Our Time Bandit, The Raider does do some planning and even remembers to set aside chunks of time to focus on the important things – fantastic! It seems as though The Raider’s been reading the blog and learning from the mistakes of fellow bandits. At last, someone with their house in order?
Let’s not hand out the Time Management awards too soon! The Raider is often an ambitious and optimistic sort, who expects to achieve more in a week than is realistic. Guilty of trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, estimating how long a task is going to take is a skill not yet mastered by The Raider. This optimism, or lack of skill, (depending on your outlook) means that often the ‘little’ jobs take far longer than anticipated and key activities suffer. The only way to get the ‘little’ jobs done is to raid the time allocated to those important projects and tasks. Those important projects and tasks also suffer as soon as a crisis rears its ugly head: The Raider never builds in contingency time and so, yet again, has to steal time to get urgent bits and bobs done and is always playing ‘catch up.’
The Raider often struggles to prioritise and seems to take some tips from the Butterfly, working on the tasks that are the most appealing first, rather than fitting them in around the ‘big’ stuff.
Maybe The Raider would benefit from keeping a time log for a few weeks to help gauge how long things really take. It won’t come easy; The Raider will probably be reluctant or even resistant, at first, unwilling to face the facts, but used well, these logs can make a big difference.
When calculating the time available – allowance should be made for non-productive time: coffee and lunch breaks, loo breaks, the odd diversion (we all get them), the nuisance but necessary tasks like filling the photocopier or printer with paper, finding the right file, dealing with interruptions from the boss, etc. Once this lot is filtered out, the remaining time is the actual production time available. This, combined with the analysis of the time logs, will give a much clearer idea of what can realistically be achieved in a day, a week or a month.