Workflow and Time Management
Tips for the Self-Employed
Workforce
Perry Pockros, Executive Consultant, Trainer & Facilitat...
Moderator
Dave Cassar
VP, Enterprise Solutions
MBO Partners
We Make it Easy for Independent Consultants &
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Expert Speaker: Perry Pockros
• Independent Executive
Consultant, Trainer &
Facilitator
– Expertise in work and time
manag...
Learning Objectives
7
• Apply consistent workflow
practices and tools
• Triage requests,
commitments, tasks and
informatio...
Workflow Problems We Face
8
“Immediate” takes precendent over important
Questions to Ask Yourself When Stressed
• What is the most pressing project on your mind?
• Is it disconcerting? Why?
• Wh...
Why Are Things on Your Mind?
1. You haven’t clarified what the intended outcome is.
– Unclear expectations, poor assignmen...
Mind Like Water
• Download “Open Loops”
outside your mind
• Identify all commitments
• Transform stuff
• Tailor leak-proof...
Threefold Nature of Work
12
PRE-DEFINED WORK WORK AS IT APPEARS
What would you be doing all
day without new input or
inter...
Getting Things Done
Three key principles and behaviors
1. Organizing through collection “buckets”
• Captured in trusted sy...
Five Workflow Phases
1. Collecting stuff to do
2. Processing what needs to be done
3. Organizing how and when it should be...
15
no
“stuff”
In-basket
What is it?
Is it actionable? no
yes
What’s the next
action?
Will it take less than 2 minutes?
yes...
Collection Buckets
16
Processing Stuff
17
IS IT ACTIONABLE?
NO YES
• Delete and discard
• Hold for review and
incubate or consider
someday / may...
Organizing Stuff
1. Projects – Multiple step stuff
 Supporting materials and reference files located elsewhere
2. Do It –...
Organizing Stuff (Cont.)
4. Delete and discard – avoid clutter and noise
5. Incubate – Someday / maybe or remind me later ...
Reviewing Your Queue
Daily
20
1. Review calendar (AM/PM)
2. Triage email / calls
3. Examine projects list
4. Mental game p...
Acting and Executing
• Context
– What can you do in the moment?
• Time Available
– Do I have the right amount of time to a...
Next Actions Tactics
• Maintain roster of daily and weekly tasks – Gmail Task list,
Word or Excel documents on your deskto...
Email Tactics
• Review Inbox and triage priority.
Get “in” to “empty!”
• Do < 2 minute responses first.
Take next step to ...
Email Tactics (Cont.)
• Designate the To: field for who
has the action; cc: is FYI
• NEVER Reply to All
• NRN (No Reply Ne...
Setting up a Notebook
• Projects
• Calls
• At Computer
• In Office
• At Home
• Waiting For
• Someday/Maybe (Later)
• Erran...
GTD Applications and Tools
• Google Gmail - Multiple Inboxes, Categories, Labels
- Gmail Task List – Actions
• Google Docs...
Workflow Planning and Collaboration
• Mind Mapping
– Visually outline information centered on
theme
• End to End Process M...
Mind Map: Time Management
28
RACI Model
29
Planning Your Next Steps
• Personal commitment to begin applying skills and tools
– Where to start, assess value and incor...
Suggested Reading
31
• Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by
David Allen
• Getting Things Done, When...
Questions?
perrypockros@gmail.com
32
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Workflow and Time Management Tips for the Self-Employed Workforce

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The majority of independent consultants struggle to find enough time in the day to complete all of their tasks. In this webinar Work and time management expert, Perry Pockros shares his tips to make the most efficient use of your valuable time.

Find more resources for independent professionals at www2.mbopartners.com/ic-resources

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  • Geteverythingout of your head, ad hoc notes intocontainers (Email and Web Application)Minimum, butsufficientcollectionbucketsEmptybucketsregularly
  • In case you aren’t familiar with MBO Partners, at a high level we make it easy for independent consultants and their clients to work together. We do this by running a variety of back office functions for our consultants so they can focus on the work they love. We take care of taxes, invoicing, contracts and business insurances. We also work hard to provide value to independents by creating a wide range of educational content that is featured in our Independent’s Guide portion of our website, as well as in our webinar series!
