Time Management System: Examples of the 7 Hurdles

Everyone Has a Time Management System. Yes, Including You! 🙂

We designed the 7 Hurdles of Time Management as a means for you to identify what works and does not work in your time management system. You can find out more about our time management training course and how we teach the 7 Hurdles of Time Management.

Here are 3 examples of the 7 Hurdles in practice to bring it to life:

Going Shopping

What does your time management system look like when you’re going shopping? The following is an example incorporating the 7 Hurdles of Time Management:

  1. Capture: Your wife says, ‘Don’t forget the milk when you go shopping’. You write it on a scrap of paper so you don’t forget.
  2. Emptying: You know that you must take a look at the scrap of paper before you go to the shops. Plus, the red whiteboard in the kitchen.
  3. Storing: You have a place where you the family puts items needed at the shops. It’s a red whiteboard in the kitchen.
  4. Listing: You have a list for the shops. Your shopping list. The item your wife mentioned – the milk – is emptied and added to the shopping list.
  5. Scheduling: You decided to go to the shops after work today because it is late night opening, and you added it to your calendar.
  6. Action: At the shop, you buy the milk.
  7. Deleting: As you place the milk into the shopping trolley you cross ‘milk’ off of the list and move to the next aisle.
Young woman looking at a shopping list in a supermarket isle
Time management system whilst shopping

Restaurant Order

Below, is an example of a time management system incorporating the 7 Hurdles at a restaurant:

  1. Capture: You are the waiter/waitress and at the table ready to take the customer’s order for starters and their main courses.
  2. Emptying: As the customers place their order you ready.
  3. Deleting: While you’re taking the order the guests try to order dessert. You steer the customer back on track by clarifying that they just need to order their starters & mains.
  4. Storing: The pad with everyone’s food and drinks is kept in your pocket.
  5. Listing: We make it easier for ourselves and the chef. We break the order down into starters and mains. Also, we separate the full details into their most easily actionable lists. Doing this helps to create clarity.
  6. Scheduling: Working in a busy restaurant, we may keep diners in a comfortable holding space while their food is being prepared. If we know they’re not eating for another 60-90 minutes this can be added at the right time slot to ensure the right action is taken.
  7. Action: Times up, chef rings the bells, shouts; “Service” and the dinner arrives on the table.
Two people ordering from a young waitress at a restaurant
Family at the restaurant, time management system example

Work Email

The following is an example of a time management system incorporating the 7 Hurdles for work email:

  1. Capture: You receive an email regarding a project you’re working on.
  2. Emptying: You check your emails according to the hare and the tortoise system.
  3. Deleting: It’s a circular/group email with some outdated information that is no longer required. You not only delete it, but you also let the sender know so the email stops clogging everyone’s inbox and saves time deleting it.
  4. Listing: Some parts of the email do require action, and is relevant to the current project. You have a list of actions related to that project and this needs to be added to it.
  5. Storing: You have a central storage point for this list which everyone can view and can see what you’re working on and can also contribute.
  6. Scheduling: The action cannot be taken until the next sprint, 4 weeks from now. You schedule the action into your diary and make a note on your store/list.
  7. Action: It’s the scheduled due date, you execute.
A businessman's hands on the keyboard of an open laptop
Emails list on a laptop screen, office background

Consider Your Time Management System…

  • Which hurdle is your strongest?
  • Which hurdle is your weakest?
  • What can you do now to make a behavioural change to your time management system?

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