Uploaded on Sep 19, 2011
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Here at 2Time Labs I have been looking at the Randy Pausch videos and wondered why no-one is using the latest research to add to his ideas. Here is a big one -- to accomplish the big goals he talks about in his video, you need to use electronic schedules to break down long-term plans into single steps in your daily calendar.
The idea is simple. To complete a large task, break down the activity into component parts and place them in your calendar. It's what we refer to us the "last mile" in Project Management. In project teams, when work is broken down and handed to team members, the project manager often has little idea about their time management skills, and whether or not they are capable of completing the task.
This is the point at which breakdowns occur. Project Managers delegate tasks without knowing the capabilities of team members, instantly increasing the risk profile of the project. If the team members are low skilled in terms of time management, then it's likely that they'll place the project in jeopardy as their obligations fall through the cracks.
On the other hand, if a team member is highly competent, they'll capture the task they need to complete and later on place it directly in their calendar. If it involves multiple steps, then these are also scheduled.
For some reason, there are a number of time management books that tell readers not to use their calendar in this way. They offer no evidence that I am aware of, but insist that their point of view is the only correct one.
When the project only involves a single person, the same principle can be used to ensure that actions take place in the right sequence, and on time, so that long term goals can be accomplished.
This isn't rocket science and these techniques have been around for hundreds of years. What's been missing up until now is conclusive research and a body of knowledge that shows that completing big goals is easier if you use your calendar. Researchers like Dezhi Wu from the University of Southern Utah have made a great start, and there needs to be others in order to dispel the confusion and unsupported teaching that is prevailing.
Bottom line - learn how to use your electronic calendar to as a scheduling tool to complete big goals that require a significant time investment.
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