  • Some quick housekeeping before we begin – here you can see the webinar controls – please click the button with a small screen icon to move into full screen mode and don’t hesitate to send questions across throughout the presentation by typing them into the box shown here. We will answer them all at the end of the presentation. I would, however, like to answer the most common question we get now: Yes, we will be emailing you a recording of this webinar. You should see it in your inbox early next week.
  • A new feature on our webinar series is live tweeting! Please note today’s hashtag and feel free to send across questions and comments through the presentation. We will be monitoring it and will also answer these questions at the end of the presentation.You can also follow our speaker, Jennifer at the Twitter handles you see here.
  • Perry Pockros has more than 30 years experience in public sector consulting, government management and operations, and public policy analysis. He has led public sector consulting engagements for PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM Global Business Services, and Hagerty Consulting. Prior to his consulting career, Perry was a professional staff member for more than ten years in the U.S. House of Representatives for standing Committees and Members of Congress.  For the last year, Perry has been an independent consultant and facilitator working with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense, and District of Columbia’s Executive office of the Mayor.  Today, Perry is sharing with us an abbreviated training workshop he developed to enhance personal organizational and productivity. As Perry has observed and reminds his clients, “things get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.”
  • Do you complain that there’s no time to get their work done? More interruptions, emails, and “taskers” that frustrate your best intentions to work through your “to do” list in a world in which work is increasingly voluminous and ambiguous. Primary goal is to help you think about ways to transform “STUFF” – anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for whih you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome or next action step. Participants will learn new ways of thinking and acting to guide maximizing outputs and minimizing inputs based on two key principles: (1) capturing all the things that need to get done into a logical and trusted system outside of your head and off your mind; and (2) disciplining yourself to make front-end decisions about all of the “inputs” in your work life so you can process and organize into a coherent “next actions” queue. Participants will practice building their own system using a web-based template. The course presents a framework for project planning and tools to facilitate workflow collaboration. This course is primarily based on the philosophy of David Allen featured in his book Getting Things Done, and Geoffrey Bellman in his book, Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge, and other workflow and time management principles and practices.
  • I know we’re all busy people – in fact, Americans are the busiest people around – and we tend to be proud of it.But it is a paradox. We have enhanced quality of life, but at the same time we’re adding to our stress levels by taking on more than we have resources to do. Studies have shown that:36% of American’s don’t plan to use all their vacation days1/3rd of employees report feeling chronically overworked40% of people work more than a typical 40-hour work weekAnd as independent consultants – free agents - we know that work no longer had clear boundaries. Conundrum of the Big Picture – goals and values - vs. day-to-day distractions, emails, Ask for participants to send in their problem statements?
  • I suggest that you write down the project or situation that is most on your mind. What must bugs you, distracts you, or interests you that in some way consumes a large part of your conscious attention?Got it? Good. Now describe, preferably in a single sentence, what would have to happen for you to check this project off as done. Now write down the very next physical thing action required to move the situation forward.If anything at all positive happened for you in this little exercise, think about this: What changed? What probably happened is that you acquired a clearer definition of the outcome desired and the next action required.But what created that? The answer is thinking – not a lot – just enough to solidify your commitment and the resources to fulfill it. Ask: Who can define for me what workflow means? Ask: Now how about time management ? Workflow is a noun. It means the sequence of processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. Boy, all of us seem to be really challenged every day in feeling good about handling our work in a disciplined and conscientious manner. Why is that? Knowledge Work“In knowledge work … the task is not given; it has to be determined. ‘What are the expected results of the work?’… the key question in making knowledge workers productive. And it is a question that demands risky decisions. There is usually no right answer; there are choices instead. And results have to be clearly specified, if productivity is to be achieved.” – Peter Drucker
  • The reason something is “on your mind” is that you want it to be different that it currently is. Your mind keeps reminding you of things when you can’t do anything about them!If we had innate intelligence, our mind would remind you of the things you needed to do only when you could you do something about them. Battery replacement exampleUnfortunately, we have psychic RAM – Random Access Memory – that let’s our minds run a lot of show, especially where the too-much-to-do syndrome is concerned. Until those thoughts have been clarified and those decisions made, and the resulting next steps have been documented in a disciplined system that you know will act as your conscience to remind you, your mind will continue to cycle back to this anxiety inducing issue and won’t let it go. Transition: reflect for a moment on what it actually might be like if your personal management situation were totally under control. What if you could dedicate 100% of your attention to whatever was at hand, at your own choosing, with no distractions?
