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Overview..............................................................................................................................2 Task list................................................................................................................................2 Task list organization......................................................................................................3 Software applications.......................................................................................................3 Resistors...........................................................................................................................3 Drivers..............................................................................................................................4 Caveats.............................................................................................................................4 The four generations of time management..........................................................................5 Techniques for setting priorities..........................................................................................6 Procrastination....................................................................................................................8 Why do we Procrastinate?...............................................................................................8 Key points:.....................................................................................................................11 How to Use the Tool......................................................................................................12 To-Do Lists .......................................................................................................................14 Using Your To-Do Lists................................................................................................16 Develop blocks of study time........................................................................................19 Time Tips.......................................................................................................................19 Weekly agenda...................................................................................................................23 A little test of time management........................................................................................24 Five Steps to Successful Time Management.....................................................................26 Inspirational quotes on time management ........................................................................26 Learn to see the difference between urgent and important................................................27 Know how you spend your time....................................................................................28 The "Eff" words ............................................................................................................28 What is Personal Time Management? ..........................................................................29 Current Practice ............................................................................................................30 Waste Disposal ..............................................................................................................30 Doing Subordinate's Work ............................................................................................31 Doing the work of Others .............................................................................................31 External Appointments .................................................................................................32 Scheduling Projects .......................................................................................................33 Time Management: Chronos and Kairos.......................................................................36 Myths About Time Management.......................................................................................41 Specific Techniques...........................................................................................................42
“Concentrate on results, not on being busy”
Time management is the management of time in order to make the most out of it.
Time management includes tools or techniques for planning and scheduling time, usually with the aim to increase the effectiveness and/or efficiency of personal and corporate time use. These are embodied in a number of books, seminars and courses, which may offer conflicting advice. The common denominators of these strategies are a to-do-list, setting priorities and goal management. Some of the best known examples of time management strategies are tied to specific lines of time management products. Time management for personal use is a type of self-management. In a corporate setting, time management software can satisfy the need to control employees, make it easier to coordinate work and increases accountability of individual employees. Planning time and writing to-do-lists also consumes time and needs to be scheduled. This is one of the major criticisms of time management
Time management strategies are usually associated with the recommendation to set goals. These goals are written down and broken down into a project, an action plan or a simple To do list. Deadlines are set and priorities are assigned to the individual items on the to-do-list. This process results in a daily plan with a to-do-list. Some authors recommend a weekly instead of a daily perspective.
A task list (also to-do list) is a list of tasks to be completed, such as chores or steps toward completing a project. It is an inventory tool that serves as an alternative to memory. Task lists are used in self-management, grocery lists, business management, project management, and software development. It may involve more than one list. When you accomplish one of the items on a task list, you check it off or cross it off. The traditional method is to write these on a piece of paper with a pen or pencil, usually on a note pad or clip-board. Numerous software equivalents are now available, and many popular e-mail clients include task list applications, as do most PDAs. There are also several web-based task list applications, many of which are free.
Task list organization
Task lists are often tiered. The simplest tiered system includes a general to-do list (or task-holding file) to record all the tasks the person needs to accomplish, and a daily to-do list which is created each day by transferring tasks from the general to-do list. Task lists are often prioritized: An early advocate of "ABC" prioritization was Alan Lakein (See Books below.). In his system "A" items were the most important ("A-1" the most important within that group), "B" next most important, "C" least important. A particular method of applying the ABC method assigns "A" to tasks to be done within a day, "B" a week, and "C" a month. To prioritize a daily task list, one either records the tasks in the order of highest priority, or assigns them a number after they are listed ("1" for highest priority, "2" for second highest priority, etc.) which indicates in which order to execute the tasks. The latter method is generally faster, allowing the tasks to be recorded more quickly.
Modern task list applications may have built-in task hierarchy (tasks are composed of subtasks which again may contain subtasks), may support multiple methods of filtering and ordering the list of tasks, and may allow to associate arbitrarily long notes for each task. Task list applications may be thought as lightweight personal information manager or project management software. Task list is also a synonym for process list i.e. the list of program instances (processes) the computer is currently executing.
Fear of change: Change can be daunting and one may be afraid to change what's proven to work in the past. Uncertainty: Even with the change being inevitable, one may be hesitant as being not sure where to start. Uncertainty about when or how to begin making a change can be significant. Lack of time: To save time, one has to invest time, and this time investment may be a cause of concern. Fearing that changing may involve more work at the start is a common resistor. Lack of will power: Why change if one really not need to? The greatest problem is a lack of will.
Increased effectiveness: One may feel the need to make more time so as to be more effective in performing the job and carrying out responsibilities. Performance improvement: Time management is an issue that often arises during performance appraisals or review meetings. Personal development: One may view changing the approach to time management as a personal development issue and reap the benefit of handling time differently at work and at home. Increased responsibilities: A change in time-management approach may become necessary as a result of a promotion or additional responsibilities. Since there is more work to do, and still the same amount of time to do it in, the approach must change.
Dwelling on the lists According to Sandberg, task lists "aren't the key to productivity [that] they're cracked up to be". He reports an estimated "30% of listers spend more time managing their lists than [they do] completing what's on them". This could be caused by procrastination: by prolonging the planning activity, the individual avoids the tasks he should be doing by creating the illusion that he's still necessarily preparing for them. This is akin to analysis
which will either increase the risk of procrastination. and focus on completing the tasks. Covey offers a categorization scheme for the hundreds of time management approaches that are on the market today. Rigid adherence Hendrickson asserts that rigid adherence to task lists can create a "tyranny of the to-do list" that forces one to "waste time on unimportant activities". To avoid getting stuck in a wasteful pattern. a task system must allow adaptation. like staying at a particular job much longer than originally planned. If you need to track routine tasks. semi-annual. As with any activity. Some level of detail must be taken for granted for a task system to work. Listing routine tasks wastes time. If you are in the habit of brushing your teeth every day. The same goes for getting out of bed. to weed out inefficiencies and ensure the user is headed in the direction he or she truly desires. in the form of rescheduling in the face of unexpected problems and opportunities. . to avoid the procedure of manually listing these items over and over. is that "housekeeping" in this example may prove overwhelming or nebulously defined. it is more efficient to put "housekeeping" and save time spent writing and reduce the system's administrative load (each task entered into the system generates a cost in time and effort to manage it. aside from the execution of the task). the task system should also include regular (monthly. there's a point of diminishing returns. etc. Rather than put "clean the kitchen". Again. but toward the size of the task. the individual may get stuck in a perpetual holding pattern on short-term plans. then there is no reason to put it down on the task list. To remain flexible. "clean the bedroom". then a standard list or chart may be useful. The risk of consolidating tasks. and annual) planning and system-evaluation sessions. the user must recognize this. conquer his or her procrastination. to save time spent on irrelevant or less than optimal tasks. The four generations of time management Stephen R. however. or a mismanaged project.paralysis. fixing meals. For a task system to be efficient and effective. If some time is not regularly spent on achieving long-range goals. the point of diminishing returns applies here too. and "clean the bathroom".
