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Time Planner 2013

The more time you spend in reporting what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend all your time doing nothing, but reporting on the nothing you are doing."

- Cohn's Law

How to categorise the daily todo list

Daily tasks

The planner offers the features of a management development program. In order to improve effectiveness, you need to focus on important, high leverage tasks.

A simple yet powerful tool of management is the daily to do list. As part of your personal development get into the habit of making a list every day. There are three powerful tools that help you to prioritise and leverage your tasks.

There are 2 powerful management concepts used in this section.

Important Urgent matrix

The matrix helps you to classify all tasks based on how important and urgent they are. One of the essential skills you need to learn in management development is the ability to distinguish between what is important and what is not important.

Assign all your daily tasks to one of the four sections of the important/urgent matrix. This forces you to think about each task and assess its importance. It makes you ask the following questions :

1.What is my job ?
2.What are my responsibilities ?
3.What results am I contributing ?
4.How good am I at planning ?

a.Important not urgent tasks

The most important and most difficult type of tasks. They are strategic, long term and have payoffs in the future.

Tasks in this category require good judgement and foresight. They force you to think long term, anticipate contingencies and plan for the future.

There is no immediate deadline or urgency. Effective management of these tasks requires development of initiative, maturity and the ability to resist procrastination.

You need to be proactive. These are tasks you do today to create the future.

Examples of important not urgent tasks

Preparing the annual plan

Management of information on competitors, new products and technologies

Development of new customers

Refresher training/New skill development for employees

Induction and training of new employees

Performance review of subordinates

Meeting and getting feedback from sales people

Preventive maintenance management

New supplier development

Developing a network of friends

Looking for new markets, market segments

Cultivating hobbies


'Leadership has to do with direction. Management has to do with the speed, coordination and logistics in going in that direction. The WORKERS are chopping their way through the jungle. The MANAGERS are coordinating, making sure the tools are sharp, etc. The LEADERS climb a tree and shout Wrong jungle!! The MANAGERS shout back Be quiet! We're making progress!'

b.Important urgent tasks

People who operate here are usually firefighting. Their time is constantly taken up managing from one crisis to another. They have no time to look at opportunities - their attention is on the immediate problem.

Operating in this area is an indicator of poor planning and management skills. It indicates lack of development of organised work habits. Reactive people spend a large part of their time on these tasks.

Some of the reasons why people get caught in these types of tasks are :

1.They work on a first in first out basis.
2.They prefer to do easy tasks first.
3.They work on tasks they enjoy.
4.They drop their work when others call them.
5.They put off tasks which require mental effort.

c.Not important urgent tasks

People who spend a lot of time here are usually unable to differentiate between what is important and what is not - they have not developed good judgement.

Or, it could be an indicator of an unwillingness to take responsibility.

d.Not important not urgent tasks

Many trivial but necessary activities fall into this section. Complete these tasks well in time before they become urgent and develop into a crisis.

2. Delegation

Delegation is a powerful tool and one of the keys to effective management. Development of this skill is essential as you move into senior positions in management. The ability to delegate is one of the important differences between a manager and worker.

Against each daily task, examine whether you can delegate it or whether you have to do it yourself.

Effective delegation helps you to achieve high leverage performance.

a.Delegate gradually

Developing the skills of subordinates can take time.You need to delegate according to the abilities of people. Delegating too much can cause stress and inefficiency. Delegating too little can result in subordinates not getting a chance to develop.

b.Agree on results

Make sure the other person clearly understands what is expected. Make them explain the output expected.

c.Establish guidelines

Ensure that the person understands that the task has to be accomplished within the policies of the organization.


Monitor the progress of the task. It can be a forum for advice and reduces the risk of the task being messed up. Not monitoring a task can lead to abdication rather than delegation.

e. Consequences

Agree on what the consequences will be for completing/not completing the task.

Typical barriers to delegation

1. It's part of my job description.
2. I can do a better job than others in my team.
3. My team must know I'm prepared to do whatever I ask of them.
4. The job will not get completed if I don't help.
5. My boss expects me to do some of the work myself.

Management concepts

A summary of some of the 60 articles on key management concepts included in the planner.

Managing or operating ?

A managerís primary responsibility is to plan and organise resources to get the desired results. Many people continue to ďoperateĒ even after they become managers. Their tasks need to be organized into planning, organizing, evaluating and correcting.

Communication styles

Interaction between people in the workplace can often lead to conflicts, especially if a personís work is being evaluated or when people disagree over how a job is to be done. The style of communication can often aggravate a situation. This article highlights 7 principles of effective communication that need to be kept in mind.

Reactive behaviour

When people feel insecure, threatened, out of control or donít enjoy the job or the workplace they resort to defensive behaviour. This can result in people avoiding commitments or being overwhelmingly concerned about getting blamed. The article talks about 9 common defensive behaviours seen in organizations such as stretching, following the rules and seeking permission.