  • Reflect for a moment on what it actually might be like if your personal management situation were totally under control – at all levels and at all times. What if you could dedicate fully 100% of your attention to whatever was at hand, at your own choosing, with no distraction?You can experience what what the martial artists call “mind line water” or what athletes call the “zone” state. You’ve probably been in this state from time to time. It’s a condition of working, doing, and bring in which the mind is clear and focused and constructive things are happening.
  • Predefined work: working off your “to do” or “next step” lists – essentially completing work that you have previously determined needs to be completed within a timeframe. This includes making and returning calls, attending scheduled meetings, reviewing your flagged email to figure out what to do with it, and sending your completed draft to the next person in the clearance processWork as it appears: You know that feeling the morning when you ask yourself, “what’s going to enter my inbox today?” Every day brings surprises – the ad hoc “incoming” of email requests, taskers, attached drafts to review, comment, and forward, the unanticipated meeting with the office director, and calls and voicemails asking you to take some action, today please! All day, you’ll juggle (sometimes literally) tasks and use your intuition and judgment on what’s most important and time critical to complete. Work as it appears added to our inventory of pre-defined work, creates a substantial volume of on-deck options for things to be doing. Defining work: These are the activities you undertake to get things into your predefine work queue. Activities such as triaging email, listening to voicemail, reviewing meeting notes to be clear on your next action steps, and skimming track-change edits and comments on your draft to figure out how long it will take you to complete the next iterative draft. During this process, you maybe jotting down “things to get done” on a list (paper or electronic), calendar or notebook, or post-its attached to work surfaces in your cube. But one thing is for sure, you’ll be making a mental impression of all these to dos, and unless they are unpacked in a transparent, organized, sequenced order, one or more will pop into you mind during dinner, as you fall asleep, your morning run or shower – your psychic RAM!The key to managing all you stuff is managing your actionsWhat you do with your time, what you do with information, and what you do with your body and your focus relative to your priorities – those are the real options to which you must allocate your limited resources.The real issue is how to make appropriate choices about what you do at any point in time.The real issue is how we manage actions!Things get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.
  • Getting things done (GTD) means collecting and transposing things in your psychic RAM through a conscious process of capturing, identifying and reviewing consistently so that you can put it where it belongs in your self-management arena. Psychic RAM will take up either more or less attention than it deserves – and everything is not equally important. Buckets are the mental containers you hold to organize the way you interact with the world. They could have large apertures – that is, take in a lot of material into a container labeled “personal stuff” or “work stuff.” To begin with, our focus is on creating and using “work” buckets to hold items in abeyance until you have a quiet time to decide what they are and what, if anything, you’re going to do about them. Remember that things get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined – that why it’s so important to think about and note what the next physical step is to keep things moving. Finally, recall that the purpose of workflow management is gain a sense of calm – mind like water – to engage in productive activity. You must be assured that you’re doing what you should be doing. Reviewing your system on a regular basis to update appropriate action choices is a key part of the cycle.
  • Five distinct stages for managing workflow. Collect – things that command out attentionProcess – what they mean and what to do about themOrganize – the resultsReview – as options for what we chose to doExecute – now do itGenerally, most of us implicitly follow this sequence to mentally process our work. The quality of our workflow management is only as the weakest link in this chain. One the reasons many people haven’t had a lot success with getting organized is simply that they tried to do all 5 phases at one time. For example, when you site down to make a list of to dos, you’re probably trying to collect the most important things in some order that reflects priorities – but without setting out many – or any – real actions to take. If you don’t decide initially what action to take, it may became an open loop taking up conscious RAM space. Most people have leaks in bucketing habits – i.e. collecting all their stuff and figuring out where to hold it why they determine what’s the appropriate next step (predefined work). OnWalk through Decision Tree Model Note that these are our starting buckets
  • Walk through each step in the model. The outer ring of the diagram shows the main groupings into which things will go as you decide what they are and what needs to be done about them. These are your intitial buckets or containers for deciding where to place stuffIt’s critical that all these categories remain distinct, so as not to bleed into one another and undermine your trust in where you place something. The ask participants “ Looking at this five stage model, what do you think is your weakest link in tackling workflow?We’re going to repair and strengthen weak links by working through the stages – at the same time – using David Allen’s GTD Decision Tree Model. Ask for questions?