B." The point is not to ignore urgent things. As opposed to the first generation. Fourth generation: being efficient and proactive Author Stephen R. Urgency can be deceptive. controlling Third generation time managers prioritize their activities on a daily basis. For example: some people may go their entire lives completely missing out on important things (like spending time with their children before they have grown up) because it was never "urgent. making time for important things may require spending less time on unimportant things. and C—hence the name. and sets goals. This in turn saves their time. prioritizing. They tend to use detailed forms of daily planning on a computer or on a paper-based organizer. but to embrace important things without waiting for them to become urgent. schedules future appointments. . This approach implies spending some time in clarifying values and priorities. Techniques for setting priorities ABC analysis A technique that has been used in business management for a long time is the categorization of large data into groups. the second generation plans and prepares. ABC analysis is frequently combined with Pareto analysis. Also. Activities that are perceived as having highest priority are assigned an A. Covey refers to his approach in First Things First as the 4th generation of time management and emphasizes the difference between urgency and importance in planning. They will note where meetings are held and identify deadlines. regardless of their urgency. this is sometimes even done on a computer. Third generation: planning. It can make some unimportant things appear to be important. ABC analysis can incorporate more than three groups. those with lowest priority are labeled C.First generation: reminders Second generation: planning and preparation People in the second generation use calendars and appointment books. These groups are often marked A.
time. an individual is better positioned to shoulder collective responsibilities. fit is the congruence of the requirements of a task (location. in town. Streamlining. This concept also applies to time of the day: free time at 7am is probably less usefully applied to the goal of learning the drums. PRIORITIZE-Your time and define your life goals by. Lastly. fit can be applied to location: free time at home would be used differently from free time at work. than to complete a task that can be done in 5 minutes.. etc. ORGANIZING-Things you have to accomplish regularly to be successful. This principle is used to sort tasks into two parts. The remaining 20% of tasks will take up 80% of the time. and "fit" allows us to maximize our productivity given those constraints. financial investment. it is typically more efficient to complete a task that would require 15 minutes.) with the available resources at the time. etc. Inherent in the acronym is a hierarchy of self-realization which mirrors Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of needs". if one encounters a gap of 15 minutes in their schedule. Economizing and Contributing. POSEC METHOD POSEC is an acronym for Prioritize by Organizing. Essentially.Pareto analysis This is the idea that 80% of tasks can be completed in 20% of the disposable time. If productivity is the aim of time management. The 80-20-rule can also be applied to increase productivity: it is assumed that 80% of the productivity can be achieved by doing 20% of the tasks. or to start a task that would take 4 weeks. According to this form of Pareto analysis it is recommended that tasks that fall into the first category be assigned a higher priority. For example. (Family and Finances) . It suggests that by attending to one's personal responsibilities first. then these tasks should be prioritized higher. Fit The concept of fit is simple yet profound. locations. etc. Often people are constrained by externally controlled schedules. and more productively a time to read a book. The method dictates a template which emphasises an average individual's immediate sense of emotional and monetary security.
(Social Obligations) Eisenhower-Method This method was used by US President Dwight D. understand why it happens (even to the best of us). All tasks are evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent and put in according quadrants. While the ratio is not always 80:20. Tasks in unimportant/not urgent are dropped. and take active steps to better manage your time and outcomes. (Work and Chores) ECONOMIZING-Things you should do or may even like to do.STREAMLINING-Things you may not like to do. If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again. but they're not pressingly urgent. or the '80:20 Rule'. Procrastination Why do we Procrastinate? . The remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort. The key to controlling and ultimately combating this destructive habit is to recognize when you start procrastinating. but must do. tasks in important/urgent are done immediately and personally. This argues that typically 80% of unfocussed effort generates only 20% of results. Eisenhower. tasks in unimportant/urgent are delegated and tasks in important/not urgent get an end date and are done personally. The 80:20 Rule This is neatly summed up in the Pareto Principle. this broad pattern of a small proportion of activity generating non-scalar returns recurs so frequently as to be the norm in many areas. many people procrastinate to some degree but some are so chronically affected by procrastination that it stops them achieving things they're capable of and disrupts their careers. In fact. (Past-times and Socializing) CONTRIBUTING-By paying attention to the few remaining things that make a difference. you’re not alone.
Other causes of procrastination include: Waiting for the “right” mood or the “right” time to tackle the important task at hand. So you seek comfort in doing tasks you know you're capable of completing. so I won't do it at all. Unfortunately. you procrastinate when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now. they have little or no time left for the important tasks.truly important tasks rarely do. by doing this. and Perfectionism ("I don't have the right skills or resources to do this perfectly now. You may not know where to begin.In a nutshell. Poor organizational skills. . usually in favor of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.") How to Overcome Procrastination: Whatever the reason behind procrastination. Or they may not even think about their approach and simply be driven by the person whose demands are loudest. They may feel that they're doing the right thing by reacting fast. it must be recognized. dealt with and controlled before you miss opportunities or your career is derailed. Sometimes this is simply because they don't understand the difference between urgent tasks and important tasks. A fear of failure or success. Or you may doubt that you have the skills or resources you think you need. and jump straight into getting on with urgent tasks that aren't actually important. Underdeveloped decision making skills. you probably know when you're procrastinating. Either way. the big task isn't going to go away . Step 1: Recognize that you're Procrastinating If you're honest with yourself. Another common cause of procrastination is feeling overwhelmed by the task. despite the unpleasant outcomes this may bring about. Procrastinators work as many hours in the day as other people (and often work longer hours) but they invest their time in the wrong tasks.
or You find the task overwhelming Step 3: Get over it! If you are putting something off because you just don't want to do it. Ask someone else to check up on you. . and filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list. it's probably good prioritization. and you really can't delegate the work to someone else. Putting off an unimportant task isn't procrastination. promise yourself a piece of tasty flapjack at lunchtime if you've completed a certain task. Some useful indicators which will help you pull yourself up as soon as you start procrastinating include: . . so that you can select the best approach for overcoming your reluctance to get going. you need to find ways of motivating yourself to get moving.Leaving an item on your To Do list for a long time. Step 2: Work out WHY You're Procrastinating Why you procrastinate can depend on both you and the task. For example. and almost immediately going off to make a cup of coffee or check your e-mails. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind slimming and other self-help groups. But it's important to understand what the reasons for procrastination are for each situation. . and then work from a Prioritized To Do List on a daily basis.Regularly saying "Yes" to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do. without starting work on it or deciding when you're going to start work on it. The following approaches can be helpful here: Make up your own rewards. but they can often be reduced to two main reasons: You find the task unpleasant.But to be sure. and it is widely recognized as a highly effective approach. . even though you know it's important. . you first need to make sure you know your priorities. Common causes of procrastination were discussed in detail above.Reading an e-mail or request that you've noted in your notebook or on your To Do List more than once. Use the Action Priority Matrix to identify your priorities.Filling your day with low priority tasks from your To Do List.Sitting down to start a high-priority task.
talking to colleagues. Your effectiveness may vary depending on the amount of sugar in your blood. Work out the cost of your time to your employer. routine distractions. even if these aren't the logical first actions. you need to spot straight away that you're doing it. You may find it helpful to create an action plan. such as those described in “Make Time for Success!” This helps you establish the right priorities. and manage your time in such a way that you make the most of the opportunities open to you. Here are some tips: Break the project into a set of smaller. How long do you spend each day on unimportant things. organizational and personal effectiveness habits. more manageable tasks. and so perhaps the whole project won't be so overwhelming after all. Shame yourself into getting going! If you're putting off starting a project because you find it overwhelming. Part of the solution is to develop good time management. making coffee and eating lunch? And how often have you thought. . the length of time since you last took a break. stress. you need to take a different approach. you're not delivering value for money if you're not doing those things. small tasks if you can." And are you aware of when in the day you check your e-mail. Then.Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task. You'll feel that you're achieving things. you need to identify why you're procrastinating and taken appropriate steps to overcome the block. Key points: To have a good chance of conquering procrastination. or a range of other factors. As your employers are paying you to do the things that they think are important. write important articles or do your long-term planning? Most people find they function at different levels of effectiveness at different times of day as their energy levels fluctuate. Things that don't really contribute to your success at work? Do you KNOW how much time you've spent reading junk mail. "I could achieve so much more if I just had another half hour each day. Start with some quick. discomfort.
