The symbols we use to monitor progress are
During the planning process:
[J] Delegate (e.g. to Jan)
( ) Reference
For Monitoring progress:
^ In Process
Symbols used in the planning/prioritising process
In the last post we saw that * highlights urgency. This is used at the time of planning the day’s priorities, as is the delegation symbol [J], where the initial refers to the person to whom the activity will be delegated, in this case my excellent and efficient secretary, Jan.
How does this operate? If, while planning, I find an item on my Do it list that can be delegated, particularly if this allows it to be done sooner than if I undertook it myself, I will bracket the initial of the person concerned. The priority still refers to the activity, not just when I delegate it, but since delegation is a quick process it is permissible to put it at a higher priority level to allow another person to carry out the task in parallel with my own activities.
Looking again at the priority list I showed in the last posting, I have now added one item to illustrate the delegation function; Jan is able to arrange the appointment I want with Joe Bloggs. The [J] would have been written in before prioritising with A3
| |B4 |Phone John Smith 019234 567890
| |A2 |* Plan the Conference meeting agenda
| |A1 |Complete ministry proposal for the elders’ meeting
| |A3 |[J] Arrange appointment with Joe Bloggs
| |B2 |Brief staff about holiday arrangements
| |B3 |Report back to staff on trustees meeting
| |C1 |Monitor progress with Sally about Easter outreach
| |B1 |Ask Mike to set up meeting with local press officer (100223)
The other symbol used during the planning process is ( ) = Reference. Frequently a Do it item will arise from, say, a telephone conversation for which I will have made notes elsewhere during the discussion. So, for instance, the ‘press officer’ action may have come from a conversation with Mike. Clearly it is not necessary to write the specifics on a Do it list but I do need to know where the information is. For this I use the date knowing, for myself, that refers to a section of my Organiser/PDA in which I record telephone conversations. In this illustration the conversation was on February 23rd, hence the date in ( ), written to the international standard YYMMDD, which I always use as in any ‘sort’ function items are placed in chronological order.
In the next Time Management posting I will deal with the remainder of the symbols, those which are used to monitor progress.