  • Geteverythingout of your head, ad hoc notes intocontainers (Email and Web Application)Minimum, butsufficientcollectionbucketsEmptybucketsregularlyMake sure that everything you need is collected somewhere other than in your headCollection PathwaysEmailPaper-based notesElectronic notesTelephonePersonal communicationsPsychic RAMCollection Success FactorsEvery pathway must be in your collection system and out of your headMinimize number of collection buckets – necessary and sufficient to get by withReview, empty or re-arrange in the queue consistently Best ideas about work will not come to you at work
  • Processing You process and organize the actions you’ll need to take based on the decisions you will make about what needs to be done. So ask yourself first, what is it and is it actionable? Two binary choices: YES and NO. If the answer is NO, there are three possibilities:It’s trash and should be deleted and discardedNot ripe for action yet, but not totally useless – better hold for future consideration and incubation. Understand its relevance as potentially useful information and want to store it for future reference. If the answer is YES, two things need to be determined:What “project” or outcome have you committed to?Capture on a project’s list as an action item related to completing the next right stepTransfer to master projects / project planning list  What’s the next action required?The “next action” is the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in. Do it – if it takes less than two minutes (I suggest 5 minutes)Delegate it – if you’re not the “right” person to take the appropriate next step. Defer it – if takes longer than two – five minutes and you’re the right owner, place it in a deferred category ideally with a notational timeframe to complete.Note that there are two basic kinds of actions: those that must be done on a certain day and/or particular time or those that just need to be done as soon as you can get to them, around your other calendared items. Processing and organizing phases are captured in the center “trunk” of the decision tree model.
  • Organizational categories need to have some retrievable medium (Day Runner / Web-based Tracker) and calendar. For next actions, be specific on next physical, behavioral step or activity, such asCallsEmailsScheduleAgendas (meetings) Read/reviewScheduleErrands Projects – consider using USAID/GH project nomenclature and a personal list of multi-step actions to complete. Project’s list is an index – all supporting materials are kept in file folders, Google Docs, etc. Consider cross-walking projects index with higher level reference categorization. If you’re working on USAID/Tanzania’s health program CDCS, considering using CDCS or GH typology as the typology. Calendar – 3 types of reminders go on your calendarTime-specific actions (i.e. appointments and meetings)Day-specific actions (i.e. finish by close of business, or make follow-up call)Day-specific information (i.e. “tickler” reminders, directions, your anniversary) Next Actions – works in sequence with calendar for time and workflow managementSubdivide next actions into next action categories (calls, emails, compose, review)
  • Incubate – this is comparable to a “parking lot” to hold aspirational ideas, tangential things to research that you don’t want to forget, but leave for some other day. Use calendar as tickler file to remind you of reoccurring deadlines or suspense dates.
  • ReviewingDaily review – check your calendar to recall appointments and day specific information. Assess discretionary time and examine next actions list to match available time to completing one or more actions. Review lists as often as you need, to get them off your mind. Weekly review – you’ll feel in control of your workload by taking a comprehensive review of your complete system once a week. The weekly review is the time to:Gather and process all your stuffReview your systemUpdate your listsGet clear, current and complete.
  • Executing Now is the time to do the work. Use your judgment in assessing these criteria and decide whether to tackle:Predefined work – clearing stuff from your next actions listsDoing ad hoc work as it has shown up throughout the day.
  • Consider doing predefined work when you have significant blocks of time, say in the morning, and triaging ad hoc work in the mid-afternoon to move it to the next step. If you do a lot of email correspondence, designate a certain time slot or number of hours you will spend emailing, then stick with it.If you read lots of content and reports, collect them into a sequential series of open files and then designate a certain amount of time each day to review and move to next step. Time block – create a mental game plan that allocates an approximate amount of time – without interruptions and distractions – to complete the action item. Consider time blocking your weekly calendar to carve out “quiet” time each day to focus on concentrated work. Ask: How do you communicate your time block? Put “busy” or “work” on your shared calendars?What do you do when people do not respect your time block? Only Handle It Once (OHIO) – whether it’s a document, a voicemail or an email, returning to it over and over again is not a good use of time. Try to only handle it once. Getting Email Under Control Handout (by David Allen) – Email is simply a collection box for incoming communication and information that needs to be assessed, processed and organized.