Do this periodically throughout the day. tired. and when you perform at your best. whether alert. Your analysis should help you to free up extra time in your day by applying one of the following actions to most activities: Eliminate jobs that your employer shouldn't be paying you to do. analyze your daily activity log. Every time you change activities. Schedule your most challenging tasks for the times of day when your energy is highest. note how you feel. possibly at a lower pay rate. As well as recording activities. The first time you use an activity log you may be shocked to see the amount of time that you waste! Memory is a very poor guide when it comes to this. and quality of your nutrition. A lot of this can depend on the rest breaks you take. note down the time of the change. . or personal activities such as sending non-work e-mails. and flat in other parts. energetic. Without modifying your behavior any further than you have to. making coffee. as it can be too easy to forget time spent on non-core tasks. The activity log gives you some basis for experimenting with these variables. You may decide to integrate your activity log with a stress diary. How to Use the Tool Keeping an Activity Log for several days helps you to understand how you spend your time. flat. gossiping with colleagues or whatever.Activity logs help you to analyze how you actually spend your time. You may be alarmed to see the amount of time you spend doing low value jobs! You may also see that you are energetic in some parts of the day. whether opening mail. the times and amounts you eat. working. Learning from Your Log Once you have logged your time for a few days. etc. That way your work will be better and it should take you less time. note down the things you do as you do them on this template. These may include tasks that someone else in the organization should be doing.
Small Scale Planning So. organize a teambuilding session. Exactly what do you need to do to achieve this? None of these are major projects. or organize moving Jenny's team up to the second floor. Key points: Activity logs are useful tools for auditing the way that you use your time. They can also help you to track changes in your energy.it saves time and strengthens team spirit). draw up an Action Plan. It differs from a To Do List in that it focuses on the achievement of a single goal. . alertness and effectiveness throughout the day. so that you can carry out your most important tasks during these times. Reduce the amount of time spent on legitimate personal activities such as making coffee (take turns in your team to do this . For example. By analyzing your activity log you will be able to identify and eliminate time-wasting or low-yield jobs. This helps you think about what you need to do to achieve that thing. put together a bid for a new piece of work. read and reply to e-mails in blocks once in the morning and once in the afternoon only.Try to minimize the number of times a day you switch between types of task. But how do you ensure that you really have covered everything? Would anyone else know where you'd got to with the work if you were unexpectedly off sick for a few days? And are you quite clear about when you need to start if everything is to be done and dusted by the deadline? An Action Plan is a simple list of all of the tasks that you need to carry out to achieve an objective. You will also know the times of day at which you are most effective. In fact. Action Plans . so that you can get help where you need it and monitor your progress. you can probably think of all the steps in your head right now. How to Use the Tool: Wherever you want to achieve something significant. you know that you need to produce a newsletter.
As your projects grow. This is very simple. (If you're doing the job often. Or maybe colleagues would have been able to follow up on the impact of your newsletter on clients if you have communicated with them about when it would be hitting clients' desks. Perhaps you could have avoided a last-minute panic if you'd alerted a supplier in advance about when and approximately what size of order you would be placing. in the order that you need to complete them. Visit the Mind Tools Project Planning section to learn these skills. however. This is particularly the case if you need to schedule other people's time. and in particular. simply carry out each task in the list! To-Do Lists “Your first step in beating work overload.” : Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do? Do you face a constant barrage of looming deadlines? And do you sometimes just How to Use the Tool . where deadlines are not particularly important or strenuous. simply list the tasks that you need to carry out to achieve your goal. see our article on Gantt Charts. Key points: An Action Plan is a list of things that you need to do to achieve a goal. it can be incredibly powerful to turn your Action Plan into an Aide Memoire. revise your Action Plan after the work is complete. or complete projects to tight deadlines. but is still very useful! Keep the Action Plan by you as you carry out the work and update it as you go along with any additional activities that come up. and where you don't need to co-ordinate other people. you'll need to develop project management skills.To draw up an Action Plan. by changing anything that could have gone better.) Tip: Action Plans are great for small projects. To use it. If you think you'll be trying to achieve a similar goal again.
This is essential if you're going to beat work overload. If too many tasks have a high priority. they are also extremely powerful. with the most important tasks at the top of the list. so that people have to chase you to get work done? All of these are symptoms of not keeping a proper "To-Do List". unfocused and unreliable to the people around you. break them down into their component elements. And starting to keep a To-Do List effectively is often the first personal productivity/time management breakthrough that people make as they start to make a success of their careers. Without To-Do Lists. run through the list again and demote the less important ones. and if they are large. Do this until you have listed everything that you have to do. They list everything that you have to do. If these still seem large. This is essential if you're not going to forget things. Start by writing down the tasks that face you. By keeping a To-Do List. and overburdened with work. break them down again. This . To-Do Lists are prioritized lists of all the tasks that you need to carry out. both as a method of organizing yourself and as a way of reducing stress. And by prioritizing work. download our free To Do list template. This is very important! Whilst To-Do Lists are very simple. you make sure that you capture all of the tasks you have to complete in one place. and the least important tasks at the bottom. you'll be much better organized and much more reliable. Often problems may seem overwhelming or you may have a seemingly huge number of demands on your time. so you can tell what needs your immediate attention. you'll seem dizzy. With To-Do Lists. Once you have done this. This may leave you feeling out of control. Preparing a To-Do List The solution is often simple: Firstly. much later. You will then have a precise plan that you can use to eliminate the problems you face. You will be able to tackle these in order of importance.forget to do something important. and what you can quietly forget about until much.2 hours to complete. run through these jobs allocating priorities from A (very important) to F (unimportant). Once you have done this. and until tasks are will take no more than 1 . you plan the order in which you'll do things. rewrite the list in priority order.
and do not waste time on trivial tasks.these define what you aspire to do with your time. To draw up a Prioritized To-Do List. raise their priority. Only worry about this if you need to . download our template and use it to list all the tasks you must carry out. Redraft the list into this order of importance. Mark the importance of the task next to it. with a priority from A (very important) to F (unimportant).if you are running up against a deadline for them. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months. These are the most important. So far in this section of Mind Tools. You do not get stressed by a large number of unimportant jobs. you will ensure that: You remember to carry out all necessary tasks You tackle the most important jobs first.allows you to separate important jobs from the many time-consuming trivial ones. we have looked at your priorities and your goals . try them now: They are one of the keys to being really productive and efficient. Scheduling is where these aspirations meet reality. It may be that you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short and aim to complete it every day. . then it may be better to keep one list and 'chip away' at it. If you use To-Do Lists. or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people. In an operational role. most beneficial tasks to complete. If you have not used To-Do Lists before. Key points Now carry out the jobs at the top of the list first. Using Your To-Do Lists Different people use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations: if you are in a sales-type role. : Prioritized To-Do Lists are fundamentally important to efficient work.
and plan how you will use it to achieve the goals you have identified. Preserve contingency time to handle 'the unexpected'. and Minimize stress by avoiding over-commitment to yourself and others. These will often be the things you are assessed against. as well as the essential maintenance tasks that cannot be delegated and cannot be avoided. coaching. then you must make time available for dealing with issues that arise. if you manage people.Scheduling is the process by which you look at the time available to you. For example. Similarly. Normally. By using a schedule properly. you must allow time to communicate with your boss and key people around you. you can: Understand what you can realisticaly achieve with your time. Next. Next. It is therefore your most important weapon for beating work overload. Leave enough time for things you absolutely must do. Go through the following steps in preparing your schedule: Start by identifying the time you want to make available for your work. You will learn how much of this you need by experience. This will depend on the design of your job and on your personal goals in life. However. and schedule in the high-priority urgent activities. for example at the start of every week or month. block in the actions you absolutely must take to do a good job. How to Use the Tool: Scheduling is best done on a regular basis. you cannot tell when interruptions will occur. your best time management efforts will surely be derailed if you do not set aside time for those who are important in your life. by . and supervision.) Review your To Do List. Obviously. block in appropriate contingency time. the more contingency time you need. (While people may let you get away with 'neglecting them' in the short-term. the more unpredictable your job. The reality of many people's work is of constant interruption: Studies show some managers getting an average of as little as six minutes uninterrupted work done at a time. while still leaving you time to do the things that are important to you. A well thought-through schedule allows you to manage your commitments. Plan to make the best use of the time available.
