As we all know, the pace of change is just not slowing down. One of my favorite time management models is the 4 D model. If you are trying to figure our how to get a handle on things take look at your TO DO list and divide it into these 4 Ds:

Do it – What are the activities/tasks that you want to, or need to do? Figure out how much time these will take and SCHEDULE it! Remember, what doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done.Defer it – Again looking at your list, what can you defer, or put off to later. Perhaps there are some tasks that really aren’t urgent or don’t need to be done to next quarter. Again, SCHEDULE these or put it on a separate list for mid-term activities, not daily or monthly activities.Delegate it – What’s on your list that can be delegated to others? To other staff members (or others in your life – i.e. spouse/family member). If you are delegating ensure that people have the resources (budget, knowledge, tools) as well as the responsibility to complete the task. The time spent up front in handing it over may seem like a lot, but should pay off in the end.

Dump it – Take a look and notice those tasks that have been carried forward, and forward, and forward. Hopefully these are the only items that cannot be categorized anywhere else (do, defer, delegate). What do you need to dump? Just say no! What do you need to let go of?

Next time you go to tackle that to do list, consider the 4 Ds to shorten it!

Thanks to Jennifer Britton for this excellent article
As a former global leader with the UN and other international organizations, Jennifer has always led in “unusual times”. Today, Jennifer works with teams and organizations to think outside of the norm, building capacity and solutions which are innovative and flexible. Jennifer is the author of Effective Group Coaching (John Wiley and Sons, 2010), the first book to be published on the topic of Group Coaching globally. She continues to work with clients across Canada, the US and globally, leveraging technology to close the gaps. Her corporate training retreat work has taken her to deliver programs in more than 18 countries.