The 4 Ds of time management are four strategies designed to help project managers make quick decisions on which tasks to act on now, later, or never.
Product managers are constantly bombarded with dozens of tasks. Since time is limited, efficiency depends on their ability to prioritize. The 4 Ds — delete, delegate, defer and do — make it easier for product managers to discern what tasks truly matter. Put simply, the 4 Ds of time management can streamline the decision-making process and increase productivity by allocating resources strategically.
Productivity starts with a well-organized schedule. The 4 Ds of time management strategy helps product managers schedule, postpone, or discard tasks by placing them in four categories: delete, delegate, defer, and do.
“Delete” encourages product managers to learn to say “no” and carefully filter their to-do list. Product managers should delete clutter work — such as junk mails and non-vital meetings — to make room for core matters.
“Delegate” should include tasks that don’t require the specific know-how of a product manager. Reassigning work is one of the most efficient strategies of time management, as long as the new person-in-charge has the required skills to fulfill the requirement.
“Defer” can be used by product managers to postpone tasks that are not-time sensitive. Whether it’s a new request or a project with an extended deadline, work that can be postponed in favor of immediate priorities should be.
“Do” is as straightforward as it gets. Product managers need to start working on these tasks immediately and focus their attention on one at a time until they get them done.