|Complete Time ManagementTime management is becoming ever more important. It covers the work environment and home life.
Trying to get all the things done we need to can be very stressful. This package tries to aleviate that burden.
Some of the areas covered to address time management can be seen below.
|What is it?Everyone has Time Management issues.
In an ideal world we all want to be in a position to utilise every minute of every day as well as possible.
Some may have more time than others if they sleep less hours, for example.
|GoalsThere is a symbiotic relationship between goals and how you manage to achieve them.
Once we reach a goal we are pretty pleased with ourselves and might easily give ourselves a reward.
This in turn fuels our enthusiasm to achieve further goals.
|ObjectivesObjectives become a list of activities or targets that need to be completed.
When all of the objectives are met the Goal will be reached.
So, in what order must you carry out the tasks to best achieve your goal?
|Prioritising objectivesWhen we have multiple objectives (targets) we will need to rank them in some fashion so that we can
carry them out in the most efficient way possible to reach our goals. We can use a simple method which
examines the longer range ‘strategic’ nature of a task and the shorter range ‘urgency’ of the task.
|Urgent v ImportantUrgent tasks are deadline based. This is usually independent of yourself and is often driven by others.
The sooner the task needs completion the more urgent it is. This has no relation to importance.
It is a simple matter to rank any jobs that you have in terms of their deadlines.
|Human natureMost of us are human beings and not robots. In general, we do not assess an activity purely on logical grounds.
We have another agenda. There are many aspects of human nature that affect how we make decisions.
|Blame cultureBy this we don’t mean the tendency to look for a scapegoat if the job goes wrong.
This is the tendency for human nature to find fault for time management problems instead of closer to home.
Nearly all time management issues are caused by us, by allowing them to happen in the first place.
|ProductivityThis relationship can be simply stated as the ratio of Output to Input (both measured in some fashion).
The formula indicates that Productivity can be increased by either increasing the Output or reducing Input.
|Time logOnce you have a list of activities for each day over a week you should find out how efficiently
you are managing your time in completing these tasks. You need to manage a log.
|Key Time DestroyersTime logs identify them. They are very common with some having a much higher incidence and impact than others.
The first step is to recognise their existence and the next step is to consider how you might eliminate them.
You should focus on the most frequent for maximum impact.
|Typical processOnce you have recognised the main ‘time destroyers’ there is no point in trying
to tackle them all at once you must formalise an action plan.
|StrategiesThere are particular strategies that you may wish to employ. These are covered under the following headings:
Visibility, Rank review, Minimise, Tick off, Kick off, Your time, Challenge, Delegate, Routine, Desktop, Measure,
Check, Negative, Fear, Start, Exposure, Mentality, Others, Positive, Benefit, Part, Reward, Energy and Confidence
|Positive thinkingIn order to succeed at reaching any goal you must believe that you can achieve it.
If you want to be good at football it is not enough to just practice, although it will obviously help.
Constant negative comments will to lead to failure. A positive attitude from yourself and good support are essential.
|CommitmentTo manage your information flow and time you must have commitment to the processes that you set up.
It is easy to lapse and try to catch up at a later date.
|PeoplePeople are not all the same; they can not be guided or cajoled by a series of rules.
Personnel can be broadly characterised into particular types.
Knowing what these are and how people fit into them is very useful.
|Poor delegationYou could argue that delegation is just a way of manipulating people to get them to do what you want.
This is definitely not true.
Manipulation is trying to get people to do things that they are not aware of and don’t agree to for your own advantage.
|Delegation processChoose the task well. You are trying to delegate as many tasks as possible.
Clarify what is required and the expected finished article and then leave them to it.
Establish reporting routines. Establish authority limits.
|Information collectionOne aspect of time management is finding out the nature of your main ‘time destroyers’,
finding causes and solutions then implementing an action plan to try to eliminate them.
This is really personal management of your ‘work load’.
|FilingWhat should you file? What system should you use?
Agree the system, use methods such as 'A’- ‘Z’, Day files and others.
Maintain consistency of approach and control regularly.
|Decision PATHPATH is a simple acronym for the key things you may wish to consider when you
try tackling more than one task over a short time period.
It stands for Priorities, Activity, Time and Health. Remember decision is not action.
|Capturing ideasMost of your information for processing will arrive via normal channels, that is, in-trays, e-mail, voice mail etc.
But what about ideas? Without these many tasks and projects will just stagnate.
How can we create the right environment to generate these and how do we capture them?
|Brain stormThis technique is one of the major ways of generating ideas which can then be reviewed.
To do it properly requires keeping to a set of rules and following a few simple steps.
|Mind mappingThis is similar to other techniques such as ‘fish-bone’ diagrams used in cause and effect diagrams.
The aim is to record ideas around a central theme or core that flow freely.
One idea kicks off another and dependent ideas are easy to see.
|ChecklistsJust generating a list of all tasks is not really practical and no substitute for a proper processing and filing system.
There is little point in having a long list of tasks with no idea of urgency or how easily you could tackle them.
Check lists can be very useful but you should be aware of one or two pitfalls.
|RemindersOnce you are comfortable dealing with every task that comes your way you will have a place for everything.
You will have actioned simple tasks that you can do within about 5 minutes, disposed of others and filed the rest.
How do you make sure that those ‘filed’ tasks get your attention at the appropriate time?
|E-mailsGeneral tips cover the following areas:
General, Keep on top of it, Consider webmail, Message rules, Back up, Spam, Action and Email folder names.
|What not to doWe often focus on what you should be doing with your time but less so on what you shouldn’t be doing with your time.
It is just as important to decide what you shouldn’t be doing.
In order to stay sane you have to get rid of some tasks or reduce them in some fashion.
|ProjectsFor the purpose of time management we are focussing on multi-step tasks that are not over complex.
