Maps as an aid to planning
I usually draw these maps in a spider’s web format. It is easier to see how the parts interact. However, my computer skills are not yet up to this. I have redrawn them in a table form..
The map, below, will help you become more aware of what you want to do with your time and where you could get some help. The second map will help you decide how you want to manage your time in the future and give useful ideas on how to progress. These maps are very powerful tools. You will get the best out of them if you discuss your ideas with colleague(s) who can help you explore the implications and decide what to do.
This is a hypothetical Time Planning map with two segment completed
(Can be person, group etc.)
|Major demands on time||Things you would like to START doing and STOP doing||How would the organisation gain?
Who could help you?
|Customers||Start talking about how we work together and how to make it better.
Stop pursuing unlikely leads .
|More effectiveness less frustration.
I could talk these over with a colleague and make a plan.
|IT Department||Start discussions with on how I can get what I want from them and what they need from me.
Stop grumbling about IT to anyone who will listen
|We would develop a model way of working that meets both parties needs. We would stop wasting our energy.
Other IT customers, especially pleased ones.
Completing Time Planning Maps
In the left hand column or central circle, above, write your name. The next segments contain the major demands on your time. It is usually helpful to include things from outside work too. The next segments are what you would like to stop and start doing with each demand. Write in the final ring what the organisation could gain from these changes and who could help you with them. You won’t have to do it all on your own.
The future map, below, should be written for a time a reasonable distance in the future, six months to two years is best. The information required should be obvious from the charts. When you use the two maps together, don’t be too ambitious, pick one demand to work on first and consider small steps that you can take to improve matters. Later, you can tackle the world.
If you can find someone who will listen to you, talk about what you are going to do. This will help you clarify your thoughts and increase your motivation to act.
An example of a Future Map
(Can be person, group etc.)
|Major demand on your time||Desired feelings
(Add a few words to describe how you would like to feel about the way you are managing your time e.g. excited, content, happy etc.)
|What would be happening if you were managing your time the way you want to?|
|A manager||Customers||Satisfied, hopeful.||Working and learning together. Exchanging feedback, making continuous improvement in efficiency and effectiveness.|
|IT department||Confident||I would be professional, no nonsense, and effective. We would be a team of equals working together well.|
With thanks to Chris Bull who first suggested this approach.