Time management forms and checklists
Use every possible chance to simplify your work. This possibly not only increases fun at work but also cuts time demand.Documentation of complex tasks, especially when beginning to work in a new area can be a great help and save much time.
Even if the single yield of a specific action or task may seem not worth the effort, the sum of gained time chunks of many similar activities using a standardized form or structure will pay off soon.
Use simple checklists which list recurring activities, relieve your brain from thinking again over things you have done and probably will do often in the future.
Checklists reduce the chance to forget or overlook an important issue or step at an activity.
Generating time management forms and checklists
The hurdle in deciding to create a documentation within a new working field is, that you do not know how necessary it really will be. Do you think it is superfluous at the beginning or do you think it has a chance to be helpful in the future?
At the beginning you probably will not know. The risk, however, is small:
Documenting new work, making more notes and comments as usual necessary will allow you to be quicker familiar with the new matter, because learning and absorbing in any case are supported by writing down = materializing, seeing and learning again, when rereading.
If you decide to do it, then structure and file all new information,
until you clearly see, what you really need and what not.
Some approved methods for checklist generation
Grouping view in word
A super checklist generator is the structuring or grouping view in Microsoft Word. Collapse and open, rearrange and sort whole chapters quickly.
Another method is mindmapping. It is brain friendly too and allows quick sketching of structures and complex projects on a sheet of paper.
Naturally, an electronic version provides much more features for a longer period of use. You may insert links to files and websites, can restructure easily and keep an overview impossible with linear lists.
I am using Freemind since about 6 years with best results, and it is
free. A great site with many infos on freemind and alternatives see at http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
You will find a link there to FreemindPDA. Combining the time saver “electronic organizer” with the time saver “mind map” is like timesaver to the power of two.
Although the book “Writing the Natural Way” by Gabriele L.Rico is much more than helping to save time by structuring thoughts, I mention it, because I often used the Clustering Method to gain a clearer view on complex situations saving me a lot of chaotic pondering.
Furthermore, if you want to become a creative writer I warmly recommend this book.
Time management forms and templates
It is impossible to give full advice or examples on this matter. I just can point to it, look at your work and implement forms if you see only a little advantage but immediately drop them if you experience waste of time.
Forms individually created have to fit your activities. However, always keep in mind a quote by Edison (?) analogical valid here:
“Technics develop from the primitive over the complicate to the simple.”
I think I am not the only one experiencing these steps when creating
forms and structures that should have supported work. However, knowing
this wisdom assures that you at the right moment perceive the point,
where you should leave the complicate.