With a well-thought through schedule as evidence. you can both reduce stress and maximize your effectiveness. What you now have left is your "discretionary time": the time available to deliver your priorities and achieve your goals. Scheduling is then a five-step process: . whether they can be delegated. you may find this surprisingly easy. Also. paper-based organizer. use this as an opportunity to review your To Do List and Personal Goals. calendar. By scheduling effectively. Question whether things are absolutely necessary. Review your Prioritized To Do List and personal goals. and schedule these in. then revisit the assumptions you used in the first four steps. spending money outsourcing key tasks. then you may need to renegotiate your workload. The best solution depends entirely on your circumstances. Before you can schedule efficiently. or using technology to automate as much of their work as possible. Have you set goals that just aren't achievable with the time you have available? Are you taking on too many additional duties? Or are you treating things as being more important than they really are? If your discretionary time is still limited. They increase the amount of work they can manage by delegating work to other people. This makes it one of the most important time management skills you can use. Remember that one of the most important ways people learn to achieve success is by maximizing the 'leverage' they can achieve with their time. you need an effective scheduling system. By the time you reach step 5. This frees them up to achieve their goals. you may find that you have little or no discretionary time available. evaluate the time needed to achieve these actions. If this is the case. you give yourself the flexibility to rearrange your schedule to react effectively to issues as they arise.leaving space in your schedule. PDA or a software package like MS Outlook. or whether they can be done in an abbreviated way. This can be a diary. Key points: Scheduling is the process by which you plan your use of time.
schedule the activities that address your priorities and personal goals. . Block in appropriate contingency time to handle unpredictable interruptions. then revisit the assumptions you have made in steps one to four. presentations. In the time that remains. Block in the essential tasks you must carry out to succeed in your job. get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task Develop alternative study places free from distractions to maximize concentration Got "dead time"? Think of using time walking.Identify the time you have available. etc. 2.Find something to enjoy in whatever you do. riding. tests. If you have little or no discretionary time left by the time you reach step five. Strategies on using time: Develop blocks of study time • • • • • • • • • • • • About 50 minutes? How long does it take for you to become restless? Some learners need more frequent breaks for a variety of reasons More difficult material may also require more frequent breaks Schedule weekly reviews and updates Prioritize assignments When studying. Schedule in high priority urgent tasks and vital "house-keeping" activities.Count all your time as time to be used and make every attempt to get satisfaction out of every moment. Time Tips 1. etc. for studying “bits” Review studies and readings just before class Review lecture material immediately after class (Forgetting is greatest within 24 hours without review) Schedule time for critical course events Papers.
6.Look ahead in your month and try and anticipate what is going to happen so you can better schedule your time. 23.Put your efforts in areas that provide long term benefits. . 16.Remind yourself.Keep paper or a calendar with you to jot down the things you have to do or notes to yourself.Maintain and develop a list of specific things to be done each day. 12.Stop regretting your failures and start learning from your mistakes. 5. 13. 8.Plan your day each morning or the night before and set priorities for yourself.3. 22. set your priorities and the get the most important ones done as soon in the day as you can. "What am I avoiding?" 21.Try to use waiting time-review notes or do practice problems.Catch yourself when you are involved in unproductive projects and stop as soon as you can. 9.When you catch yourself procrastinating-ask yourself. you should be able to make time to do it." If it is important. then either the worst is done or you may find you don't have to do all the other small tasks.Concentrate on one thing at a time. 19. 14. especially the important ones.Try to be an optimist and seek out the good in your life. 18.Start with the most difficult parts of projects. 25. 4.Put up reminders in your home or office about your goals.Always keep those long term goals in mind. 15. 10.Continually look at ways of freeing up your time.Find time to concentrate on high priority items or activities. 7.Try rewarding yourself when you get things done as you had planned. 11. Evaluate your progress at the end of the day briefly. 24. 20.Do first things first. 17.Examine your old habits and search for ways to change or eliminate them. "There is always enough time for the important things.Have confidence in yourself and in your judgement of priorities and stick to them no matter what.Examine and revise your lifetime goals on a monthly basis and be sure to include progress towards those goals on a daily basis.Find ways to build on your successes.
Use this time to edit and summarize your notes. employment and athletics. 29. 7th Schedule a review time immediately after your classes (5-30 minutes) whenever possible.Be sure and set deadlines for yourself whenever possible. Thus for the schedule described above.Delegate responsibilities whenever possible. you might write "R: Art/Chem" in the 12 noon block.26. DIRECTIONS: Read all of these directions before you make up your weekly schedule. 27. 2nd Record meal times.Push yourself and be persistent. especially when you know you are doing well. If you have two or three classes in a row. if you have Chemistry and Art at 10 and 11. Check off each direction as you complete it. 30. 4th Record any special activities you need to do or want to do on a regular basis. 6th Schedule a preview time (5-30 minutes) immediately before each class whenever possible. 28. you might write "P: Art/Chem" in the block before your 10 o'clock class. During the preview. 1st Record class and lab times in appropriate day/hour blocks on a time schedule sheet. You could also look over any assignments that were given and begin to plan when and how you will do them. preview from last to first class. 5th Review the information on the other side of this sheet about the Learning Cycle before you add any more information to your schedule. Thus. .Think on paper when possible-it makes it easier to review and revise. review all or some of your notes in preparation for the upcoming class.Ask for advice when needed. 3rd Record all regularly scheduled personal activities such as meetings.
You can also look ahead to plan the next week and determine how much reading you need to do. Try to study the same subjects at the same time each study day. 11th Label some empty blocks of time as OPEN for academic or personal needs. afternoon) for studying. In addition. Try to schedule some study time each day for each class.8th Schedule your intensive study/ review time for each class. or do whatever you want to do. This is your reward for sticking to your schedule. study.e. not hours of study time. 10th Keep open some day or evening time for daily physical activity. be task-oriented rather than time-oriented. This weekly review gives you an opportunity to spread out all of the past week's notes along with the reading assignments to see what you have been learning in the past week during class and study time for each course. Saturday. you will find that such a routine can help you develop a pattern for efficient and effective learning. Also. Do it at the end of the week if possible. use more of the day (i. what projects are due. 12th Schedule some time during Friday. Think in terms of "blocks of time" and what specifically needs to be accomplished. and Sunday for you to play. 9th Schedule a weekly review (WR) for each course. Remember. and if any tests are scheduled. research indicates that regular exercise will not only give you a general sense of well-being. relax. but can reduce tension and help you accomplish a tough class. Learning is more effectively and efficiently accomplished in shorter regular sessions than in longer irregular sessions. and work schedule. When you schedule study time. morning. Evening is often an ineffective time to study. Start your study period with the courses you like least or that you're not doing well in. Although this seems to be a mechanical way of scheduling. . you'll enjoy your free time more.
Weekly agenda MON TUE WED THU FRI 7-8 8-9 9-10 1011 ----11.11:15-----12 12-1 ----12:30-----1-2 ----2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10 1011 1112 SAT SUN ----11:15---------12:30---------- ----11:15---------12:30---------- .
Dartmouth College 2001 DIRECTIONS: FOR EACH QUESTION. CIRCLE THE NUMBER THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOU.© Academic Skills Center. A little test of time management Never How often do you plan in an effort to keep life from running out of control? Do you put daily plans on paper? Do you allow flexibility in your plans? How often do you accomplish all you plan for a given day? How often do you plan time for what matters most to you? Seldom Sometimes Often Always 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 .
Your planning system is working. but using it more effectively will help to reduce the stress and lack of control you feel in your life. Your planning system is working well. .How often is your daily plan 5 de-stroyed by urgent interruptions ? 4 3 2 1 SEE OTHER SIDE FOR SCORING AND INTERPRETATION © Academic Skills Center. dealing with urgent interruptions or writing your daily plan. with periodic reviews to be sure you’re planning around what matters most in your life. 11-15: Below average planner. INTERPRETATION: 6-10: Terrible Planner. Keep up the good work. But make sure you’re in control of your planning rather than letting it control you. You may need help focusing on priorities. 21-25: Above-average planner. You may already have a planning system. Dartmouth College 2001 SCORING: Add the numbers next to your answers. A great first step would be to take a time management course. but you can do better. 16-20: Average planner. You should consider using new tools and processes to help you plan effectively. 26-30: Excellent planner--or candidate for burnout? You have mastered planning and should experience the serenity that comes from taking charge of your life.
