Time Management

Time in the organization is constant and irreversible. Nothing can be substituted for time. Worse yet, once wasted, it can never be regained. Leaders have numerous demands on their limited time. Time keeps getting away and they have trouble controlling it. No matter what their position, they cannot stop time, they cannot slow it down, nor can they speed it up. Yet, time needs to be effectively managed to be effective.

On the other hand, you can become such a time fanatic convert by building time management spreadsheets, priority folders and lists, color coding tasks, and separating paperwork into priority piles; that you are now wasting more time by trying to manage it. Also, the time management technique can become so complex that you soon give up and return to your old time wasting methods.

What most people actually need to do is to analyze how they spend their time and implement a few time saving methods that will gain them the most time.

The following are examples of some of the biggest time wasters:

  • Indecision - Think about it, worry about it, put it off, think about it, worry about it, etc.
  • Inefficiency - Jumping in and implementing instead analyzing and designing first.
  • Unanticipated interruptions that do not pay off.
  • Procrastination - Failing to get things done when they need to be done.
  • Unrealistic time estimates.
  • Unnecessary errors - You do not have enough time to do it right, but you have enough time to do it over?
  • Crisis management.
  • Poor organization.
  • Ineffective meetings.
  • Micro-management - failure to let others perform and grow.
  • Doing urgent rather than important tasks.
  • Poor planning and lack of contingency plans.
  • Failure to delegate or delegation of responsibility without authority.
  • Lack of priorities, standards, policies, and procedures.

The following are examples of time savers:

  • Manage the decision-making process, not the decisions.
  • Concentrate on doing only one task at a time.
  • Establish daily, short-term, mid-term, and long-term, priorities.
  • Handle correspondence expeditiously with quick, short letters and memos.
  • Throw unneeded things away.
  • Establish personal deadlines and ones for the organization.
  • Do not waste other people's time.
  • Ensure all meetings have a purpose, have a time limit, and include only essential people.
  • Get rid of busywork.
  • Maintain accurate calendars; abide by them.
  • Know when to stop a task, policy, or procedure.
  • Delegate everything possible and empower subordinates.
  • Keep things simple.
  • Ensure time is set aside to accomplish high priority tasks.
  • Set aside time for reflection.
  • Use checklists and to do lists.
  • Adjust priorities as a result of new tasks.
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