  • Email Best Practices for Teams – Match the message to the best medium. Recognize when Email is not the best method of communicating. Just because a topic started in email, doesn’t mean it should stay on email. Subject lines – Use clear subject lines that clearly describe the topic and requested action. Change subject line descriptions when the action has moved to the next required step. Use the Delete keyOrganize emails that require action and follow-up Make reference folders in navigator bar
  • To: vs. Cc: - Be discerning about your use of To: vs. Cc:. Designate the To: field for who has the action (could be multiple people) and use Cc: is simply for your information (informed). Reply to All – Never! Just make sure everyone really needs to know. NRN (No Reply Necessary) – Use when you’re distributing an informational note and no aksing for feedback, opinions or points of view. Response times – Be clear on consistent on response times. Remember response means acknowledging request or action and not actually completing the work.
  • Google Mail – Access your Gmail account. In the upper left hand corner at the Gmail dropdown, click Tasks. Now you can begin building a weekly task list starting with Daily Actions, Delegate or Defer with Next Steps, or a Project index. Google Docs – is a suite of “office” applications – a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation designer – which run in a web browser. It is free to access. Log in at docs.google.com using your Google Gmail account. Create project reference folders and export all project specific files (and create sub-files) to save information and date in one location that can be shared.  Access the SmartSheet Getting Things Done (GTD Action List) Under Tasks &amp; ChecklistsRefer to the list of pressing tasks and projects you listed in the Workflow Problems We Face module and begin to apply these items to the spreadsheet categories (“buckets”). Spend some more time thinking of all the things you need to do this week and next and add them to the spreadsheet. Consider modifying or adding new buckets to process, organize and hold action items that may be more relevant to your position’s business processes and workflow. Go to the Projects tab and insert relevant, multi-step projects that you are involved with.
  • End to End Process Mapping (“Post the Path”) – Often, there is a sense of confusion about who does what and when. The team is using different terms to describe their process. The group has no documented process. Things seems to be happening in a ad hoc fashion, invisibly, or by chance. Instruct participants to think about the process from beginning to end – ask them to write down each step of the process on a “post-it.” Have them post each step on a wall – above and below one another’s – so they can compare their versions of steps 1,2 and so on. Prompt the group to find points of agreement and disagreement. Look for terminology problems, where participants are using different words to describe the same steps. Points of confusion may surface where “something magical happens” or no one is really clear on a step. Seek clarification and simplification. Checklists – In all work of reasonable complexity, there is a moment-to-moment risk that equally important tasks will overwhelm the human mind. In knowledge work this may be doubly true, due to the intangible “fuzziness” of any particular task. Because a checklist is a focusing object, it demands that the team discuss the order and importance of certain tasks. Team members are likely to have different perspectives on these things, and the checklist is a means to bring these issues to the surface and work with them.Create a checklist in the order of the operation, from first to last, but in some cases a ranked or prioritized list is more appropriate. Capture the checklist as a workflow artifact and share it with others to help them perform theirs tasks more efficiently.
  • Mind Mapping – a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches. Categories can represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.Helps identify processes where you might use end-to-end process mapping or a RACI matrix
  • RACI Matrix – Sometime roles and responsibilities are not clear. Nothing erodes morale or performance faster than a difficult problem that belongs to someone else – or to everyone. When these situations raise their head, it may be necessary to call a group together to sort out who does what. By creating a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) matrix, a group can tackle the responsibility problem directly. To set up the matrix, you need two lists:A work breakdown or process map specific enough to answer “who does x?”A list of roles that reflect a group of related tasks (not names), i.e. Budget analystCreate the matrix by listing the process along the vertical axis and the roles along the horizontal axis. Inside the matrix, the group should work through assigning levels of responsibility by coding R, A, C, I:Responsible. This is the doer of the work. Although this person may delegate or seek support from others, ultimately this one person is responsibility for doing the work.Accountable. This person is accountable for the work that the Responsible person does, and signs off on the work. The golden rule of RACI is that only one person can be accountable for each task.Consulted. These contributors provide input, opinions, and advice through two-way communication.Informed. Although they are not contributors, these people are kept up-to-date on progress or completion through one-way communication. In working through the matrix, it is best to follow the natural progression of the work flow from start to finish. The matrix is complete when every task has a clear set of responsibilities.
