Monday, August 27, 2007

the seven minute rule

by bill hogan

We are all so busy these days it seems impossible to get caught up. This has never before been more true than today. We’ve been down-sized, right-sized, overloaded, micro-managed and middle-managed to death.

TimeAre you caught in eMAIL hell? Too many eMAILs in your in-box? Are you convinced you’ll never get caught up?

Try this simple time management rule. Once or twice a day set aside a fixed amount of time (say one hour) to manage your workload. I follow this rule myself first thing every morning.

I put my phone on call waiting and close my office door. I then spend one hour following my seven minute rule.

The Seven Minute Rule

Take all your tasks, mail and eMAIL, assignments, over-due projects…

  1. Read it (if you can read it in seven minutes, read it…)
  2. Handle it (if you can get it done in seven minutes, do it…)
  3. File it
  4. Defer it (can’t get it done in 7 minutes? Set aside the time during the rest of the day or several days.)
  5. Toss it

If you follow this process you will quickly dig yourself out of the hole. Your sense of being overwhelmed will fade away. And, you’ll be on top of everything.

Now, take a breath. Enjoy. Let me know how you make out.

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