Many projects that cover a long time period and exist in specialist areas tend to require more sophisticated handling.
These areas often utilise specialist software packages.
|Irritating tasksLet’s face it there will be plenty of tasks that you just will not want to tackle.
The trick is to try to come up with one or two tactics that will motivate you to get them completed.
|Combining tasksThis is a very simple method that doesn't reduce tasks but helps you to manage them better in the time available.
When you examine any of your tasks it is a simple matter to consider:
What tasks can you do at the same time? Is there any common ground or overlap of the tasks?
|TimeThis section covers different aspects of time, namely:
Historical, Passing time, Quality time, The culture and introduces Mono and polychronic time.
|Monochronic timeThis view of time is easily recognised by most.
It is characterised by punctuality, rules, conformity and speed.
Monochronic time followers are great at repetitive tasks that are easy to define within boundaries.
|Polychronic timeThis view of time is not so easily recognised by most.
It is characterised by spur of the moment decisions based upon intuition, creativity and less adherence to rigid rules.
Polychronic time followers are not comfortable at repetitive tasks that are easy to define within boundaries.
|Divergent thinkingAnother trait of individuals is ‘divergent’ or ‘convergent’ thinking.
These characteristics have close relationships with ‘monochronic’ and ‘polychronic’ personalities.
Divergent thinkers are naturally creative generating plenty of ideas but may not indicate a clear way forward.
|Convergent thinkingConvergent thinkers like to zoom in and narrow the focus. They want to dissect the facts and make decisions.
In general, convergent thinkers are traditionally ‘to the fore’ in business.
Traditional time management training is aimed at convergent thinkers.
|Assessment and planningOnce you have a series of potential solutions to your task or problem it may be difficult to decide which one to pursue.
Logical assessment of all of the implications of each of the potential solutions should lead to the preferred one.
However, this is not always the case. People often pursue easier options rather than the best.
|PrioritisingWhether your approach is ‘monochronic’ or ‘polychronic’, you will arrive at a number of possible problem solutions.
The planning stage requires a closer inspection of each of the potential solutions and the adoption of a strategy. Sorting and evaluating the options has three key areas.
|SchedulingAids and comments in this area are covered under:
Diary, Visual aids, Odd items, Personal energy, Bits and pieces, Assistant,
Overload, Visible, The telephone and Proactive.
|ReviewThere will be particular areas that you need to review. The use of the ‘check list’ is very useful here.
Reviewing is not about looking in your ‘day file’ at the next day’s activities and deciding if you really need to do them.
It’s about examining all the ‘delayed tasks’ and ‘project files’ in the next week’s activity or even further afield.
|Personality driversThese are usually ingrained into us from childhood; from experiences around us and the influence of our parents.
Time management looks at ways to modify these traits to your benefit under the headings:
Faster, Please, Perfection, Try hard and Be strong.
|AssertivenessAssertiveness can easily be confused with anger, aggression, overbearing nature and rudeness.
When you try to assert yourself you are communicating with one or more persons who also want to assert them selves.
Both groups are trying to get into a winning position.
|StressStress can be a good thing in small doses. We often find it useful to work efficiently over small time periods.
We all have particular levels of stress and it is a good idea to try to ascertain your own levels.
If these are too high you will need to come up with a plan to manage it.
|Stress sourcesSources of stress are either ‘controllable’ or ‘not controllable’, they are derived from ‘external’ sources or ‘internal’.
By their very nature ‘controllable’ sources can be reduced if you feel these are getting too much for you.
Those derived ‘internally’ can be reduced by improving your time management techniques.
|Coping with stressCoping with stress will depend upon the amount of stress received against the level of your own energy to counteract it.
The sum of the stress you receive comes in several guises as:
‘not controllable’, ‘controllable’, ‘external’ and ‘internal’.
|PlaytimeYou try to maximise the use of your time by doing as much as you can every hour of the day.
But your mind isn’t quite so receptive and alert as it was and you get less done and start to fall behind.
You get frustrated, irritable, sense of humour disappears and stress reduces performance more. It’s a downward spiral.
The product is a PowerPoint presentation with full accompanying notes.
It contains 100 plus slides and over 68,000 words.
There is a lot of information, covering a wide area supported by practical advice.
The key time destroyers highlight over 30 areas that can affect good time management.
Techniques are fully explained along with aspects of human behaviour that have a direct bearing on time management.
Supported by Excel and Word files.
Time management, following an introduction into the scope of the package and definitions, begins with discussing goals, objectives and how you can prioritise them.
The importance of tasks being either urgent or important is raised together with some aspects of human nature, for example the tendency to look for blame.
The trainng package then starts to investigate the identification of problem time management areas using time logs which lead to the 'key time destoyers'.
Additional information is provided in the way individuals behave and how they think for example, convergent / divergent and monochronic / polychronic traits.
This understanding may lead to improvements in using some techniques, for example 'delegation'.
Many other areas of information and technique are also covered, such as the use of day files, decision making, capturing ideas, the use of reminders and checklists to name but a few.
Explores several methods for this purpose.
Namely, summation ranking, multiplication ranking and the use of a matrix table.
Key Time Destroyers
This information highlights and comments on over 30 common areas that are a danger to good time managment.
Typical areas are: Action chasing, Being disorganised, Can’t say no, Crisis management and many others.
Good delegation will help alleviate the pressure on completing many tasks.
It includes general comments and covers monitoring, review and dealing with tough to manage personnel.
Monochronic and polychronic time
These sections increase your understanding of the traits of individuals leading to better delegation and task management.
There are similarities with divergent and convergent thinkers.
There are many other areas covered with particular focus on stress and techniques to deal with it.
The final section provides some useful tips.
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