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Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Time Management Tips #17-Identify Outcomes

Time Management Tips #17-Identify Outcomes

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One of the best ways to win back time is to use outcomes.  An outcome is simply an end-result, or an end-in-mind.  You identify outcomes by asking, "What do I want to accomplish?" or "What do I want to achieve?"

Time management tips #17 is identify outcomes.  When you know your outcomes, you know your target.  Now you can focus on that.  You can shave everything else off.  By knowing the outcomes, you can focus on the most essential activities or steps to achieve the outcome.  Or, as Bruce Lee would say, "Hack away at the unessential."

For example, consider these scenarios:

  • Before you start the meeting, what are the outcomes?
  • Before you dive into the code, what do you want to achieve?
  • Before you start that task, what's the outcome?
  • Before you start your slides, what are the three outcomes you want?

As a quick test, take any activity that you are about to do, and identity the outcome for it.  This becomes your little test case.  Now, when you execute, you can check yourself with your test case -- have you satisifed your test case yet?

If you get lost in asking about outcomes, simply start asking, "What's the goal?"   By asking, "What's the goal?", you can quickly get back on track.  Similarly you can ask, "What are you trying to accomplish?"

In either case, the point is to identify your target so that you can narrow your focus, and optimize

Outcomes help you hack away at the unessential, and they are your piercing lens of value.

For free time management training , check out 30 Days of Getting Results, and for a time management system check out Getting Results.com.

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