Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Third Technique – Have a Capacity Planning of your Work

Suram February 11, 2021

Now that you have your prioritized to-do list, it’s time for the next step – Plan. As you know, capacity planning is all about planning for the day to achieve the required targets with the required number of people based on certain conditions. Now, planning in time management is similar to that. This helps to understand how you’ll complete your task most efficiently and effectively possible.

To have a capacity planning of your work, the following have to be considered:

  1. Timebox your Tasks
  2. Find your natural rhythms
  3. Plan for interruptions
  4. Batch Task for better efficiency
  5. Use Project Management System
  6. Getting Ready for Tomorrow

1. Time box your Tasks

Think about time as a flexible resource that expands or contracts based on the limits you set. What if your first task eats up more of your time than you expected? To prevent this from happening, you can plan a box of time for each task. Once you reach the end of that box, you’ll decide whether to continue by expanding the time limit or put it off finishing it for the next day.

For example, you might decide that the most important thing for the day is to finish writing copy for your landing page. So, you set aside two hours to do it in the morning. At the end of the two hours, you’re not quite done, You’ve gotten stuck in the details or refining the wording, and it’s going to take at least another hour. You might look at the time and your list and decide to make finishing your copy the priority tomorrow when your mind can focus with renewed energy. Then, proceed with the next item on your list.

2.  Find your natural rhythms

Each of us has times of day when we’re most productive. You may also have a certain time when you’re best at problem-solving or communicating with others. Try to schedule tasks during these optimal times of the day.

Maybe your most creative time of day is late morning. If so, schedule tasks like content creation for the hour or two before lunch. If you’re at your most social in the late afternoon, set this time for writing important emails or holding meetings.

3. Plan for Interruptions

No matter how well you plan, some things are likely to take longer than you thought. There may be interruptions or problems you hadn’t anticipated that you have to deal with right away. To allow for the unexpected, you have to pad your to-do list schedule with extra time blocks.

Interruption Controllers

Even if things don’t take longer than expected, padding your schedule still has an advantage. You’ll be done with your work more quickly than you anticipated, which means you can finish your day sooner or get started on tomorrow’s tasks.

To plan for interruptions, try the following:

  • Overestimate
  • Buffer
  • Plan for catch-up

Overestimate: When setting time limits on the items on your list, overestimate the time it will take to complete them. Don’t schedule a morning or afternoon too tightly or you’ll be under constant pressure and will inevitably start running behind. And if you’re always running behind schedule, you’ll end up back on that treadmill of always trying to catch up.

Buffer: Add a buffer of time in your schedule between blocks of work. For example, if you’re dividing up your time into 2-hour blocks, schedule in a 20-to-30-minute buffer with no specific task in between each 2-hour block.

Plan for Catch-Up: Another idea is to schedule specific “catch-up time”, such as just before lunch or at the end of the day. And if you don’t need it, you can use this time to take a break.

Remember that you can always put off an item until the next day if it’s going unexpectedly longer and you need a fresh mind to tackle it.

4. Batch Tasks for better Efficiency

Sometimes, it’s not possible to work on all kinds of tasks every day. Instead, you might take certain items and “batch” them by setting aside a longer block of time or even a full day to work on them.

For example, you might publish a weekly video or podcast. It takes time to set up equipment, record, edit, and produce the content each time. However, if you only have to set up everything once, you can save a significant amount of time. In this case, you might reserve Fridays for video production. Related tasks such as scripting and editing can be done then or added to other days’ to-do lists.

If you have a large number of client calls to make, it might be better to schedule them on two separate mornings rather than trying to space them out day-by-day. This is also a good strategy for tasks where you need to get “in the zone” – where you need to prepare your mindset to tackle the task appropriately

5. Project Management System

I am referring to the Project Management system as this is all about managing the project of your Time and improving efficiency and attaining productivity. You can adapt to any system for managing the tasks you have to do as long as it works for you efficiently. You can consider using a project management system to make keeping track of everything easier which can be Project Management Tools or Project Management Programs

a) Project Management Tools

Project management Tools include features such as:

  1. Interactive Calendars. You can manage your schedule easily and customize what’s included and how it displays.
  2. Multiple Project. With several projects, whether short or long-term, you can see where you are in each at a glance.
  3. Variety of Methods. These programs have to-do lists, time management, and other methods to help you plan.
  4. Built-In Tools. They have tools to help you with tasks that might be your weak points, like planning a budget.
  5. Shareability. Since they’re online, you can share with team members easily and access anywhere you have internet.

b) Project Management Programs

There are many free and premium programs. It’s best to try out free programs first. A simple free program may be just what you need.

If you’re considering paying for a premium project management program, don’t buy extras that you don’t need. Take advantage of free trials and make sure it’s right for you before you buy.

Some of the most highly-rated systems right now include:

  1. Wrike – www.wrike.com
  2. Trello – https://trello.com/
  3. Basecamp – https://basecamp.com/
  4. Asana – asana.com/
  5. SmartSheet – https://www.smartsheet.com/

Don’t get too complicated about the Project Management Tools or Programs. These are suggested in case you would like to use and can be useful to you. However, remember that the whole point is to make things easier. You may be able to get by just using an online calendar.

6. Getting Ready for Tomorrow

At the end of each day, look at your list and get ready for tomorrow. If there are tasks you didn’t get to today, put them on your list for tomorrow. Ideally, you should plan out your entire week in advance to maximize your time. Then, at the end of each day, you’ll refine the next day’s schedule to take into account any changes needed or unexpected tasks that have come up.

About once a week, or at whatever pace works for you, review long-term projects and check in to see how you’re doing. Look at the system you’ve implemented and see whether it’s working or not. These systems are highly personalized and made perfect through trial and error, and constant revision so you know what has to be considered and why.