You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller. recording major events.Quiz written for USA WEEKEND by time management expert Hyrum Smith. Inspirational quotes on time management "Don't say you don't have enough time. 3. But can it really?. Make a to-do list for each day the night before or during breakfast. Both do the same thing." -. etc. Decide on specific times to work on each course. meetings.Henry Ford ." -. chairman of the Franklin Covey Co.." -." -. what a fool does at last.Michael Altshuler "A wise person does at once. labs. Five Steps to Successful Time Management 1. Leonardo da Vinci.Baltasar Gracian "Many people seem to think that success in one area can compensate for failure in other areas. Jackson Brown "The bad news is time flies. Pasteur. 4.True effectiveness requires balance." -. agendas and planning software are used by 15 million Americans. The good news is you're the pilot. Michelangelo." -. only at different times. Create a weekly schedule of your classes. whose Franklin Planners.Stephen Covey "Never let yesterday use up today. Nelson Motivational quotes on goal setting and achieving "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Set specific academic and personal goals..H. 2.. Create a term calendar. and Albert Einstein. Thomas Jefferson. drill. 5.Richard H. Mother Teresa.
Eva Young "A year from now you will wish you had started today. not a place we must find.Abraham Lincoln "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.Karen Lamb "The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time." -." -. Roosevelt "It's never too late to be what you might have been. Wayne Dyer "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing. and give you most of the long term progress and reward. Plan your actions for achieving your goals ." -." -.Dr.Franklin D." -. Remember the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of reward comes from 20 percent of effort."Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make.Leo Kennedy Learn to see the difference between urgent and important The important tasks are those that lead you to your goals. Forbes "To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing." -. Many urgent tasks are not really important. Those tasks are very often not urgent." -." -. Quotes on procrastination "One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is worth half-ahundred half-finished tasks.Billy Sunday Success driving motivational posters Keep your vision of success in your sight with specially selected motivational posters and artworks.Malcolm S. One of the aims of time management tips is to help you refocus your mind to give more attention and time to those most important 20 percent." -." -. Know and respect your priorities Aim to do the important things first.George Eliot "No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.Ralph Waldo Emerson "More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.
what percentage of time you spend on urgent and on important activities. planning will help you to identify potential conflicts and crises. Know how you spend your time Keep a time log during some time interval. . and then analyze it to see where your time goes. there is no way to get those things out of your mind except of either doing them or scheduling them in a trustable system. This is also an effective way to get a feedback on how well time management tips and techniques are working for you. and where you need some adjustments. Most often. It makes you much more prepared for each specific action. like a week.productive with minimum waste or effort Effortless seemingly without effort. It programs your subconscious mind to search for shortcuts.having a definite or desired effect Efficient . Planning can also significantly lower the time spent on routine maintenance tasks.Convert your goals into a system of specific actions to be done. that the planning process stimulates your brain to come up with new efficient solutions. Undone things circulating in your mind are also a big drain of your mental energy. Besides. and you will see much better if you could use more time management tips. You are likely to be surprised. The first significant point of planning is the planning process itself. Also remember that planning and related time management tips work best when you review your plans regularly. convincing your mind that they will be done in due time. and you will see it for yourself. leaving you more time on what you like to do or for what you think is important for your long term success. It is a known fact. what people you devote most time to. Schedule time for your tasks Your concentration can be easily lost in the sea of many boring or less important things waiting to be done in your head. minimizing the number of urgent tasks. For example. The "Eff" words The three "Eff" words are [concise OED]: Effective . natural. easy Personal Time Management is about winning the "Eff" words: making them apply to you and your daily routines.
it is a tool for the systematic ordering of your influence on events. however. the reason Time Management is poorly practised is that it so seldom forms a measured part of appraisal and performance review. The demands. what many fail to foresee. Consider these two questions: what would happen if you spent company money with as few safeguards as you spend company time. Personal Time Management is a set of tools which allow you to: eliminate wastage be prepared for meetings refuse excessive workloads monitor project progress allocate resource (time) appropriate to a task's importance ensure that long term projects are not neglected plan each day efficiently . You can not drive a motor bike like a bicycle. Poor time management is often a symptom of over confidence: techniques which used to work with small projects and workloads are simply reused with large ones. meetings which are either double booked or achieve nothing. Most managers recognize a few. it underpins many other managerial skills such as Effective Delegation and Project Planning. But inefficiencies which were insignificant in the small role are ludicrous in the large. Personal Time Management has many facets. There is the simple concept of keeping a well ordered diary and the related idea of planned activity. nor can you manage a supermarket-chain like a market stall. when was the last time you scheduled a review of your time allocation? The absence of Personal Time Management is characterized by last minute rushes to meet dead-lines. days which seem somehow to slip unproductively by. But beyond these. but few recognize them all. you must learn to apply proper techniques or be bettered by those who do. Possibly. is how intimately it is connected to aspects which do. the problems and the payoffs for increased efficiency are all larger as your responsibility grows. crises which loom unexpected from nowhere. This sort of environment leads to inordinate stress and degradation of performance: it must be stopped.What is Personal Time Management? Personal Time Management is about controlling the use of your most valuable (and undervalued) resource.
it is worth considering the present. monitored and regularly reviewed.. . In your time log. identify periods of time which might have been better used. The average IEE Chartered Engineer earns about 27. I say simplistic since all you have to do is create a simple table. for how many 5 minute sections of your activity would you have paid a pound? The first step is a critical appraisal of how you spend your time and to question some of your habits. conversations around the coffee machine. allocate time (start as you mean to go on) to reviewing this log.50 pounds per hour.. The most common are social: telephone calls.ask yourself: why not? Current Practice What this article is advocating is the adoption of certain practices which will give you greater control over the use and allocation of your primary resource: time. Since Personal Time Management is a management process just like any other. After one week. It would be foolish to eliminate all non-work related activity (we all need a break) but if it's a choice between chatting to Harry in the afternoon and meeting the next pay-related deadline . it must be planned. Before we start on the future. There are various sources of waste. Waste Disposal We are not looking here to create new categories of work to enhance efficiency (that comes later) but simply to eliminate wastage in your current practice. photocopy half-a-dozen copies and carry it around with you filling in a row every time you change activity. we will examine the basic methods and functions of Personal Time Management. you will be asked to take part by looking at aspects of your own work.000 pounds per annum: about 12. In the following sections. This involves the simplistic task of keeping a note of how you spend your time for a suitably long period of time (say a week). Your time log will show you if this is a problem and you might like to do something about it before your boss does. If you do not have time to this right now . say 1 pound every 5 minutes. plan each week effectively and to do so simply with a little self-discipline. friends dropping by. Since true understanding depends upons experience.
in the spirit of an open and harmonious work environment it is obviously desirable that you should be willing to help out . The time log will show you where these savings can be made. Rubbish! Large gains can be made by assigning secretarial duties to secretaries: they regularly catch the next post. and compare that with the time you actually spent on it. Doing Subordinate's Work Having considered what is complete waste. An afternoon spent polishing an internal memo into a Pulitzer prize winning piece of provocative prose is waste.then move on to the next task. Your subordinate should be told about the missing section and told how (and why) to slant it. look at each work activity and decide objectively how much time each was worth to you. If you have a task which could be done by a subordinate. they type a lot faster than you. Time is often wasted in changing between activities. You may want then to initiate a routine which deals with these on a fixed but regular basis. Check your log to see if any tasks are being delayed simply because they are dull or difficult. but far less that in doing it yourself. For this reason it is useful to group similar tasks together thus avoiding the start-up delay of each. we now turn to what is merely inappropriate. if you have a task to do. decide before hand how long it should take and work to that deadline . an hour spent debating the leaving present of a colleague is waste. Now. a minute spent sorting out the paper-clips is waste (unless relaxation). use the next occasion to start training him/her to do it instead of doing it yourself you will need to spend some time monitoring the task thereafter. This type of activity will be reduced naturally by managing your own time since you will not allocate time to the trivial.but check your .In your time log. writing the missing summary in the latest progress report from your junior is more pleasant than sending it back (and it lets you choose the emphasis). Using the stamp machine to frank your own letters ensures they leave by the next post. Often it is simpler to do the job yourself. Doing the work of Others A major impact upon your work can be the tendency to help others with their's. Another common source of waste stems from delaying work which is unpleasant by finding distractions which are less important or unproductive. Specifically.
