Saturday, 28 July 2007

Finishing at five

In today's busy life, I have always wished that there were more hours in the day to fit in all the things I want to do. I would like to have an extra hour to read that new sci-fi novel, or just to fix that problem at work.

What usually happens is that we hardly ever put a dead line on the things that we want to do. However, by putting a dead line on things we want to do, we actually have a better chance on doing it. At work, I aim to finish what I have to do by 5pm every day. So what this means is that every morning, I have a simple plan to complete what I have to do. There are a few major time during the day that I use to get my things organised.

8:30am: I arrive at work, review my notes from yesterday and spent the next 10-15mins working what I want to achieve. This is in general terms like, I want to complete writing the first draft of design analysis report for my manager by the morning. I also want to review the meeting minutes from yesterday and action some items.
12:30pm: After lunch, I would assess if I am on track. Make some changes to my plan.
5:00pm: Make some notes for tomorrow, and go home

That is what I hope would happen every day. But what actually happens is that during the course of the day, I would get interrupted by request and questions which would throw my idealised plan out the window. I usually complete about 85% of the work I want to achieve for the day. I will always leave at 5pm unless there are something really urgent that needs to be worked on. It also gives me the necessary time I want to spend on more important things like my family.

This idea of finishing at five is something that I read in one of Scott Adams' Dilbert book. It might have been The Dilbert Principle.

Would this work for you?

Photo by Josep Altarriba

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