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Time Management, Planning and Prioritizing
PROF. TRILOK KUMAR JAIN 12/7/2013
The views expressed are the personal views of the author. The author is a career counselor, management consultant and academic administrator. He is currently dean of Suresh Gyan Vihar University Jaipur. He has earlier worked as principal of Sri Jain PG College Bikaner, as founder director of M.N. Institute of Management Bikaner, as founder director of A.V. Jain Girls College Sriganganagar as principal of Podar College Nawalgarh. He also worked as member of the board of trustees of Seth Tolaram Bafna Academy, VBN Samiti, the Gandhi Research Foundation Bikaner and as member of the executive team of Ajit Foundation for Social Development Bikaner.
TIME MANAGEMENT, PLANNING AND PRIORITISING
(FOR FUTURE CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS STUDYING AT ICAI BIKANER)
By: Trilok Kumar Jain Dean, ISBM, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur, India firstname.lastname@example.org Residence: Parakh Niwas, Sivakamu Veterinary Hospital Road, Gogagate Circle, Bandrabas, Bikaner Mobile: 9414430763 “Lost time is never found again” – Benjamin Franklin “Every Cloud has a silver lining” – (search for good thing even in the bad one) “a stitch in time, saves nine” – (take timely actions) “Time is a great healer, but a poor beautician.” – Lucille S. Harper “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” – Earl Nightingale “I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” – Louis E. Boone “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” – Charles Buxton “Those who make the worst of their time most complain about its shortness.” – La Bruyere “Nothing is ours except Time” – Geothe “He who gains time gains everything.” – Benjamin Disraeli “Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin Story of the wood chopper: Once there was a wood chopper, he was so busy trying to chop down trees with his very blunt axe, that he complained he could never manage the time to
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sharpen his axe. Thus he was taking a long time to cut the wood. Someone suggested him to sharpen the axe. This increased his effectiveness tremendously and while he was taking a long time earlier, now it was taking a few minutes.
About Tkjain’s 10 Principles Series As an author of management, I have identified 10 essential principles in each functional aspect and have written e-books on those fundamental 10 principles – which are simple, easy to remember, easy to understand and can reflect the most important aspects. These e-books are freely available on internet. Some of these are as under: Entrepreneurs’ guide to Managing Human Resource Entrepreneurs’ Guide to managing Marketing for Tomorrow Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Managing Finance Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Managing Business Negotiations The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Digital Marketing and Webpreneurship
Problem Solving and Decision Making for Administrators The Edupreneur’s Ultimate Guide to Academic Excellence and Educational Administration Tkjain’s 10 Principles of Time Management 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. believe in your time management capability firmly stick to your time schedule Say "No" when required Take timely decisions Delegate and decentralize Complete the work in one go : Wherever possible, tasks should be
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completed in one sitting, rather than coming back to them numerous times 7. Start saying “Sorry I don’t have time now, I have some urgent assignment" 8. well organized, properly directed meetings with proper appointments 9. spare time for your fitness, meditation, sports, recreation, entertainment and for your hobbies 10.keep some reserve time DISCUSSED BELOW: 1. Believe in your time management capability - firmly believe in your capability to plan and adhere to your plans. Take a simple exercise. If you find it difficult to get up early morning - let us say at 3 am. While going to the bed, plan that you have to get up at 3.00 am. You will be surprised to see that you are able to get up at sharp 3.00 am without any alarm. This is your internal clock. Believe it that you have tremendous capability to plan and execute. Just have trust. Plan what you believe, and believe what you plan. 2. Firmly stick to your time schedule: - over a period of time, people will start believing on you. People will match their clocks by your arrivals. They will adhere to your standards. If you are able to do what you promise, people will take your words as milestones and will follow them strictly as you wish. The BANDHA system of Rajasthan is worth mentioning. During my marriage, the marriage procession (Barat) started at exact 6.00 pm (as my family follows Bandha system and therefore stick to the time mentioned in the Kumkum patri (invitation card of the marriage ceremony). ). Those who new bandha system, came in time and joined the barat. Many of my friends and relatives who were not aware of Bandha system, came late, they had to join late, but they promised that they would never be late again and understood the bandha system. 3. Say "No" when required - it is easy to please everyone and say yes to whatever comes to us. It is easy to accept every work. It is easy to accept every responsibility. However, judge your priorities, schedule yourself and