  • Briefly review the material presented today and identify the approaches, tools and “tricks” that resonated with you. It’s time to assemble your first action list – a new practice for a new reality – to begin collecting, processing, organizing, reviewing and executing all your work “stuff.” The best way to make a personal commitment is to write down your own project planning approach for beginning to set up and use your time management and workflow system. Download Smartsheet and/or Nirvana and begin customizing fields.Collect all my incoming stuff and begin to place into buckets.Set-up Gmail “flags” to code my pending email.Set-up recurring events on my calendar.Review my calendar every morning and triage emails.Time block everyday to execute defined work. Organize all project files into individual file structures.Set up project reference file typology and folders.Learn how to use Google Docs and store files to share.Convene a team discussion about better defining process roles and responsibilities.Schedule a 30 minute meeting with the “boss” to talk about your work and seek feedback.Schedule a block of time with the instructor to help you tackle an organizational / workflow problem.What you do with your time, and what you do with information, and how you concentrate your focus on what must get done – are the key organizing principles in which you must allocate your finite resources. The daily conundrum is how to make appropriate choice about what to do at any point in time – and this implies how we manage actions.
  • Workflow and Time Management Tips for the Self-Employed Workforce

    1. 1. Workflow and Time Management Tips for the Self-Employed Workforce Perry Pockros, Executive Consultant, Trainer & Facilitator
    2. 2. Moderator Dave Cassar VP, Enterprise Solutions MBO Partners
    3. 3. We Make it Easy for Independent Consultants & Their Clients to Work Together
    4. 4. Webinar Controls The full screen icon maximizes the presentation area. The chat box allows you to send a question to the presenter.
    5. 5. Live Tweeting Today’s Hashtag: #MBOWeb Join the online conversation, submit comments & questions
    6. 6. Expert Speaker: Perry Pockros • Independent Executive Consultant, Trainer & Facilitator – Expertise in work and time management • Past work experience – PWC – IBM – Hagerty Consulting – Campaign to Fix the Debt 6 “I consider myself a generalist – an adaptable problem-solver with a reservoir of experiences, networks, skills, and perspectives to help others generate insights – a better story – for getting things done.”
    7. 7. Learning Objectives 7 • Apply consistent workflow practices and tools • Triage requests, commitments, tasks and information into a “bucket” typology • Begin to build a personal workflow system • Use collaboration tools to facilitate group work products
    8. 8. Workflow Problems We Face 8 “Immediate” takes precendent over important
    9. 9. Questions to Ask Yourself When Stressed • What is the most pressing project on your mind? • Is it disconcerting? Why? • What is the intended successful outcome for this project or assignment? 9
    10. 10. Why Are Things on Your Mind? 1. You haven’t clarified what the intended outcome is. – Unclear expectations, poor assignment description? 2. You haven’t decided what is the next appropriate step. – Procrastinate, ask for help, find a “best practice”? 3. You haven’t documented a reminder of the deliverable or next step in a system that you trust – “Open Loops” – Simple, reliable, systematic, compatible with work style? 10
    11. 11. Mind Like Water • Download “Open Loops” outside your mind • Identify all commitments • Transform stuff • Tailor leak-proof system • Relax and increase productivity 11
    12. 12. Threefold Nature of Work 12 PRE-DEFINED WORK WORK AS IT APPEARS What would you be doing all day without new input or interruptions of any sort? New ad hoc “to do” stuff – attend meetings, reply to emails/calls, compose memo, review draft documents 1 2 DEFINING WORK Triaging requests, commitments, tasks and information into organized action. 3
    13. 13. Getting Things Done Three key principles and behaviors 1. Organizing through collection “buckets” • Captured in trusted system outside your minds 2. Deciding next steps through an actionable queue • Be clear on commitments and how to progress 3. Reviewing systematically where you are • Daily and weekly reviews – short and long perspectives 13
    14. 14. Five Workflow Phases 1. Collecting stuff to do 2. Processing what needs to be done 3. Organizing how and when it should be done 4. Reviewing your queue and deciding what’s been completed, what’s next to execute, and what’s no longer relevant 5. Executing given priority, time allotment, energy balance 14 OVERVIEW OF “GETTING THINGS DONE” DECISION TREE MODEL
