I gave a presentation titled “4 tools to smash time management” to a local Enterprise group this week. The main take away was “We live in a visual world. Use visual tools”. I borrowed the idea from Kanban, where you use a board to track the Backlog/Doing/Done phases of your tasks or projects. It’s an upgraded To-Do list, because you get a sense of movement as a task moves through the three phases, and accomplishment when it’s in the Done column. With a To-Do list, it’s either To-Do, or crossed off/not on the list. Kanban is also a great way to share information quickly within teams. You don’t have to go searching for files in cabinets, or files on a system. It’s there, for everyone to see.
The other examples I used were a Yearly Wall Planner, an egg timer and our Time Intelligence Report (TIR). Year planners work really well for people who can’t see further ahead than the next couple of days. The whole year is laid out in front of them as a picture. The egg timer was for the 45 minute sprints I talked about here. Again, you can see how much time has elapsed, and how much is still to go.
My business partner, Alan, used to be a graphic designer, and he’s done a great job with the TIR. The scoring information is all visual, and we use this spider diagram to show scoring on your Time Perspective
It’s a lot more digestible than the raw data, which is just columns of numbers. I’m proud of how the TIR looks, and the great job it does in making complex information easy to understand, just by looking. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a million digits.
Simplify your time management by using visual cues for yourself, and to communicate within your team. It will save you time!
I have a feeling, not backed up by any science at all, that knowledge workers get stressed about workload because they can’t see it, it looms over them as a weight and a presence, but has no physical form or appearance.
What do you think?