Skills for Business and Management

by Martin Sedgley


Box 4 in Chapter 3 of the book illustrates a time management process to help you establish realistic ‘to do’ lists, whilst consistently keeping sight of the meaningful values in your life. This is based on a concept known as the ‘Place Mat’ (Hicks and Hicks 2004). A blank template for this is shown below with instructions on how to apply this on a daily basis.

Box 4 template.docx

1. In the right-hand column heading ________, insert the word or phrase that represents the power that you believe creates your life circumstances. Depending on your beliefs, this could be ‘the Universe’, ‘God’, ‘Allah’, or simply ‘Life’. Fill in that blank with whatever is most meaningful for you.

2. In that right-hand section, cluster the set of goals and core values that are really what you want to experience in your life. An example is shown in Box 4, but you must create a unique collection of your own true motivations here. You can write these with a pen as these are long-term aspirations.

3. The left-hand column is for you to create a ‘To do’ list at the beginning of each day. You must be confident of achieving these, so limit them to between five and seven significant tasks and actions. Ensure consistent ‘work-life balance’ with a mixture of study and leisure activities. Again, you can refer to Box 4, but then create your personalised version of that.

4. Throughout the day, tick off each task as you complete that.

5. At the end of the day, reflect on those achievements with satisfaction. Remember that these have contributed to you moving towards the objectives on the right-hand side. Re-read those, so that you gradually embed these into your consciousness.

Video: Be realistic, take action.