“Success is not only achieved with special qualities. It is above all a work of perseverance, method and organization.- JP Sergent»
The globalized and competent world in which we live forces us to make an effort every day, adding to our everyday life a huge amount of information, ideas, orders, calls and tasks that require a lot of time and energy.
Taylorism has been relegated to the romantic era of industrialization and concepts of productivity have changed. This society is the knowledge and information society, and productivity is no longer just part of an equation of time and manufactured units.
Productivity today deals first with organizational and strategic criteria and then with exploitation. For example, in the world of software, productivity isn’t measured by the number of lines of code you generate, since an army of monkeys banging on a keyboard would be the winner. Efficient productivity lies in well-structured and tested code that gives as little as possible back to the support team for correction and maintenance. In the first case, you can have a lot of code in a short amount of time, but it’s much more expensive to maintain and in the long run, you tend to delay the time it’s in production and the information it handles is reliable and stable. In the second case, development takes longer, but the code is robust and of high quality, making it more productive and economical.
Time management is a sometimes abstract and subjective concept. We all have 24 hours, but there are many variables that make the weather different for everyone at any given time. There are people who, thanks to their proactivity and organization, are very profitable with their time and outperform others with greater knowledge and experience. We’ve also found that some people are much more productive early in the morning, while others are more productive in the late afternoon. There are people who use motivation and creativity to exceed productivity expectations, while others are only automatically and mechanically productive. Personal problems, illnesses, moods, changes in appointments and other influencing factors also affect productivity.
to be productive First we need to be organized because knowing what to do, why, when and how is way more important than doing things like a headless chicken. It’s like going on a journey without knowing where to go, where to drive, what weather to expect, what kind of roads we will find or if we have the right car. We need a map and plan the trip to know what lies ahead and prepare for it.
There are a whole range of methods of personal organization, time management techniques and task management tools whose ultimate goal is to plan our time more efficiently according to the tasks to be done and consequently achieve greater productivity. Each of them would require a chapter, so four of the most important and relevant are briefly summarized below.
One of the most efficient and widely used personal organization methods in the world is GTD (“Getting Things Done” or “Having Things Done”), developed by David Allen, which consists of five simple and practical principles:
- collection: Capture any things that come up that need further attention and file reminders in an inbox, also known as an inbox, basket, or basket. The mind is free to focus on what needs to be done rather than what it needs to remember.
- Prosecution: Analyze everything that is in the inbox and decide what to do with it.
- Organization: Sorts processed things in lists to keep track. The organization proposes when the tasks can be performed most efficiently according to our current criteria.
- Revision: It is the most important principle of all. Check the lists frequently to reorganize them according to the circumstances and needs of the moment and to remove completed tasks from the lists.
- Do: Complete the tasks.
GTD is recommended for each job and scenario and can cover different contexts such as: B. the office, personal affairs, home, etc.
The autofocus method (AF4)
Created by Mark Forster, it’s a very powerful and simple organization method that keeps all tasks in a single list, which evolve with their use. The premises of this method are that it processes large amounts of work quickly, avoids stress, concentrates on the essentials and thoroughly processes important routines, tasks and projects.
The method is based in synthesized form on:
- Make a list of the ideas and tasks that come to mind.
- A line is drawn at the end of the list to close the list.
- Any new ideas or tasks will be noted below this line in a new open list.
- Work is carried out on the closed list, checking each of the tasks from the first to the last.
- A task to be performed is selected based on the criteria we deem necessary: urgency, importance, difficulty, preference, etc.
- Do homework.
- When we complete the task, the task will be removed from the list.
- If we get fed up with the task or tackle another more urgent task or switch tasks (for whatever reason) the task will be removed from the list and noted on the open list so we know the task is not yet completed is.
- The revision is carried out until the line separating the closed list and the open list is reached.
- The check is repeated until the closed list crosses out all of its tasks.
- Start an open list check and create a line to close the list and repeat the cycle again.
This method focuses more on doing than organizingPoint of contention with supporters of GTD.
Autofocus is a very efficient, simple and highly stress-relieving technique that also reduces procrastination (the concept of “confusing tomorrow what can be done today”).
For effective and productive time management, we recommend the Pomodoro Technique (“Tomato”, in Italian, inspired by the timer in kitchens), created by Francesco Cirillo, which consists of defining and dividing working hours (or pomodoros) of 25 minutes, separated by breaks. The premise of this technique is that the periods with their breaks improve mental performance and concentration. Its use is recommended for tasks involving stress and mental exertionlike software development (discipline in which it was originally conceived).
Management of process tasks and team projects, one of the best tools is the Kanban (from the Japanese “kan” (visual) and “ban” (board)). It consists simply of a board divided horizontally into several sections or columns, each corresponding to a process or condition. The tasks are written on a card or post and moved and placed in each column as they change process or status.
The Kanbans They allow us to quickly visualize what tasks we have to do and what state they are inwhat is missing, who will execute it, which team members are working on what, etc. All in a collaborative and participatory environment.
Processes are usually incremental, left to right, like To Do-In Progress-Done, Queued-Analysis-Development-Testing-Production-Done, etc.
About the author, Rafael Hernandez
Rafael Hernampérez Martín is an IT director with extensive experience in large international technology projects at management, business and technology levels; He is an expert in organization, strategy, leadership, management of multidisciplinary teams, implementation of different working methods and creation of reports, dashboards and presentations.