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prepared your own priorities. Say no when it is not possible. Say No firmly when it is beyond your time limitations. We must understand and recognize that we cannot do justice to every work. We have to be focused so that we can achieve excellence in whatever we do. We have to spare our time for a few activities only so that we can achieve the best performance in those activities and we have to avoid other activities. 4. Take timely decisions: be prompt in your decisions. Be quick. But it doesn’t mean that you have to take decision on the basis of whims. Take decisions on the basis of facts and information. 5. Delegate and decentralize: - Great executives have the expertise to delegate, nurture and develop others. They are able to convert others into leaders. They are able to create managers out of everyone. They praise the hidden qualities of persons and make the persons so motivated that they are able to delegate them. In fact 6. Complete the work in one go : Wherever possible, tasks should be completed in one sitting, rather than coming back to them numerous times 7. Start saying “Sorry I don’t have time now, I have some urgent assignment" this will help you and you will be able to meet your deadlines. There will be interruptions, but you will be able to handle them with a NO. 8. Well organized, properly directed meetings with proper appointments: before you go to meet any person, take prior appointment and meet as per schedule. Please circulate the agenda in advance and stick to the agenda. During meetings avoid gossips and be to the point in all formal communications. 9. Spare time for your fitness, meditation, sports, recreation, entertainment and for your hobbies: it is also necessary to keep some time for relaxation so that you are able to rejuvenate yourself and replenish your energy. My colleague Prof. P.B.L. Chaurasia walks daily for 4-5 km. This keeps him fit
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and healthy. This helps him in improving his performance. He is above sixty, but his fitness enables him to challenge the persons half his age in terms of his mental and physical fitness. 10.Keep some reserve time - we are never able to complete our task in time not because of our mistakes, but because of others, situational factors, environmental pressures, situations beyond our control. Be prepared and keep some reserve time so that you are able to meet your deadline and you are not disturbed in your next assignment. 10 Hurdles in Time Management 1. Doing what interests you 2. the Martyr Complex 3. inability to take decisions 4. lack of priorities 5. interruptions 6. lack of flexibility, adaptability and agility 7. lack of discipline and self control 8. a disorganized and messy work environment 9. procrastination 10.inability to say 'NO' Discussed below: 1. Doing what interests you: Do not spend your time on less important and non-urgent tasks simply because you enjoy doing them - this is a general tendency. We all wish to do what interests us. We fail to realize that we must do what is required. We must do what is important for us. 2. The Martyr Complex: when a person keeps on taking work from others and ultimately becomes the martyr. He is unable to say no and ultimately finds that he cannot do justice to any work and finally he finds an end to his glorious career. 3. Inability to take decisions: there are times, when we are confused.
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shall be able to 4. Lack of priorities: a lack of clarity of the goals of life will hurt you the most and you will find yourself moving in end-fewer loops without clarity about what is your ultimate goal. You will yourself ask a question' what for I am doing all this'? 5. Interruptions: there will be interruptions, which will spoil your flow, your speed, your thoughts and your work. Be prepared for the interruptions. Try to minimize them (however, some are unavoidable, so you have to be prepared for them). 6. lack of flexibility, adaptability and agility: Situation, environmental factors and circumstances are unpredictable, unexpected and cruel beyond our imagination. Yet we have to conquer them. We have to adapt ourselves and change ourselves as per the demands of the situation. We have to be flexible and quick to the cause. Even when the most difficult situation comes, we have to motivate us, and build our confidence. My brother in law was a diamond businessman in Mumbai. His sudden death brought a calamity on his family. His son was studying in class 12 and planning for some careers. He was shocked. He failed in CPT examination (first exam for Chartered Accountancy) twice. He quickly changed his mind and prepared for the CS (company secretaryship). He was able to succeed there and was again able to recover his self confidence. 7. Lack of discipline and self control: we are tempted by many things which ultimately create hurdle for us. There is a natural tendency that our natural enemies will tempt us the most. A person suffering from diabetes would be tempted to eat sweats. This is just an example - but in every situation you will find such things. There is a saying that there is a fight between tongue and stomach and often tongue wins and you loose (because you eat what is not good for your health and spoil your health). So overcome your temptations and use your wisdom.
