Saturday, August 04, 2007

On Time Management and Planning

"I’ve learned that task management is its own overhead, and the task you no longer have to manage reduces that overhead to an absolute minimum."
Karen Schneider, Free Range Librarian, Getting Things Done Sat, Jun 9 2007 7:59 AM

This has stuck with me for two months now. I think, as usual, she got it right. Librarians have all kinds of conflicting priorities. We rush from user to user to task to user again. And then the ILS goes down. How do we get anything done?

By planning. Taking time to plan. Spend a whole day planning if you must. Just plan.

You are in control of You. You decide how you will handle tasks. You decide which methods work for you. You investigate new ways of handling tasks. You even look at situations or projects and realize that you can do the most important stuff and do it well. You may even find out that the less important stuff just doesn't need to be done at all.

It takes time to do that kind of studying of the situation and your methods. Take that time. Use tons of paper. Type until your fingers go numb. Use your research skills and learn about all kinds of methods. Try whatever looks good until you find what works for you.

And when you do find a good method, revisit it regularly. Never let a month go by without revisiting your plan at least once. Things change priority. You may stumble upon a new way of doing things. What you thought was important may not be that important after all.

Below are Booktender's Six Handy Steps for keeping control of your work and keeping your sanity in libraryland:
  1. See what needs to be done
  2. Release pre-conceived notions about who should do it or how it should be done
  3. Make a plan for doing what needs to be done
  4. Share your plan
  5. Follow your plan
  6. Repeat

If you hit a roadblock along the way you've just been given important information. Look at the roadblock, look at the plan. Use the important new information to start again at step one.

If you don't hit a roadblock, you were right! You win!

I'm going to try to look more closely at Booktender's Six Handy Steps in upcoming posts. Unless I have to revise my plan. I'll keep you posted

1 comment:

sexy said...