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Time management and activity wheel(s)

Time management and activity wheel

A tool to analyse and optimise time allocation

OBJECTIVES

The Activity Wheel is a simple tool that helps you to have a global vision of your activities, and to modify their distribution, according to your objectives and priorities.

  • Become aware of how your time is actually used.
  • Identify if there are any gaps with your objectives.
  • Explore what the ideal time allocation would be.
  • Consider ways of changing and achieving greater harmony.

DESCRIPTION

  • Pareto's Law tells us that most of the time, 20% of our activities produce 80% of the results.
  • On the other hand, Parkinson's Law tells us that the more time we have, the longer the planned work will take, occupying all the time available.

PUT INTO PRACTICE

The allocation of our time to our different activities requires a well thought-out strategy.  Each area has its place and function within an overall balance and must find its right place so that each person can achieve their full potential.

IN PREAMBLE

1. Regularly take stock of your activities

  • What is my core business?
  • Among the activities I am doing today, are there any that are not part of my mission?
  • Am I or am I not satisfied with the way I allocate my time to my activities?
  • Are some activities missing or under-represented?
  • Why and how did I get here?
  • What did I prioritise to get there?
  • What satisfaction did I get from it?
  • What constraints, if any, have pushed me into it?
  • What satisfactions do I get from it?
  • What changes would I like to make?
  • What values are mine at the moment that make me draw a new wheel of time?

2. Initiate the change

  • What can I currently change? Are there any adjustments I can make?
  • With or without effort? Quickly or not? Alone or with support?
  • How will I go about it?
  • What parasitic activities can I eliminate, even if they give you pleasure?
  • What can I delegate?
  • What can I say no to, what can I negotiate?

Exercise :

1. Take stock

Take a look at your diary, over a period representative of your function. This could be for a week, a month, or even several months. How much of your time do you spend on this or that task over the whole period?

  • First make a list of your activities, then group them into broad families. What is the percentage share of each activity?

E.g.: email processing 10%, management 50%, meetings 25%, project 15%.

  • Then fill in an activity wheel that represents the time spent on each.

2. Build the ideal wheel

Take your list of activities, and indicate with percentages the distribution that would be optimal and realistic for you.

Build a second wheel.

3. Analyse the gaps between the 2 wheels, reality and desired state

How satisfied are you?

Does the new wheel correspond to what you would like? Your goals?

4. Decide on actions

What will you do to achieve your goal?

  • Remove extraneous activities, even if they give you pleasure.
  • Delegate.
  • Cultivate your ability to say no, negotiate.
  • Savour the pleasure of finally finding time for high value-added activities!