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8. A disorganized and messy work environment: - a neat clean and clear work environment will always help you. Keep your table empty. Have proper ranks, proper filings, proper tables and proper organization. Keep an assistant to you if you can’t organize yourself. It will save your time and energy. 9. Procrastination: the tendency to do things tomorrow or in future is the most disastrous. It is especially if you are doing some important but not interesting work. 10.Inability to say 'NO' - as discussed above. Tkjain’s 10 Principles of Planning 1. set your vision, mission, long term goals and clarity about how to reach there 2. set your medium and short term goals based on long term goals 3. know your strengths - develop them further, opportunities and encash them 4. be clear about your constraints, your limitations 5. be clear about your values, priorities, ideals and standards 6. be prepared with alternative plans 7. be ambitious, have clear vision and you will get it (day dreams will come true) 8. future is not reflection of past, nor of present, but you can still forecast it a bit 9. leave your old strategies, evolve new ones 10.be prepared for surprises Discussed below: 1. Set your vision, mission, long term goals and clarity about how to reach there - vision is clarity about what you want from yourself. See yourself in future. See yourself in action. Day-dream. Be confident about what you will
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be next 10 years or next 20 years ahead. Please 2. set your medium and short term goals based on long term goals: your vision is the guiding post in your journey. However, you need milestones at shorter intervals also and therefore prepare your short term and medium term goals and milestones. 3. know your strengths - develop them further, opportunities and encash them: - don’t get bogged down thinking about your weaknesses. You also have strengths. Identify them, develop them and make them so impact making that people notice only your strengths. 4. be clear about your constraints, your limitations : Sometimes you have to prepare your plans within your constraints. Therefore prepare your plans within your constraints and your limits. Identify your limits and prepare yourself for them. 5. be clear about your values, priorities, ideals and standards : Your values and your ideals are above all. I often return without eating anything from five star hotels (where I go to participate in some academic deliberations – now a days it has become a fashion to organize conferences and seminars in five star hotels). The reason is that I find it difficult to find pure vegetarian food as per my philosophy at these hotels. 6. be prepared with alternative plans: - Plan is a precise minute to minute details of what you propose to do in the future. It is a set of actions that you will be taking. It enables you to visualize your future path and enables you to give predictability, order and discipline to your life in this turbulent time when everything is unpredictable. Yet, you should have alternative plans ready when the main plan cannot be implemented due to situations beyond your imagination. 7. be ambitious, have clear vision and you will get it (day dreams will come true): Udham Singh, the great Indian martyr dreamed that he would shoot
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General Dyer one day. He worked hard and ultimately he achieved his goal and shot dead the culprit of Jaliwala Bagh. He achieved something impossible otherwise. He was able to do it because he visualized it and believed it, the nature respects us and gives way to us for our dreams. 8. future is not reflection of past, nor of present, but you can still forecast it a bit : the future is not like stair case. The situations and the rules of tomorrow will be different from that of the past. The rules of the play school don’t hold in school. The success criteria of college are different from that of school. The success of real life business are different from the college days. Thus prepare yourself for the future by giving your best, competing with yourself and not be doing what you have been doing. 9. leave your old strategies, evolve new ones: A strategy is a strategy if it is a new one, unexplored one, unknown to your competitors. Therefore try to evolve a new strategy for every new situation depending on the situation. People should not be able to predict your moves. 10.be prepared for surprises : every day you will encounter new problems and new situations. Your ability to handle these is what determines your success. Can you turn every problem into an opportunity? 10 Hurdles in Planning 1. lack of confidence in planning 2. lack of written plans 3. lack of focus 4. lack of flexibility 5. lack of discussions and deliberations 6. lack of clarity regarding hurdles 7. unexpected situations and lack of preparation 8. the tendency to give up 9. lack of required resources, systems and support 10.great planning but poor execution
