  I check my online network accounts for messages.  I click around a couple of groups to see what might be going on to stimulate my thinking for new projects.  By midday I have very little done and reach a point where I have nothing else to do for the day.

The best way to avoid this loss of productivity is to remember that even on the days on which the work seems to come at me much more quickly than I can manage it, I still need to create an agenda for the day.  Busy days are better directed and slow days become more productive when I have a list of projects in front of me.

The agenda needs to have two aspects to it.

First there is the aspect of the things to get done.

Second is the aspect of the goal of each thing I am doing.

For example, I might have items like to the following.

Activity:  Sort email into these folders:  Delete, Read later, Inbox for high priority, Read.
Objective: Focus on opportunities that bring value to my clients and to me.

Activity:  Call people who are on my calendar for business calls.
Objective: Discuss the goal for each call.  For example, get advice for new project, follow-up on deadlines for submitting new material, and ask for the correct contact for a particular project.

There are several benefits to creating an agenda.

  1. The process of creating the agenda stimulates my mind to become more creative
  2. The process awakens my mind to more opportunities.
  3. The process keeps me focused on what I need to do.
  4. The process increases the likelihood that I will become more successful at achieving my goals.

So for me the outline for success is to have a schedule of activities for the day and to use that schedule.  As I complete tasks, I check them as completed and make a record of what I have accomplished for future reference.

What methods do you use for successful management of your schedule?

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