Start with a simple appointments diary. Now. ask for the reasons and next time clarify these and similar points at the beginning. Your appointments constitute your interaction with other people. The first problem is appointments. that is their job.work log and decide how much time you spend on your own work and how much you spend on others'. If seemingly random alterations are asked in your deliverables. they are better at it than you.seek clarification (is that a one page summary or a ten page report?). you should deal at the technical level. The remaining problem is your manager. Making your manager efficient is a very difficult task. too late. . External Appointments The next stage of Personal Time Management is to start taking control of your time. There may be interviews which last three times as long as necessary because they are scheduled for a whole hour. try writing a small specification for each task before beginning it and have it agreed. There may be long lunches which could be better run as short conference calls. In this book you will have (or at least should have) a complete list of all your known appointments for the forseeable future. before you waste your time on false assumptions. Eliminate the wastage starting today. If a task is ill defined . if you spend a morning checking the grammar and spelling in the training material related to you last project. For instance. Managing your manager may seem a long way from Time Management but no one impacts upon your use of time more than your immediate superior. Consider what periods in your work log were used to perform tasks that your manager either repeated or simply negated by ignoring it or redefining the task. There may be committees where you can not productively contribute or where a subordinate might be (better) able to participate. they are determined by external obligation. then that is waste. it will at least cause him/her to consider the issues early on. If the manager is difficult. they are the agreed interface between your activities and those of others. Publications should do the proof-reading. They often fill the diary. be ruthless and eliminate the unnecessary. While you can not tactfully hold your manager to this contract if he/she has a change of mind. If you have omitted your regular ones (since you remember them anyway) add them now. but where it impinges upon your work and performance you must take the bull by the horns (or whatever) and confront the issue.
The basic idea is that your management of personal deadlines should be achieved with exactly the same techniques you would use in a large project: check the specification .stop reading for a moment and really. a stitch in time saves days. . Consider what actions need to be done before AND what actions must be done to follow-up. however.The next stage is to add to your diary lists of other. For each appointment left in the diary.g. Even if the latter is unclear before the event. if you are going to a meeting where you will be asked to comment on some report. Do you leave the work too late? Is there commonly a final panic towards the end? Are the last few hectic hours often marred by errors? If so. Consider: what is the most important type of activity to add to your diary? No:. Simply mark in your diary the block of time necessary to do this and. Thus. refute it because in practise they find that it merely shows the lack of time for a project which must be done anyway. personal activity which will enhance your use of the available time. always allocate time to time management: at least five minutes each and every day. and monitor progress schedule reviews of your progress (e. the handover of deliverables. Scheduling Projects The most daunting external appointments are deadlines: often. consider what actions you might take to ensure that no time is wasted: plan to avoid work by being prepared. you must still allocate time to review the outcome and to plan the resulting action. when the time comes. after each sub-task) so that you can respond quickly to difficulties Like most management ideas. allocate time to read it so avoiding delays in the meeting and increasing your chances of making the right decision the first time. consider. The single most important type of activity is those which will save you time: allocate time to save time. This is simply daft! If simple project planning and time management show that the task can not be done. Some people. do it. use Personal Time Management. this is common sense. And most importantly of all.are you sure that you agree on what is to be delivered break the task down into small sections so that you can estimate the time needed for each.
This will quickly develop into a source of valuable data and increase the accuracy of your planning predictions. The project planning tells you how much time is needed and the time management tells you how much time is available. and all because you agreed to do the impossible. deadline and you accept it.so move your personal deadline forward and allow yourself the luxury of leisured review before the product is shipped. Marketing and Sales will prepare customers to expect the product showing why they really need it . you have a chance to do something about it. you will always have a clear understanding of how you spend your time and what time is unallocated. Of course. There are four ways to deal with impossible deadlines: Get the deadline extended Scream for more resources Get the Deliverable redefined to something practical State the position clearly so that your boss (and his/her boss) have fair warning If this simple approach seems unrealistic. the competition will have advanced warning. If you have an imposed. Suppose a product is scheduled for release too soon because you agree to deliver too early. Taking this a step further. consider the alternative. Another tactic is to keep a data base of your time estimates and the actual time taken by each task.but by knowing at the start. which should I slip?". There is no reason why you should respond only to externally imposed deadlines. You can avoid this type of problem. then the outcome is your assured failure. .but it will not arrive. there is a fifth option: move to a company with realistic schedules. the same sort of review might be applied to the product at each stage of its development so that errors and rework time are reduced. An impossible deadline affects not only your success but also that of others. The customers will be dissatisfied or even lost. but unobtainable. By practising time management. you save time in rework. you can estimate whether it is practical. One defence tactic is to present your superior with a current list of your obligations indicating what impact the new task will have on these. If a new task is thrust upon you.then it will not be done . and ask him/her to assign the priorities: "I can't do them all. The slightly shoddy product which you hand-over after the last minute rush (and normally have returned for correction the following week) could easily have been polished if only an extra day had been available . Thus by allocating time to quality review.
Wednesday should have an entry in your diary to check the deliverable. This critical appraisal may even suggest a different approach or method so that the time matches the task's importance. monitored and reviewed manner as your own scheduling. or World War III is declared. Long term Objectives There are many long term objectives which the good Manager must achieve. The actual time spent in managing this sort of long term . particularly your subordinates. for each activity you should estimate how much time it is worth and allocate only that amount. then stop. This simple device allows you to monitor progress and to initiate action as necessary. Of course if the factory is on fire. it is all too easy to ignore them in favour of the urgent and immediate. Similarly. So if one afternoon a month is deemed to be a suitable allocation. particularly with regard to the development. Planning projects means not only allocating your time but also the distribution of tasks. they are distant and remote. the manager may have to re-allocate this time in a particular week . Thus you should ensure that each task is concluded with a deliverable (for instance.but barring such crises. they do not have deadlines. Simply. you are responsible for ensuring that the tasks allocated to your subordinates are completed successfully. Monitoring Staff Your Personal Time Management also effects other people. Finally. Thus. support and motivation of his/her work-team. designated purpose. time may be allocated to staff development and training. this time should then become sacrosanct and always applied to the same. it takes too long . and this should be done in the same planned. Long term objectives have the problem of being important but not urgent. For this reason. Beware of perfection.and this is all part of project planning supported and monitored by your time management. if you agree the task for Tuesday.you make an entry in your diary to check that this has arrived. As a Manager. then simply designate the second Thursday (say) of each month and delegate the choice of speakers. Clearly a balance must be struck.allocate time for "fitness for purpose". The beauty of Time Management is that the balance can be decided objectively (without influence from immediate deadlines) and self-imposed through the use of the diary. a manager might decide that one hour a week should be devoted to personnel issues and would then allocate a regular block of time to that activity. Any delegated task should be specified with an (agreed) end date. a memo to confirm completion) .
