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Why time management tools don’t work


time management tools don’t work
When I started my first company (13 years ago), I had to put in a lot of work to get my first clients. After a good three years, customers poured in. With success, problems began the following suit: I didn’t have time to serve so many customers on time. One complaint after another had me feeling overwhelmed, leading me to realize that I had to work smarter. I couldn’t plan my time and delegate work; I was thinking like a freelancer. These issues led me to delve into the ins and outs of time management and strategic planning. 

I started with online articles. After learning about the father of time management, Brian Tracy, I ordered his book. I learned different techniques and styles of planning with games. Some helped me prioritize tasks, while others gave me an idea about organizing the work. One of my favorites was the Pomodoro Technique. For those who don’t know what the Pomodoro Technique is, it is a time management tool that helps split the day into segments and helps avoid getting stuck on a project for more than 25 minutes.

The Pomodoro Technique helped me a lot for some time, but then I ran into two problems.

1. I lacked accountability, commitment.

Probably everyone has encountered this issue when a prepared work plan didn’t work. So the question is, why is it so difficult for us to control project development processes even when you use a time management tool like Pomodoro? The reason can be attributed to the lack of commitment.

For example, once I had to present my project to a director. Director told me: “You have only five minutes.” When you have so little time left, you only focus on what’s most important. Knowing that you will have to present a project to someone speeds up the processor in your head. It works when you work for someone, but when I left that company I lost a huge pace. You see, when you are a leader yourself and you don’t have a person to oblige you to work more efficiently, then writing articles and other work slows down. For this reason, I decided to create the tool, method, or technique that would oblige me to work faster and more clever. This is how the Grenade Method was born. I’ll tell you about it in this article, but first, I’ll mention another one reason why my projects moved at a turtle’s pace.

2. I wanted the project to be perfect, so it took too long.

I used to think that the key secret to success lies in perfection. Therefore, it would take me too long to complete tasks. However, is perfectionism truly necessary?

There has been enough research done on perfectionism. Perfectionism has been shown to have two sides. On the one hand, perfectionists can create high-quality products, music, art, but when we talk about the first stages of project development, perfectionism can hurt the project. Think about it, there are a lot of startupers who are still developing their projects but are afraid to introduce them to the world because they believe, project needs to be improved one more time.

This kind of mindset kills projects, that’s why some successful people say perfectionism is the enemy of startups. This idea is supported by the news portal Entrepreneur, which published the article “How perfection can ruin your business” where the root cause is identified. I quote: “Perfectionists take too long to do all the work.”

Get me right; perfectionism isn’t always a bad thing. One of the most successful startupers once said that perfectionism is only needed when the project has already received an investment. Believing this thought, I decided to solve the problems of perfectionism. My solution was—the Grenade Method.

In 2018, I introduced this method in my company and then at online events where people had to develop and introduce a commercial project idea in five minutes. After many studies, the best features of the Grenade Method have become clear. It has become evident that the Grenade Method is excellent for startups and anyone who wants to get things done faster.

What is the Grenade Method?

The Grenade Method is a time management tool. The tool’s essence is to prepare a daily work plan or any project’s idea in 5 minutes, and present it to others. With this method, the person is transferred to a situation where he commits to complete a project, so he is not distracted by phone calls and focuses only on what is most important.

The Grenade Method helps: 

a) Get rid of anything you don’t need in the initial stage of creating your project.

This method is ideal for startup founders, as it helps get rid of perfectionism in the early stages of project development and helps one develop a strategic mindset. The method differs from the Pomodoro and other techniques because of two reasons. It emphasizes the values that guide the development of projects. For example, there are people who think perfectionism is the most important thing. Unfortunately, in fact, it’s more important to formulate a vision for the project and make a presentation of it from which it would be clear that people really need it. Therefore, the Grenade Method encourages you to focus only on what is most important.

b) It provides greater motivation.

Imagine making a commitment to complete a task and deliver it to another person in five minutes. In this case, a commitment mechanism would be triggered, helping to make every effort to use all available resources to achieve the goal. When you are engaged, essentially focused, it’s hard to get distracted. Unfortunately, few are willing to take responsibility, but those who are determined achieve amazing goals.

c) It helps you start your morning with enthusiasm and make the most of the day!

Many people start the workday by trying to plan their work. However, few have a rule of how many minutes it should take to get it done. The Grenade Method solves this problem. With it, you can perform the task in 5 minutes. During these five minutes, you can identify not only goals but also the techniques that you will use during the day. For example, one can choose to use the Pomodoro technique from 10 a.m. and use the Timeboxing method in the afternoon.

How often can you use the Grenade Method

I use the Grenade Method on a daily basis. I use it first thing in the morning after arriving at the office, listing my daily duties in five minutes. This is my ritual. 

The Grenade Method is not just a way to start your day; it can be consistently used before applying the Pomodoro or any other technique.

Let’s imagine you’re a designer and today you have 5 hours for two projects. You start from the Grenade Method. First you write down tasks you need to do today. After, you create a clear structure of the work. In the next step you decide what time management techniques you’ll use working on projects (such as Pomodoro, or other). Following this method enables you to structure all-day work, do it quickly and efficiently, in just 5 minutes.

Read more about The Grenade Method

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