Time

As our plans mature they will call out to be acted upon. At this point concrete tasks must be allocated their places in our schedules. The Großmann Method promotes the use of a plan book or diary (Glückstagebuch) for this purpose. The simplest manifestation of this would be a 33-page A6 softback notebook with a page for each day of the current month, a page for the next month and a page for all other future time. This notebook should always be at hand, perhaps kept in a trouser pocket or bag.

You may have expected this planner or diary to have been the first element in any self-management system. The Method, however, sees this as called for mostly after the Situation Analysis and the Plan of Means and Measures have generated mature, ready-to-execute tasks. Only at this point are we justified in scheduling them. It is the downfall of a legion of expensive planning diaries that they prompt their users to fill their pages with ill-defined tasks. Inevitably this leads to disillusionment with the idea of planning itself.

You now have your own plan book before you. It is thin at only 33 pages. It is perhaps cheap and home-made. It does not need to be a prestigious product designed to impress colleagues and bosses. It is simply your daily prompt to carry out do-able and well thought-out tasks. Each task is unambiguous and its duration is calculated to be achievable within a day. Larger tasks are broken into subtasks if necessary. Each task occupies a line, spaced out and easy to read. A symbol is placed in the margin to mark each task as it is completed. A symbol denoting begun but not completed can also be used. Sometimes urgent and unforeseeable interruptions will prevent tasks being even started. At the end of the day the uncompleted and half-completed tasks will be rescheduled. We thereby learn better to anticipate how much time will be needed to complete our tasks, and how much time to leave in reserve. If we find more time at our disposal than we expected we can bring forward tasks from later days.

Apart from the tasks that arise from our plan-goals, we also schedule the work of the Situation Analysis and Plans of Means and Measures.

For myself I draw a small circle in the margin to indicate an open task. I fill this in with ink to show completion. I divide this vertically into two segments and colour in the left one to indicate a task begun but not completed. At the end of the day it is evident to me how much work will have to be allotted to following days. A day with only completed tasks we can regard with satisfaction as a good day, a day to celebrate.

One page has been left for tasks scheduled for the following month. These tasks will be carried over to the next monthly plan diary, which we will prepare at around day 21 in the current plan diary. The page of future tasks will be reviewed and its tasks either scheduled or simply carried forward.

As the scale of our planning increases we may need to create month plans, a year plan, and even plans for several years.

How to use this website

You are on the seventh page of a set of instructions. Using them in the order set out in the Menu on the left is to be recommended. The Home Page is entitled Success & Failure, the second page The Method, the third Goals, the fourth Situation Analysis, the fifth Means & Measures, the sixth Personal Audit.

The next page is The Value System