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Discussed below: 1. Lack of confidence in planning: if you don’t believe in your own plan, the plan will not work. Believe in your plan or else change the plan and make the plan that is there in your belief. Remember that plans are there to help you in achieving your goals. They cannot do magic, if you are not willing to achieve them. Plan is nothing but a minute to minute action plan that you will be doing in future. You have to prepare yourself for this action plan. You have to prepare yourself to exert extraordinary efforts to achieve your plans. 2. Lack of written plans: have written plans, they will always help you. They will guide you and enable you to stick to deadlines. If the plans are not written, you will forget them and these plans will not force you to do what should be done. Written plans should be on your table so that they may force you to give your best to meet deadlines. 3. Lack of focus: you should have your priorities. Be clear, ambitious, target oriented and prepare for unexplored, amazing and glamorous career. If you will be preparing for this, you will be creating the future. 4. Lack of flexibility: in spite of all planning, we have to be prepared for failures and therefore flexibility is necessary. 5. lack of discussions and deliberations : When I visited AWAG, I found that the founder (Ms. Ilaben Patkak) used to discuss every plan, action and strategy with all the co-workers in this organisation. This enabled people to know about what is being planned. There used to be democratic discussions where everyone had the freedom to share ideas and deliberate. Everyone was equal in those discussions. Thus there was an excellent system of discussion and deliberations. In Bikaner, we find PATA & Panchayati in every mohalla, where people of a locality join together and
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discuss the current situations. This is done every evening. This enables the youth to share ideas with the elders and everyone participates in healthy group discussions. The youngsters develop their group discussion skills and get guidance from their elders. 6. lack of clarity regarding hurdles : - life is not a bed of roses. It is full of challenges and hurdles. Even if you are doing something great, even if you are doing something for the benefit of society, even if you are on a philanthropic mission, you will face opposition, lack of support and resistance. Even the persons for whose benefit you are fighting, will oppose you. Yet you have to remain calm and be prepared for this. When hurdles come, identify them, understand them, face the situation and prepare yourself for these. 7. unexpected situations and lack of preparation:- you may plan the best, but the uncertainty will outperform you. The environment will prove to be unpredictable beyond your imagination. It will be beyond your imagination and you will find it difficult to handle the unexpected situations. This requires even better preparation on your part. 8. The tendency to give up: you might have read stories of great scientists, who tried, tried, tried and ultimately made the inventions. This is the reality of life. Don’t give up. Try again and again with positive thinking, a strong ray of hope and with increasing zeal. 9. Lack of required resources, systems and support: we may fail if we plan for doing something without adequate resources, so plan out and do something with proper resources. If you don’t have resources now, you will get them in future, if you have a great plan, you can convince others and they will definitely support you. 10.Great planning but poor execution: this is the problem with Indian administration system. We are great planners, but poor in execution. Our lack of commitment to quality compels us to become mediocre performers.
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Tkjain’s 10 Principles of Prioritizing 1. The most difficult task - when in confusion - read Indian Ethos (Gandhi ji used to read Bhagwat Gita). 2. learn from Lord Ganesha 3. be distinct 4. take help of counselors, career experts, seniors, elders and your relatives 5. keep your family informed about your goals, strategies and plans 6. Adopt the principles of ABC 7. Have a clear career goal in mind and clear career path ahead 8. No one can be all rounder in life - be focused, be clear and be distinct 9. be prepared for Himalayan tasks 10.perseverance Discussed below: 1. The most difficult task - when in confusion - read Indian Ethos (Gandhi ji used to read Bhagwat Gita). 2. Learn from Lord Ganesha: there is a story that Ganesha and Kartikeya had a competition to make the circle of the universe. Ganesha took a round of Lord Shiva and Parvati and won it. There is another saying that keeps big head like Ganesha and gives deep meditation, keep long nose like him and keep your long information network and collect every information. Have huge stomach, implying digest every information. Have huge ears - implying listen to everyone.... 3. Be distinct: be different - you have to carve out a distinct image for yourself. 4. Take help of counselors, career experts, seniors, elders and your relatives they can help you. They can’t force you, but they can certainly guide you. 5. keep your family informed about your goals, strategies and plans 6. Adopt the principles of ABC - A - top priority, b - less priority C least priority.
