Time Management-Part 5

Part Five: Decision Making and Planning

Part five of our six part series on time management deals with decision making and planning. First decision making:

1. The biggest problem young programmers have is they can’t make decisions. The usual reason is a concern about making the “wrong” decision. They often times ignore the problem hoping that it will “go away” on it’s own. Remember, Not making a decision IS making one. The decision not to decide usually guarantees bad results. Not making a decision, right or wrong only guarantees a bad decision.

2. Correct Decisions are a Batting Average. With the number of day to day decisions made in radio, not every decision will be correct. We make hundreds of decisions a year. You won’t be right all the time. Remember, George Brett won the batting title several years ago with a .340. Good managers simply have good batting averages.

3. Don’t be afraid to admit a bad decision and correct it. Many young programmers live with their bad decisions for fear of admitting it. Simply fix the bad decisions and move on. Even the best hitters strike out.

4. Here is a great five step process in decision making:

1. Identify the problem.

2. Develop alternatives.

3. Evaluate each alternative and select the best one.

4. Implement.

5. Reevaluate.

On the subject of planning:

1. The old adage sounds trivial, but “Plan your work and work your plan” is still the best advise for going about your work day. This avoids “management by crisis” and allows you to have specific objectives each day.

2. Set goals that are : specific, attainable, consistent, written and deadlined.

3. Be mindful of the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of your work will take eighty percent of your time. Plan accordingly.

4. Always set priorities and get important work done first, not the easiest.

5. Finish what you’ve started before moving on. Many young programmers have three or four unfinished projects on their desk at the same time. Finish ONE, then move on to another. When you juggle three or four balls at the same time chances are high that they will ALL fall to the ground!

6. Develop a prioritized “to do” list, and then use it for everything.


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