    15. 15. 15 no “stuff” In-basket What is it? Is it actionable? no yes What’s the next action? Will it take less than 2 minutes? yes Do it Delegate it Defer it Waiting (for someone else to do) Calendar (to do at a specific time) Next actions (to do as soon as I can) Trash Someday/ maybe (tickler file; hold for review) Reference (retrievable when required) Projects (planning) Project plans (review for actions) 15
    16. 16. Collection Buckets 16
    17. 17. Processing Stuff 17 IS IT ACTIONABLE? NO YES • Delete and discard • Hold for review and incubate or consider someday / maybe • Potentially useful as reference material What’s the next step? • Project assignment • Do it (now / today) • Delegate it • Defer it
    18. 18. Organizing Stuff 1. Projects – Multiple step stuff  Supporting materials and reference files located elsewhere 2. Do It – if it takes less than 2 minutes 3. Next Actions  Calendar (Action reminders)  Time-specific actions  Day-specific actions  Day-specific information Delegate – wait for someone else to complete and respond to you Defer – subdivide into physical action steps (with or without timeframe) 18
    19. 19. Organizing Stuff (Cont.) 4. Delete and discard – avoid clutter and noise 5. Incubate – Someday / maybe or remind me later “tickler” 6. Reference - project specific or general filing 19
    20. 20. Reviewing Your Queue Daily 20 1. Review calendar (AM/PM) 2. Triage email / calls 3. Examine projects list 4. Mental game plan  Time block “like” activities and stick to schedule 1. Review queue and buckets 2. Update lists 3. Get clean, clear, current and complete Weekly
    21. 21. Acting and Executing • Context – What can you do in the moment? • Time Available – Do I have the right amount of time to allocate to complete the action? • Energy Available – How is my energy level for tracking this action? • Priority – How important is the action and how long has it been in my queue? 21
    22. 22. Next Actions Tactics • Maintain roster of daily and weekly tasks – Gmail Task list, Word or Excel documents on your desktop • Organize emails by “@Action” of “@Waiting For” folders; or save in topical buckets • Group similiar activities together – emailing, editing, phone calls during blocks of time. • Block your calendar and stick to schedule 22 ONLY HANDLE IT ONCE (OHIO)
    23. 23. Email Tactics • Review Inbox and triage priority. Get “in” to “empty!” • Do < 2 minute responses first. Take next step to address deferred, multi steps • Use blank Word document to sequence drafting and reviewing emails (originating or responding) • Use actionable Subject descriptions • Update Subject descriptions in Gmail chained dialogues 23
    24. 24. Email Tactics (Cont.) • Designate the To: field for who has the action; cc: is FYI • NEVER Reply to All • NRN (No Reply Necessary) • Response times – Acknowledge request or action and expectation for when the action will be completed 24
    25. 25. Setting up a Notebook • Projects • Calls • At Computer • In Office • At Home • Waiting For • Someday/Maybe (Later) • Errands 25
    26. 26. GTD Applications and Tools • Google Gmail - Multiple Inboxes, Categories, Labels - Gmail Task List – Actions • Google Docs - Converting GTD to Docs, shared tools • SmartSheet GTD Template (www.smartsheet.com) • Nirvana GTD Template (www.nirvanahq.com) 26
    27. 27. Workflow Planning and Collaboration • Mind Mapping – Visually outline information centered on theme • End to End Process Mapping – Understanding all the steps in a process • Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed (RACI) Matrix – Cross functional team roles and responsibilities • Checklists – A checklist for checklists 27
    28. 28. Mind Map: Time Management 28
    29. 29. RACI Model 29
    30. 30. Planning Your Next Steps • Personal commitment to begin applying skills and tools – Where to start, assess value and incorporate into improving your productivity – Develop a 30-day action plan to begin incorporating systems, tools and behaviors into your time and workflow management. • Over the next 30 days, I want to… • I am going to do… • I need help with… 30
    31. 31. Suggested Reading 31 • Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen • Getting Things Done, When You Are Not in Charge by Geoffrey M. Bellman • The Power of Habit, Why we do what we do and how to change by Charles Duhigg • Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman • The Slow Fix by Carl Honore • The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
    32. 32. Questions? perrypockros@gmail.com 32
    33. 33. Additional Information on MBO Partners • EMAIL us - info@mbopartners.com • VISIT our website - www.mbopartners.com • FOLLOW us on Twitter - @mbopartners • SIGN UP for our monthly newsletter - newsletter@mbopartners.com 33

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