Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

TIME MANAGEMENT
Time is probably the most valuable asset available to people and organizations. Understanding how to manage one's time can contribute mightily to the success of personal and professional lives. However, as with any other asset, it may be wasted if it's not valued. Unfortunately, it is human nature to waste time. It is true that some people naturally have good time-management skills, having developed good techniques for managing themselves and their time. But others have developed poor habits related to time. Needless to say, most people do not like to proclaim or admit these kinds of weaknesses. Wasted time cannot be replaced. With increasing demands both in the workplace and at home, a great need exists for time to become more respected, valued, and balanced.

Benefits of Good Time Management
Many valuable rewards potentially await those willing to develop good time-management practices. In individual careers, increased job performance and promotions may result. In personal lives, individuals may achieve successful marriages, more family time, less debt, and less stress. In addition, all types of organizations— business, civic, school, political, and religious— may receive productive, competitive, and financial benefits from observance of good time-management practices.

Achieving and Applying Good Time-Management Principles
In most organizational and personal activities, three areas of endeavor play prominent roles in achieving and applying good time-management principles: (1) development of suitable personal qualities, (2) development of short- and long-range goals, and (3) effective use of computers. 1

Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

Development of Suitable Personal Qualities Good time management requires the utmost in organizational ability. Answers to questions such as the following must be found: Does the worker have all the necessary tools located conveniently? Can necessary tools be found without wasting time? Is provision made for replacement of items that routinely get used up? Are necessary lists placed in a handy location? Are lighting, temperature, and noise at proper levels? If reference materials are needed to perform the job, are they placed in accessible locations? Where direct contact with other persons is necessary to obtain information, can these persons be quickly contacted? Have procedures been worked out to reduce clutter and confusion? Is complete cleanup of workstations required daily or at other appropriate time intervals? Have job duties been arranged in order of priority? Planning is necessary to achieve success in time management. Companies find that production moves more efficiently when procedures have been carefully worked out in detail. Self-discipline and motivation play key roles in this process. Once a commitment is made to improve, an urge to proceed efficiently tends to follow, and it is necessary to apply this urge to the tasks at hand. Motivation grows as workers begin seeing the results of improved production. Special efforts need to be paid to procrastination, one of the deadliest enemies of good time management. People who suffer from procrastination wait until the last possible moment to do almost anything. Some find it almost impossible to take the first step in any project. It can seriously affect work quality and heighten personal stress. It may create uninvited feelings of panic and chaos. Perhaps the best cure for procrastination is imposition of strict time limits either upon one's self or upon others in the chain of command. Development of good time-management practices may require inauguration of a program of self-evaluation. Personal habits may need to be studied carefully to see if any are faulty and need to be improved.

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Time Management Fin)

PGD

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Development of Short- and Long-Range Goals Establishing short- and long-range goals is essential to successful time management in both one's personal life and one's work life. When establishing goals, it is necessary to determine and specify standards that must be achieved within stated dates and/or times. This involves identifying a series of specific steps designed to bring one closer and closer to a stated goal. A good plan must include amounts of time per day or hour (or other time measurement) that will be devoted to work geared to achievement of the goal. It should include estimated time costs that might result from barriers or obstacles encountered along the way. Prioritizing—that is, ranking goals in order of importance—is necessary in situations where the most important of the possible goals may not be easily determined. For example, in designing a new refrigerator, there is often a clash between the engineers, who wish it designed to operate at the highest efficiency level, and the marketing people, who wish it to be given a price tag that will maximize its salability. Which is given the highest priority —quality or pricing? A time-management plan may very well be involved in determining the answer. Effective Use of Computers Computers can provide essential assistance in helping people to manage their time wisely by tracking details, coordinating schedules, facilitating communication, and securing and organizing data. Computers greatly assist those who work with others at a considerable geographic distance. Written messages can be transmitted instantly through e-mail. Data can be researched comparatively quickly through the Internet. In and of themselves, however, computers do not provide an automatic solution for timemanagement problems. They are most helpful to people who are already both knowledgeable and organized—and therefore best able to apply the benefits of computers to time management. In addition to computers, other technology exists that can contribute to the quality of time-management plans:
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Faxing is the instantaneous transmission of communications from one fax (facsimile) machine to another anywhere in the world. Priority mail and overnight-delivery service are offered by the U.S. Post Office. Telephones, which once provided only voice-transmission service, now offer voicemail recording, beepers, cellular service, and other services. 3

Time Management Fin)

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The "Three Ps" of Effective Time Management
1. Planning. 2. Priorities. 3. Procrastination

Ten Myths about Time
1. Myth: Time can be managed. 2. Myth: The longer or harder you work the more you accomplish. 3. Myth: If you want something done right, do it yourself. 4. Myth: You aren’t supposed to enjoy work. 5. Myth: We should take pride in working hard. 6. Myth: You should try to do the most in the least amount of time.

7. Myth: Technology will help you do it better, faster. 8. Myth: Do one thing at a time. 9. Myth: Handle paper only once. 10. Myth: Get more done and you’ll be happier.

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Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

Time Wasters
Attempting too much. Not saying no. Incomplete information. Management by crisis, fire fighting. Interruptions.

Making the Best Use of Time
Decide that you don’t have to please everyone. Let go–don’t be a perfectionist. Resist the temptation to do small, insignificant tasks too well. Outsource what you can.

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Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

Interruptions…
If no one asked questions we wouldn't have jobs. Anticipate the most common questions. Try closing your door or arranging your office to discourage drop- ins. If all else fails, hide.

Why do we procrastinate?
Don’t know where to start. To avoid an unpleasant task. We’re afraid to fail. Waiting for more information. You may think if you put it off someone else will do it. You’re over-committed.

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Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

To overcome procrastination:
SWAP. You do not work best under pressure. List the things you have been avoiding. Prioritize them. Try to do at least one of them each day until you catch up.

Timing
Knowing when not to work is as important as knowing when to work. Save the easiest tasks for the end of the day.

Get The Most Out Of the First Two Hours of the Day
Don’t eat breakfast at work. Don’t schedule meetings for this time. Start with the most important work of the day. Do the things you don’t want to do first.

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Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

“Avoid meetings with time-wasting morons.” (Dilbert)
Make sure it’s a working meeting. Don’t attend unless there is a set agenda. Can the problem be solved or decision reached without a meeting? Does the meeting have a set ending time?

Filing
You can do only 4-1/2 things with any piece of information: 1. 2. 3. 4. ½ T R A F r

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Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

“Logic-based disposal”
Does it require action on my part? Does it exist elsewhere? Is it outdated? Will I really use it again? Are there tax or legal implications? What’s the worst thing that could happen if I don’t have this info? Does anyone else need this info?

Other Filing Tips
Never file envelopes unless the postmark is significant. Write a keyword on the item when you read it. File according to how you’ll use it, not where it came from. Judy’s first law of filing…

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Time Management

PGD (Eco & Fin)

Managing Your To-Read Pile
You will probably never be able to read everything you would like to read. Read with a pen in your hand. Scan. Share your reading with a friend. Keep a reading file.

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