Chronos means amounts of time. looking out the window for 10 seconds. is an excellent reward. and identified what's important to do right now. You've set goals. once you've started. you begin feeling more motivated to continue doing it. but you don't feel like doing it. they feel like rewards. I started feeling more in control when I started giving myself permission to cross things off lists. Usually. Plan rewards and celebrations for yourself. Kairos means the time when something occurs. You can just start. like "at two o'clock" or "next Sunday". In the book "Feeling Good. As you would any long term objective. you should sketch out your own long term objectives and plan a route to them. If you plan them as rewards." David Burns points out that it's not necessary to "feel like" doing something in order to do it. such as a tidy table or pile of clean laundry. and give you time to congratulate yourself on getting something done.. Time Management: Motivation Time Management: Chronos and Kairos In Greek there are two words for time. If you do not plan where you want to go. like "20 minutes" or "two days".objective is small. allocate time to the necessary subtasks and monitor your progress. Smile and tell yourself what a good job you did. but without that deliberate planning it will not be achieved. Once you have implemented Personal Time Management. almost as satisfying as checking it off as done. it is worth using some of that control to augment your own career. Deciding not to do something and putting an "X" next to it gives a feeling of relief. Here are some ideas to help with motivation. such as special snacks after getting certain things done. chosen priorities. Even if you're in a hurry. written lists. . . This feels good and gives me motivation to finish lots of things on my to-do lists. Sometimes I graph the total number of check marks per day. you are unlikely to get there. you can plan rewards that take a few seconds. like standing up and stretching.. Just taking a few seconds to admire the finished work. Some quiet weekend. or tossing a pen in the air and catching it.
This is valid.We can think of time like money and budget it. I can do that later. We can decide to "spend" an hour on one thing or another. I need a consistent. That means that it isn't just that there are too many things for one person to handle: rather. Myth #2: There's plenty of time. you don't usually ask "should I spend this dollar. realistic view of how much my time is worth and how much of it there is. I can't handle it all. So if you're going to do something. It works out better if you think more in terms of kairos time.[top] Myth #1: There's too much to do. really. so it makes sense to shift some tasks off to another time. You're at a different level of tiredness and hunger.. Occasionally it's really true. Certain people or businesses are available by phone during one hour but not during another. it does matter which bit of time you select to do it in. of course.. With money. The best time to pay the phone bill is the first time you see it. Myth #3: I'm busier than usual right now. Rather than switch from one myth to the other. but there's a big difference between time and money. it's possible. It SEEMS that I'm unusually busy at any given moment. This can't be the real reason why I have a messy house. I'm about equally busy all the time. and the level of daylight is different. After all. A tricky one. It's encouraging to hear that there are others who also have trouble with the "little" things in life. I'm AWARE of the things impinging one my time right then. theoretically at least. But two different hours are never the same. But usually. or that dollar?" All the dollars are the same. A good time to play with the children is when it's daylight outside. because at that moment. This is the exact opposite of myth #1. It can be confusing to try to figure out what's the most important thing to do at a given time. My time is worth the same all the time. for me to organize my time in a way that gets it all done. look at one of them and ask "What's a good time to do that?" and then schedule it. Examples: A good time to phone someone is on their birthday. Rather than "which of these things will I do now?". other people manage. A . Different stuff is happening. with a few exceptions like if I'm trying to be on time for a job interview or something. Myths of Time Management . Yet both myths contribute to procrastinating. Funny. The idea of thinking in terms of kairos time is from "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.
If it's important. Management guru Peter Drucker says that "crisis management is actually the form of management . but I will tomorrow. I know I only have books due on a small percentage of all days. the other days are really just as busy.which will become apparent when you find yourself re-scheduling the same thing more than about 3 times. I don't want it there that long. The myth really means. the future seems simple. And of course I don't. Next question: Is my time more valuable now than it will be. I ask myself. But actually it is important to put it in the garbage. It's important to wash the dishes before eating on them again. But really. The plastic isn't doing any harm where it is. bike repairs. too. Myth #5: This little task is not important. parties. OK. "This is an unusually busy day because I have library books due. re-scheduling is taking control and responding to new information about priorities and time available.person can only be aware of so many things at once. But really life is always that complex. or if you re-schedule for the wrong reasons -. we examine time management issues in more detail 1.) Really it's best to put it in the garbage right now. When it's done doesn't affect that. It's only procrastinating if you don't schedule it at all. there are so many other aspects to life: dentist appointments. etc etc etc that taking all into consideration. No. I also tend to think I'll "have plenty of time" later the same day.now or some time in the next few days. it is important." However. In that case. Myth #4: Re-scheduling something to a later time is procrastinating. therefore it's important to wash the dishes. tomorrow? I seem in a hurry now. "Is it important not to have it sitting there on the counter all year?" Yes. I can always put it in the garbage later. Question: Shall I put the bit of plastic in the garbage right now? It seems that doing so is not important. If it's important." It seems reasonable. Shifting priorities and crisis management. stop and think about whether you really want to do the thing. Either it's important or it isn't. "It's not important to do it RIGHT NOW. It won't hurt me if I leave it there. (See myth #3. it's probably worth doing now. holiday celebrations. free and clear. go ahead and start. Below. say. I may think. then I have to put it in the garbage -. It's important enough to be worth the few seconds of my time. Example: I cut open a package of food and leave the little bit of plastic I cut off on the kitchen counter. The detail of the moment seems complex. too.
7.preferred by most managers" The irony is that actions taken prior to the crisis could have prevented the fire in the first place. 9. This probably the biggest/ most important time waster. The general rule is. This is probably the best way of building a teams moral and reducing your workload at the same time. The cluttered desk. 10. then delegate it. This results in too much time spent on the minor things and not on the things which are important to our work/lives 4.. If you can see less than 80% of it then you are probably suffering from 'desk stress'. I recently spoke to an executive who has had in the . The biggest thief of time. not decision making but decision avoidance. Some of the most stressed people around lack the skill to 'just say no' for fear of upsetting people. Attempting too much. By reducing the amount of procrastinating you do you can substantially increase the amount of active time available to you. Studies have shown that the average manager spends about 17 hours a week in meetings and about 6 hours in the planning time and untold hours in the follow up.Ineffective delegation. Unfortunately too many of us think that goals and objectives are yearly things and not daily considerations. Have you ever had one of those days when you thought your true calling was in Telemarketing. the boss. Many people today feel that they have to accomplish everything yesterday and don't give themselves enough time to do things properly. 8. Good delegation is considered a key skill in both managers and leaders. The general rule is -this.Lack of priorities/objectives.Drop in visitors.Procrastination. 5. 2. This leads only to half finished projects and no feeling of achievement. The telephone. Everyone's the culprit-colleagues. 3. Knowing how to deal with interruptions is one of the best skills you can learn . When you have finished reading this article look at your desk. Meetings. your peers. It affects all we do both professionally and personally. 6. if one of your staff can do it 80% as well as you can. Those who accomplish the most in a day know exactly what they want to accomplish. The most effective people work from clear desks. The five deadliest words that rob your time are "Have you got a minute". The telephone-our greatest communication tool can be our biggest enemy to effectiveness if you don't know how to control its hold over you. The best managers have an ability to delegate work to staff and ensure it is done correctly. if people can dump their work or problems on to your shoulders they will do it . The inability to say "no!".
Problems will always occur. Analyse your use of time. Action plan analysis. 3.last 3 months 250 meetings It is widely acknowledged that about as much of a third of the time spent in meetings is wasted due to poor meeting management and lack of planning If you remember your goal is to increase your self management. We have listed some strategies you can use to manage your time. Time management (or self management) is not a hard subject to understand. you can control". 1. Without a goal or objective people tend to just drift personally and professionally 2. but unless you are committed to build time management techniques into your daily routine you'll only achieve partial (or no) results and then make comments such as "I tried time management once and it doesn't work for me". How can you achieve your goals without a plan. By setting goals and eliminating time wasters and doing this everyday you may find . Are you spending enough time on the projects which although may not be urgent now are the things you need to do to develop yourself or your career. 4. If you are constantly asking yourself "What is the most important use of my time. The lesson to learn is that the more time we spend planning our time and activities the more time we will have for those activities. Most people know what they want but have no plan to achieve it except by sheer hard work. Do you find you are not doing what you want because your goals have not been set. One of the factors which mark out successful people is their ability to work out what they want to achieve and have written goals which they can review them constantly. the value of a good plan is to identify them early and seek out solutions. Successful people make lists constantly. There are many ways we can manage our time. Your yearly plan should be reviewed daily and reset as your achievements are met. Always try to be proactive. Always define your objectives as clearly as possible. This should be done for both personal and business goals. Have a plan. Good time management enables you to measure the progress towards your goals because "What you can measure. these are the best ways to achieve this. right now?" it will help you to focus on 'important tasks' and stop reacting to tasks which seem urgent (or pleasant to do) but carry no importance towards your goals. Your long term goals should impact on your daily activities and be included on your "to do" list. It enables them to stay on top of priorities and enable them to remain flexible to changing priorities.
