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  • Writer's pictureMJ

Open up some time with the 4 D's

February is Time Management Month

Time. Like many of us, I never seem to have enough of it. Although most days I'm fairly good with managing my time sometimes I just need to take a few minutes to reset and think.

So let's review the basics. There are (at least) six common obstacles with time management:

  1. You have an unrealistic workload

  2. You miscalculate how long activities take

  3. You are unable to remember what to do

  4. You have unclear goals and priorities

  5. Your tasks have no given home

  6. You are easily distracted

Don't go to a new page just yet . . . I'm only going to discuss one obstacle: the unrealistic workload.

First, realize and accept that you may be overbooked. For whatever reasons, you have too many important things filling up your calendar. But time is finite, you cannot do everything and be everywhere. Start by thinking about how “little” you can do instead of how “much” you can do.

Next, use the Four D's: delete, delay, diminish, and delegate.

  1. Delete: What does not add enough value to warrant the time you invest? Ask yourself, “What's the worst that could happen if X went undone?”

  2. Delay: Look for items that can easily be rescheduled for another time. Ask yourself, “Is this the best time of the day/week/month/year to do X?” Delay is not the same as procrastination, which is an indefinite postponement.

  3. Diminish: Eliminate anything unnecessary by finding a more efficient way to do the task. Ask yourself, “Is there a better way to do X?”

  4. Delegate: Ensure the best use of your time by asking yourself, “Would someone else do X better, faster . . . or good enough?”

Finally, take a minute to write down what you are spending too much time on, what you keep putting off, and anything you regret volunteering for/committing to. Use the Four D's to open up some time in your day, your week, and your life.

If you would like to know more about how to tackle common time management obstacles, contact me at (608) 345-1836 or


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