How to Create Time: A Brief Guide to a Powerful Task Management Tool

"How to Create Time: A Brief Guide to a Powerful Time Management Tool," Lynn DaueWhat if I told you I have an easy way to magically create more time in your day? (Really.)

You can pick yourself up off the floor now. This is legit.

do have an easy way to create more time in your day, and it's not magic.

It's called the 4Ds of Time Creation, and it's easily the best time management tool that I've ever discovered. 

How to Magically Create More Time

"How to Create Time: A Brief Guide to a Powerful Task Management Tool," Lynn DaueThe formula for creating more time is very simple:

  • Delete what is unnecessary
  • Delegate what is not yours
  • Defer what can wait
  • Do what you must

It's possible that you've heard of these before—and if you have, you're way ahead of the game. (Go you!)

The 4Ds of Time Creation are based in part on Jack Canfield's 4Ds of Completion: Do It, Delegate It, Delay It, or Dump It. These are, in turn, based on other time management tactics; suffice to say, it's not new information.

But it IS powerful.

When you apply the 4Ds of Time Creation to your task list, you not only clear out the unnecessary clutter from your schedule, but you also send a powerful message to yourself and to the people around you about your priorities, values, and expectations.

That's a lot of bang for no bucks.

How to Apply the 4Ds of Time Creation to Your To-Do List

Applying the 4Ds begins with writing down everything you have on your plate. This includes

  • professional stuff like meetings and projects
  • personal stuff like showering and catching up Game of Thrones, and
  • domestic stuff like cooking dinner and running the kids to soccer practice

Once you've written down everything you must do, ask yourself a series of questions:

1. Must this happen?

If the task that you're addressing simply doesn't have to happen, you can delete the task. Indicate this by lining through the task on your sheet of paper.

2. Must this happen today?

If the task must be completed but can wait until later without causing harm, conflict, or a frenzy, then you may defer the task. Indicate this by drawing an arrow pointing to the right next to the task. If you know by when you must complete the task, write the day of the week or the date to the right of the arrow.

3. Must this be completed by me?

If the task is something that must be done but doesn't necessarily have to be done by you, then you may delegate the task. Indicate this by drawing an arrow pointing to the right next to the task, followed by the person's name.

NB: this doesn't mean that the person you identified will do it. It simply means that you will ask them for help—or, if you are in a position to tell the person what to do, they may delegate in turn.

For everything else on the list, go ahead and do it.

A example of the 4Ds of Time Creation in action

Last week, I had a complete technology breakdown, shortly followed by a complete breakdown of the rest of my day. I had added a lot to my proverbial plate in the morning; on top of everything else I had to do, I reached a tipping point.

My list of things to do included

  1. Cooking dinner for my family
  2. Completing and releasing an exclusive Release & Refine bonus to my community
  3. Pick up my brother from the airport

The implosion of my tech 100% maxed out my cognitive load. I was in no place to make decisions, let alone get things done. In fact, every time I tried to push myself to get things done, I ended up bunging it up even more.

So, I applied the 4Ds of Time Creation. My list then looked like this:

  1. Cook dinner for the family → Hubs → the local pizza joint
  2. Complete and release an exclusive Release & Refine bonus to the Audacious Life Community → May 11
  3. Pick up my brother from the airport

Was this an ideal way to handle everything? Not exactly—I had fully planned on serving a home-cooked meal, and I would have preferred to release the bonus to the ALC on Wednesday.

However, all of my priorities were met: we were able to feed our family with delicious food, I will have a gorgeous, functional, completed bonus for the ALC available this week, and I was able to spend a little one-on-one time with my brother, which I don't get to do very often anymore.

Over to you

Have you tried the 4Ds, or a variation thereof? Come on over to Facebook and share your success stories, or leave a note in the comments section below.

Want More? Get More!

We cover the 4Ds of Time Creation in depth in Release & Refine: Time for Your Audacious Life, a multimedia workbook focused on creating the time for you to claim your Audacious Life.

RRCover060716In the workbook we cover how to

  • give yourself a break so that you don't burn out
  • discover where your time goes and how to plug the leaks in your schedule
  • create more time—WITHOUT magic (although it feels like magic some days!)
  • define your Personal Core Values and form a water-tight filter on your time, energy, and resources

These four lessons—text, audio, fillable worksheets, and more!—are wrapped up into a portable ebook so that you have easy-as-pie access at home, on the go, or even without an Internet connection.