Purposely provide preventive actions and contingency plans in important high risk situations. . Don't hurry the process. it is easier to determine what can be done. tonight. but you and you alone are responsible for initiating that control. When planning a project. Think about your entire week. Your subconscious will help organize while you sleep. MYTH: I should meet everyone's expectations. Then write the whole plan out in sequential order. and within what time frame. Anticipate the future and clarify the external demands that must be faced. leave your office and get away to do your planning in a quiet place where you can think. list the activity steps individually on small pieces of paper and then sequence the pieces of paper. despite the demands. Each day anticipate the sequence of activities that you will do to attain the objectives you are after. or mechanical failures. plan in thinking time. If you must. Schedule uninterrupted time every day to do your planning. From there. Something will get overlooked. material. If you fail to plan.you will have extra time in the week to spend on those people and activities most important to you. you are by default planning to fail. When developing a specific plan. Write your thoughts down and you will be able to utilize everything you think of during your planning process. How will important projects be sequenced? Do your planning on paper to capture all of your ideas and to be sure none of them get lost. consider several common myths which contribute to poor time management. Force yourself to plan.thing. Anticipate possible problems you could encounter in your project because of people. We can only work mentally with about seven pieces of information without losing some. Myths About Time Management Before exploring specific time-management techniques. FACT: You can have some control over many aspects of your life. Here are some ideas that will encourage you to plan your activities in advance. Plan for tomorrow. Planning is written about and talked about more than it is done. Learn to recognize what you can and can't control before making your choices. especially undermining your efforts to establish and follow your priorities: MYTH: My life is completely controlled by external events.
Protect your time by saying "no" to various interruptions. By trying to meet the expectations of others. FACT: We all have limits . some work best amidst clutter. activities.FACT: The needs and demands of others may be inappropriate for you and your lifestyle. Specific Techniques While it is important to develop your own style for managing your time and work. You may need to experiment to determine the right work environment. --Optimize your work environment. . For example. .. The immediate consequence of turning in an imperfect paper may be brief. etc. do not plan all your studying for the evening. no paper will ever be perfect in all ways. Keep things you need in your work area and make sure the physical environment is conducive to concentration. you may be shortchanging yourself and your needs. but the long-term consequences of procrastination--e. if you work best in the morning.g. or simply unattainable. and the expectation of further interruptions. Find what works best for you! --Safeguard blocks of work time. Interruptions are a two-fold problem: the interruption itself. some work best at a place reserved only for study while others work best at the kitchen table. or persons. inconveniences. academic or career losses and lingering self doubts--are usually more devastating. not just comfort. requests. They may be of a different priority than your own. They may be poorly timed. MYTH: I should have no limits. For example: --Use your biological rhythms to your advantage. Identify the times of day when your energy levels are at their highest and do your most important work at those times. First become clear about what your needs are and then you consider what others expect of you. . Perfectionists are especially prone to procrastination because the perfection they demand is impossible. acute anxiety. some work best in a quiet setting while others work best with background music. STACK THE CARDS IN YOUR FAVOR. FIRST. while others need a cleared desk or table. For example. highly questionable. Both reduce your effectiveness considerably. For example. consider how the following techniques might help you. failure to acknowledge this may cause you to become perfectionistic in your expectations. Some interruptions can be avoided by keeping in mind the following: **Arrange your work area so that your back is to the traffic flow.
**Find and use a special space such as a library carrel or an office where friends will be unable to find you. Of the three non-urgent goals. for example. Then refer to the Table below. Urgency High Low High I Importance II Low III IV . and watching a few "soaps. or install an answering machine. PRIORITIZE THE THINGS YOU WISH TO DO: STEP 1: Develop an overview of everything that you want to accomplish. Write each of your goals on a separate index card. determine how urgent each of the goals is and separate your index cards into urgent and non-urgent piles. perhaps when you take a study break. Attending the sale may end up in Quadrant III--i. Start by determining the time frame you'd like to work with (a semester. exercising three times for half an hour each time. attending Wednesday's clothing sale. Stephen Covey (1989) suggests using the following Table and thinking of priorities in terms of two dimensions. Five goals for the week. From our examples. that activity would fall into Quadrant IV. open it selectively..**Close your door. spending more time with a friend you've been neglecting. a day?). Return telephone calls when it is more convenient for you. a month. **Unplug your phone. let's say socializing with the friend and exercising feel important.e." Notice that the goals include not only academic responsibilities but also personal and social activities. Finally. STEP 2: Organize your goals according to their priority. they would fall into Quadrant II. urgency and importance. studying for the exam and attending the clothing sale may be more urgent than socializing or exercising because they have deadlines coming up soon. First. might include studying for an exam on Friday. a week. Next separate the pile of urgent items into important and non-important items. From our examples. urgent and non-important. if you considered watching the "soaps" to be both non-urgent and non-important. SECOND. and similarly the pile of non-urgent items into important and nonimportant items. studying for the exam may be both urgent and important and would fall under Quadrant I in our Table.
Plan in extra time and/or be ready to adjust your plan." using an approach suggested by Alan Lakein (1989). Each day and each week. activities such as sleeping. unexpected items will come up.. and to avoid getting bogged down by low priority tasks.g. doing the laundry. things like problems with your computer. still keeping your high priority goals in mind. certain "B" items are truly intermediate in their importance. Quadrant I goals go high on the list.). Obviously. determine the steps you need to follow to reach these goals. and "C" to those of low importance. If so. poor time managers give too little time and energy to Quadrant II activities (e. ultimately.. New." "B.By placing your goals in each of these quadrants. you can get a better sense of how to prioritize. Next.g. the research paper which is due "later!") and/or too much time and energy to Quadrant III & Quadrant IV activities. you may have to give them intermediate levels of time and energy. dates papers are due.. --Make a long range timetable: Identify academic goals and deadlines (e. the point is to devote your time and energy according to your priorities. Segment the larger activities into a series of smaller units. socializing. distinguishing according to importance may be harder.. (Not all jobs that are worth doing are worth doing exceedingly well!) Throughout. Here you would assign the categories "A. make a reasonable timetable for accomplishing your goals on time. Having identified the extremes--the "A's" and the "C's"--you may now find it easier to address the "middle' items--the "B's"-and to reclassify them to either "A" or "C" categories.e. etc) and make target dates for your non-academic goals. If. --Plan each day and week as you go through the timetable: Consider each week as a subcategory to be planned." or "C" to each goal. adjust your plans accordingly. try adding a "middle step. THIRD. however. PLAN AHEAD ACCORDING TO YOUR PRIORITIES-ESPECIALLY THOSE IN QUADRANTS I & II. eating. An additional hint for Step 2: While you may find it easy to distinguish between urgent and non-urgent goals. and similarly each day within a given week. Assign "A" to those items which are most important to you. Include them in your planning. expect some unexpected things to happen--e.) .g. Less obvious. dates of exams. (Hint: To avoid frustration. "B" to those of moderate importance. etc. review your time table. exercising.will throw your life out of balance and undermine your high priority efforts (i. Then. Then you can place them into their appropriate quadrants of the above Table. and thus how to distribute your time and energy. --Remember your day to day personal maintenance: Certain activities--if neglected-.
adding techniques may simply create additional time problems rather than solving previous ones.FOURTH. Beyond a certain point. but we mean it: avoid overorganizing. . AVOID OVER-PLANNING! This may seem to contradict the preceding.
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