The Red Urchin process is built on the previously described principles and enabled by the Red Urchin tablet application.
It is built around 4 processes:
Accessibility – Have your system close and write it down!
Think-ability – 4 D’s? How long will it take? What do I need to complete it?
Continuity – Learn to pre-populate and use planning cycles
Responsibility – Use the rules of delegating
This is covered in the Red Urchin Principles and also in the article Writing things down! NOW!. Needless to say, use the Red Urchin app to write things down, every time. There is not a more important process in the Red Urchin ecosystem than writing down or recording your tasks and related information.
The concept is an easy one but it takes discipline. Because you have followed the first process and you have you Red Urchin app close by and accessible, you need to ask yourself some quick key questions. You need to process the task following the 4 D’s of the Red Urchin system (See The 4D Decision) and also ask yourself what else do I need to complete this task when I get to it and will I be able to find what I need, when I need it? (See Using a container system). These quick assessments of your task take only seconds and make an enormous difference to the success of your time management. When you have processed an incoming task using the 4D’s, you know when (and if) you are going to complete the task, what you need to complete it and how long it is going to take. If you do this with all incoming tasks you have a complete picture in which to plan with.
Time management is not a one shot effort, it requires continual processing and habit forming to embed the processes and planning into your daily life and consciousness. The pillar of continuity is important. Once you learn the best way to tailor the Red Urchin system for you, you must continually apply and improve those processes. Utilising key concepts such as pre-population (See A Typical Day) and effective planning cycles throughout your day (See Cycling through your day) are simple but important skills that assist you applying the Red Urchin system continually and ensures you are a highly effective individual.
Responsibility is a lofty goal and something that managers struggle with in both themselves and the people that report to them. It works in conjunction with the principle of delegation as if you delegate a task you are automatically making that person responsible for that task (or are you?). Maybe you are making them sub-responsible but that is a matter for another article (See The Art of Delegation). It is a key pillar of the Red Urchin system to delegate effectively and we emphasise the word “effectively”. Many times managers have delegated a task to someone and then wondered in vain sometime after the expected due date of that task why they have heard nothing. By utilising Red Urchin’s 3rd D, Delegate, you can hand off tasks, but how do you do this without suffering from a similar fate as our Manager described above? Firstly, set the expectation with all people whom you delegate tasks to, that they understand the following rules of task delegation:
Do you understand the task you have been delegated? If no, please ask questions so that their is no confusion around the task (this is normally the fault of the delegator)
Do you understand the quality/expectations of the completed task?
Do you understand the date/time in which the completed task needs to be returned to the delegator?
Do you understand that if you cannot meet that date or quality that it is your responsibility to let the delegator know
Secondly, use the “Due from Others” section in Red Urchin! This is one of the most under utilised functions of any time management system and makes a huge difference to your efficiency. Not only does delegating a task “effectively’ get it away from our field of view and our subconscious but you know exactly when and to what quality it is due back.
We now have the principles, pillars and processes of the Red Urchin system, we need to move on to how to take control of life using the Red Urchin system in conjunction with the tablet application, but before we do we need to address balance.