Being able to manage time guarantees a productive outcome for us efficiently. Time management is important in every aspect of our life. So, how do we manage time? Are there any methods to implement time management? The answer to the above questions is what we call “the 4D’s of Time Management”. The 4D’s of time management will help you to start the practice of time management. In addition, follow the 4D’s of Time Management to manage your time efficiently.
In this article, let’s discuss the 4D’s of Time management. Furthermore, let’s see how the 4D’s of time management will help you achieve productive results for you.
What is the 4D’ of Time Management Practiced?
The Four D’s of time management will help in implementing time-management in your professional as well as personal life. Moreover, one of the best ways to stay organized, efficient, and always on-time is to follow the 4D’s. Put them into action in your day-to-day activities. Eventually, you can see how fruitful and productive the outcomes are for you.
Let’s see the 4D’s of time management one by one.
1.) Delete (or) Dump Unwanted Things – The first D of Time Management
How do you save time? - By focusing on things that are ‘Important,’ ‘Wanted,’ and ‘Necessary.’ The same concept is what we call the First D of Time Management. Take what is necessary and dump/delete the un-wanted things off your plate. You don’t have to delete them necessarily; you can take care of it much later.
The primary technique of time management is to stay organized. In order to be organized, you need the first D of Time management i.e., Keep Necessary things and dump the unwanted. To make it easier, let’s see with an example.
For instance, Scenario 1- If you need to prepare a Presentation:
Collect the relevant and necessary materials before you start preparing for your presentation
Dump all the things that are not relevant to your presentations. It can be other topics, resources, old references, old presentations, etc.,
Know where to look – Searching or referencing everything will take time. Dump this idea. Just look in the place that is related to your data.
Scenario 2: In the case of Office Mails (or Can be personal Ones too)
As soon as you open your office mail, see what important and needs immediate attention is.
Delete the irrelevant emails or spam
Delete the emails that you have no interest even though you once had. Going through unnecessary emails will take more time from you. Especially upon starting your day in the office, don’t do this. Dump all the unnecessary emails somewhere or delete it.
In case there is an email that needs to be looked, but you may have plenty of time for it. If so, then defer them for later.
Concentrate on what’s important right now.
Is it really necessary to spend your time and effort is a question you should ask yourself.
The above two scenarios are just a few examples for you to get the idea. This is what the first D’s of time management is about i.e., to look into relevant things, to keep what is necessary, and delete unnecessary.
Dumping un-wanted things can seem tough because everything will seem important at some point for you. This is where you need to focus and only keep what is essential. Try to implement this tip, at least when you begin your work in the office. In this way, you can be organized with relevant information. You can be free from un-wanted activities that are taking your time and resources. Surely you will save time and stay more organized.
2.) Defer it – The Second D of Time Management
Defer the tasks that are not as important as of now. In other words, you need to do the task, but you don’t have to do it right now. It can wait. The task can be deferred to some time when you are free. Right now, the work or task may not need immediate attention. You can ‘defer’ it. Through deferring, you can concentrate on what’s important currently. The point here is ‘to not do the task’ but ‘do it a little later.’
To demonstrate: “Defer” the tasks.
Scenario 1: To meet someone regarding your project presentation and sale’s pitch
Defer the task of ‘meeting with the person’ regarding the sale’s pitch.
Right now, concentrate on your project presentation.
Come up with a good presentation by coordinating with all relevant things.
Later, once you have done with your presentations (at least 70% of your work), you can see the person.
The person’s meeting could be important to you, but right now, you need to focus on your presentation.
Scenario 2: The situation can go vice-versa i.e.
What if you are going to prepare the presentation based on the sales pitch?
The first thing you can do is arrange for a meeting with the salesperson.
Defer the presentation work later.
If you start with your presentation work earlier, you will find it difficult to implement the changes in the completed presentation.
Think about the major changes you have to make if the sales meeting resulted in a different strategy.
Defer the presentation work later and arrange for the Meeting earlier.
Set the meeting. Gather necessary information and ideas from the person. After that, sit and prep your presentation.
Scenario 3: What if you have decided to plan a family retreat, you keep getting emails about it?
Right now, the workplace and tasks are important.
Defer the task of planning the family retreat later. It is important, but it can wait.
Look at the email when you are free.
Instead, if you sit with planning your retreat, it will take a lot of your time. Work in hand will be delayed.
The three scenarios are a few examples for you to understand the point of ‘Deferring the Task.’
To summarize the second D of time management, we can say that think before you defer the task. See what is important right now. See what tasks or activities that can wait. Defer the tasks so that you manage time by focusing on important things in hand.
3.) Delegating the Task – The Third D of Time Management
Often people misunderstand the meaning of Delegating the task with relinquishing the task completely. Relinquishing the task completely from your hand is entirely different from delegating the task. Do not confuse them both. ‘Delegate’ the task is a key concept among the 4D’s time management.
What is Delegating the Task in Time Management?
Remember that you are the one who is fully responsible for the task but to Delegate means:
Assigning the task to someone you trust.
You can assign the task to someone who is more experience in this particular area than you.
Make sure that the person to whom you are assigning the task can give full commitment to it.
Bring a good rapport between you and the other person to whom you have assigned the task.
Have a good discussion about how you want the task to be done.
Coordinate with the person from time to time. See how the task is coming up.
Manage the whole process along the way from the start till the end.
You still control the task. Whereas, when it comes to relinquishing or abdicating the task, it means you have surrendered the work to someone with full authority. You will not have any control here. Make a note of the difference here.
Delegate the task but don’t abdicate the task. See the difference!
By delegating the task, you save a considerable amount of time. More productive tasks and activities can be done at this time. Delegating is another important time management technique for you.
4.) Do It: Put Things in Action – The Fourth and Final D in the Time Management
The buck stops here. To ‘Do’ is an important entity of Time Management. The productive benefits out of time management practice come with the “doing.” To ‘Do’ is foremost.
Do the important tasks.
In case you cannot defer the task, ‘Do’ it right now.
If you cannot Delegate the task to someone, Do it right away by yourself.
Do things that are high priority and need immediate attention.
Do the tasks that you can complete quickly.
Do the task for which you are fully equipped through skills and other qualifications. Do it yourself.
If you are confident about completing the task today, do it.
Do tasks that can be completed now and then.
If you are capable of juggling tasks, it is okay. Else, don’t take too many commitments. Do what is necessary.
Do the tasks which you confident about finishing it on time. To bring such confidence, bring the time management into your day to day activities.
Follow the 4D’s of time management to do tasks efficiently, organized, and on time.
The 4D’s of Time management is essential to stay efficient and productive in terms of utilizing the time in hand. Follow the 4D’s of time management that we have shared with you. Over time you will see significant changes and improvements in your work. We hope that this article will be insightful in getting a better understanding of what time management is.