Steadcross’ Dan Brown model of time management
Steadcross Business Development manager David Heathcote shares his thoughts on time management for small and micro businesses.
Dan Brown is an American author best known for his novels The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. He develops themes in very short chapters, building each to a cliff hanger and moves on to another exciting development in the subsequent chapter. At the end of chapter A the reader is on a peak, desperate to know what happens next, yet having to come back down to develop the story of chapter B. Dan Brown then builds chapter B to a similar level at which point he takes you back to the resolution of chapter A. This is how he maintains momentum and a thirst to keep reading.
Time management in small businesses can be daunting. There are many plates to spin. Like Dan Brown, I break down projects into tasks and put them into short chapters (time slots) in which to make progress.
Tasks are diarised in one-and-a-half-hour time slots spread throughout the week. Four time slots per day accounts for 75% of the time, which is as much as should be allocated (80% max). Using an electronic diary makes it easier to move tasks around when other priorities take over.
It’s important to allow half an hour between time slots and not to fill the slots unnecessarily. It’s good to have a few free slots in the week to allow for finishing off a task that took longer than expected; unexpected events; making progress with low importance/not urgent things when everything else is in hand; breaks etc.
I gain many benefits from this approach:
• Reduced stress as tasks move from the head space to a time allocation;
• Projects are broken down into manageable pieces: just doing ‘something’ helps, particularly with daunting projects;
• Focus: Parkinson’s Law states that ‘work expands to fill the time available for its completion’;
• Prioritisation happens naturally;
• Unimportant tasks can be dismissed completely.
This Dan Brown approach to time management has really helped me to feel more in control and free up head space to enjoy work more. I hope it helps you, too.
Business Development Manager
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