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Do it and you will find it easier to manage the life? 7. Have a clear career goal in mind and clear career path ahead 8. No one can be all-rounder in life - be focused, be clear and be distinct 9. Be prepared for Himalayan tasks: my students didn’t sleep for 72 hours when they were at their own. I asked them to go and take rest, but they didn’t accept my request. It was the time when our students had taken the task of hospitality for C3W and until the work was complete; the students didn’t go to the bed. This is the spirit of the youth of today. This means that there are capabilities in each of us to do Himalayan tasks. 10.Perseverance: you must try, try, try. There is nothing that you can’t achieve. Jagdish Bhai Patel established Blind People's association (Ahmedabad) in spite of not having vision. He had the vision in his mind and a firm belief in his vision. He failed many times, but continued and finally he was able to do the most difficult task, but we all admire him today for the amazing work. 10 Hurdles in Prioritizing 1. difficulty in concentrating their energy on larger, important tasks 2. lack of goals 3. getting frustration 4. getting regression 5. being possessive of your past 6. not willing to change 7. doing the work only that interests 8. doing the work only on last day 9. not willing to compromise / sacrifice 10.mental and physical exhaustion Discussed below: 1. difficulty in concentrating their energy on larger, important tasks: we encounter many difficulties and hurdles and often ignore the bigger picture
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and bigger issues and get exhausted in smaller petty issues. 2. Lack of goals: be focused in your goals and be prepared to stretch extra for the goals. Every goal is achievable. Make smaller goals with time bound action plans for enabling you to pursue giant goals. Prepare yourself for the journey. A goal of writing a book may look daunting. A book contains 250 pages. You can prepare a goal to write 1 page per day, which seems more achievable. Ensure that you will not sleep without doing this assignment. You may have to curtail your sleep often. Everyday you may have to stretch yourself for another 2-3 hours. However, no rewards without pains. So stretch yourself a bit and ensure that you are able to achieve your daily goals. At the end of one year, you are ready with a book, which was looking impossible to you one year back. 3. getting frustration: - when a person is not able to achieve the goal, there is frustration. Hurdles are natural for any goals. The person is unable to decide what to do and many times takes wrong decisions when faced with hurdles. Frustration creates many disorders in the personality. The person may become fixated (continues with his past), may become irrational, may become regressive or may develop other psychological disorders. There is a need of constant motivation to enable the person to overcome the stress caused by frustration. 4. getting regression : when situations turn hostile, you start withdrawing. While you need to recharge yourself –you have to prepare youself and give yourself the winning thoughts – “I shall overcome this situation” “this time will also pass away and I shall emerge victorious”. Constantly re-charge yourself with positive ideas and motivation. 5. being possessive of your past: we continue to live the past. We dream of past, think of past, nurture past, and past achievements dominate our mental horizon. Let us cut the past from our dreams and visualize the future and live in the present.
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6. not willing to change : when you are in difficult situations, evaluate your strategies, probably you have to reinvent your mission, your strategies, your goals and your vision so that you can re-establish yourself on a better path. 7. doing the work only that interests: we have a tendency to do what interests us. We have to set our priorities and work for the cause –whether it interests us or not. It is not our interest, but our priorities that must count. We have to work not on our interest but as per priorities. 8. doing the work only on last day: this is our general tendency. We do something when there is last date. We then suffer. 9. not willing to compromise / sacrifice: - we have to be prepared to compromise. I am not asking you to compromise with your fundamental values and fundamental ideals. There are many small issues for which it is not proper to stick too much. You may have to adjust yourself and adapt to the situation. mental and physical exhaustion : - when doing something important you are completely devoted to it and it puts tremendous mental and physical strain and stress on you. You are completely exhausted. You need a break and you need relaxation after this. After the C3W conference (read www.c3w.in ) I was so exhausted that I was just unable to even think. I decided to take a leave and take one day’s complete rest. This rest enabled me to refresh myself.
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